GhazzyTV's Mage Skeleton Guardian Build Guide (PoE Trial of the Ancestors 3.22)



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This build is not league-starter friendly as it requires a 20 Quality Summon Skeletons Summon Skeletons (non corrupted) gem to get the recipe for the build enabling: Dead Reckoning Dead Reckoning. Besides that it underperforms compared to other minion builds on the lower budget. We are keeping the low budget PoB available for 3.22 Trial of the Ancestor league in the guide. The build catches up in terms of damage output in medium+ / higher budget and is up till to that point carried entirely by Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons%

Important note

This build has returned to the big screen thanks to the Guardian ascendancy changes in 3.22 which allows for some really nice medium & high budget options. With that said, the build is slightly underperforming in terms of single-target DMG output compared to other minion builds in the low budget state. You tackle this by having a Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons which you can find in Vaal side zones and later you can get a cheap level 21/0 Vaal gem via the The Bones The Bones divination card!


This build uses the Dead Reckoning Dead Reckoning which transforms your skeletons from the Summon Skeletons Summon Skeletons skill into spell casting mages! You are able to use this for leveling all the way from Act 1 using a Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa, however, it is more than fine to league start this character in a fresh league as well as use it as your very first character in a new league. There are multiple ways to play this build. I’ve made sure to showcase the lowest budget end-game destroying version in this written guide & there are also a handful of different PoB links showcasing medium as well as high budget options!

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 Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, you should always look at this guide to make sure you have the updated information. Another thing to point out with the video below is that we used to play this build as a Necromancer and now days we are playing it as a Guardian ascendancy instead. Playstyle remains the same though!

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!


+ League Starter – The build demands 1 specific unique item which is the Dead Reckoning Dead Reckoning which can be collected via a vendor-recipe. Since every other gear piece for this build is extremely easy to get a hold of the build works perfectly fine for a league starter build.

+ Bosser – The damage output this build can achieve is absolutely insane in the higher budgets.

+ Unique Play Style – You will summon skeletons that will cast a fire, cold or lightning projectile spell which is a very unique play-style in Path of Exile.


Low Budget – In the low budget state this build underperforms vs single-target fights compared to many other minion builds and catches up very quickly with some investments. You tackle this by having a Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons which you can find in Vaal side zones and later you can get a cheap level 21/0 Vaal gem via the The Bones The Bones divination card!

Unique Play Style – Due to 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 – Since it is essential to keep our skeletons alive to let them deal their damage we are going to want to use a VERY cheap & easily accessible cluster jewel which is only really needed against the highest end-game content.


The play style is based on summoning your skeletons on the field and then letting them kill everything for you. Since it takes a second for them to start casting their spells (similar to totem play-styles) you have to get used to staying in the back line on the lower budget versions of this build.

To enable the build you must first get your hands on a Dead Reckoning Dead Reckoning jewel which is done via a vendor recipe, a guide for that can be found here.

Damage Scaling and Defensive Layers

Minion damage is the bread & butter for our damage output since it all comes from our skeletons destroying our enemies. Defensive layers come in the form of life, high block & recovery of life when you block. You can invest more in defence at the cost of offence if you feel the need for it.

PoB and passive skill tree

All my guides use Path of Building. We have a simple guide for you that shows how to import my build into Path of Building, you can find the guide here

Here is the Mage Skeleton Guardian Low Budget PoB:

Since the higher budget versions are using other configurations they are separated from the low budget PoB, it is highly recommended to new(er) & casual players alike to stick to the low budget PoB first before moving into the following 2:
Medium Budget:
High Budget:

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

Mage Skeleton Guardian PoB, Passive Skill Tree & 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.

Mage Skeleton Guardian Gear, Jewels & Flasks

Item Slot Item Name Rarity
Head Life then Res/Attributes as needed (For higher budget you can get a helmet with “+ level of all minion skill gems) Rare
Amulet Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Chest Fleshcrafter Fleshcrafter Unique
Gloves Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Boots Life & movement speed then Res/Attributes 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, preferably with %life recovery on block or The Surrender The Surrender Rare

If you still have trouble gearing, please see the video below.

Ascendancy, Bandit & Pantheon Recommendations

You can read about the Ascendancy, Bandit choice, and Pantheon Power recommendations for this build on our dedicated page.

Mage Skeleton Guardian Ascendancy, Bandits & Pantheon Powers


We’ll be using minions to level with prior to getting the build enabling jewel. With that said the following suggestions for levelling makes sure you don’t have to use any Orb of Regret Orb of Regret to change your build when you have access to the Dead Reckoning Dead Reckoning. Do keep in mind that if you get the Dead Reckoning Jewel during the campaign you can very well start using your Mage Skeletons to level with. It’s also strongly recommended to pick up the Summon Skeletons Summon Skeletons gem before you reach level 45 and socket that in your off-slot weapon/shield to make sure it is kept up in level as you progress.

The PoB covers most of this in detail, below you’ll find a TLDR of how to get started early on.

Levelling Progression

Depending on if you’re playing Hardcore or Softcore, you will have to adjust your route depending on the quality of gear you’re able to obtain. For example, if you have lots of Life and Resistance from drops you get during the Acts, you can focus on taking damage-providing nodes over the defensive ones and vice versa. The links below are trees that should fit in almost any situation no matter the drop RNG.

Before you enable minions

Before you are able to utilize minions for your leveling experience you will need to reach level 12, to get there you can use a large variety of skills including Summon Skeletons Summon Skeletons or Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit as an example which all become viable leveling options from level 8 thanks to Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support.

Once you reach level 8 you are able to purchase Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support which cost 1x tOrb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation. This can then be combined with Summon Skeletons Summon Skeletons or Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit. Starting with the Skeleton/SRS approach the links should look like this: (Do note that this will replace the previous damage set-up)

Absolution becomes available at level 12 which will carry you all the way to maps. Use generic damage support gems until you acquire the below setup. (Do note that this will replace the previous damage set-up)

For the remaining acts please follow the skills recommended in the PoB, as it has a detailed explanation of all the skills you can use per act of the campaign.

For more general levelling advice, we recommend the following guides.


To guarantee that my guides are tools you can utilize to enhance your experience in Path of Exile, you may have questions. Please join the PoE Vault discord and they will 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 my discord! 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 Divine Orb Divine Orb drops!

For any questions or support please join our Discord (PoE-Vault Discord)