3.18 Mage Skeleton Necromancer Build Guide (PoE Sentinel 3.18)

GhazzyTV

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INTRODUCTION

This build uses the Dead Reckoning Dead Reckoning which transforms your skeletons from the Summon Skeletons Summon Skeletons skill in to 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 using 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 Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, you should always look at this guide to make sure you have the updated information.

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!

PROS

+ League Starter – The build demands 1 specific unique item which is the Dead Reckoning Dead Reckoning which can be somewhat pricey the first 12-24h in a league but nothing crazy and quickly drops in price. 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 even in low budget is completely absurd.

+ 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.

CONS

Unique Play Style – Due to the nature of 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 important 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.

PLAYSTYLE

The playstyle is based around summoning your skeletons on the field and then let 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.

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 comes in the form of life, high block & recovery of life when you block. You have the option of investing more in to defense at the cost of offense if you feel the need for it.

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 Mage Skeleton Necromancer Low Budget PoB:. For a quick glance over the finished skill tree for this version, check out this link:.
For medium budget options you can either go with a more offensive design or a more defensive design, here’s the offensive version: Mage Skeleton Necromancer Medium Budget Offensive
The more defensive oriented medium budget version can be found here: Mage Skeleton Necromancer Medium Budget Defensive

For a quite frankly disgusting mirror tier budget approach, I suggest taking a look at this link: Mage Skeleton Necromancer Mirror Tier Budget PoB

For a more defensive low budget approach be sure to check out this PoB . With this setup, picking up life recovery on block is extremely important as we just about cap block, and have 75% spell block.

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

Mage Skeleton Necromancer PoB, Passive Skill Tree & Gem Links

GEARING

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 Necromancer Gear, Jewels & Flasks

Item Slot Item Name Rarity
Head Life then Res/Attributes as needed (For high budget you can get a helmet with “+ level of socketed minion gems) Rare
Amulet Life then Res/Attributes as needed or Ashes of the Stars Ashes of the Stars Rare / Unique
Chest Fleshcrafter Fleshcrafter Unique
Gloves Life then Res/Attributes as needed Rare
Boots Alberon's Warpath Alberon's Warpath Unique
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 Rare

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 Necromancer Ascendancy, Bandits & Pantheon Powers

LEVELING

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 Orb of Regret to change your build when you have access to the Dead Reckoning Dead Reckoning.

LEVELING 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 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 Melee Splash Support. The skills listed below are the ones I prefer to use till I hit level 8:

Once you reach level 8 you are able to purchase Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support which cost 1 tOrb of Transmutation Orb of Transmutation. This can then be combined with Summon Skeletons Summon Skeletons . Starting with the Skeleton approach the links should look like this:

Using Absolution for levelling alongside your summon skeletons will carry you from lvl 12 all the way to maps. Use generic damage support gems until you acquire the below setup.

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 Added Fire Damage Support or Melee Physical Damage Support 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 Multistrike Support instead for single target.
Aura decision comes in Act 3 which is when we enable the Hatred Hatred for optimal damage output.

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

QUESTIONS?

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.

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 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 Exalted Orb drops!

Changelog

  • Updated the levelling section to incorporate Absolution for a smoother experience.

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  1. Posts
    5

    Quick question on your stream you made the medium buged helmet with 2 white sockets instead of 4 blue that are needed in the pob why is that?

  2. Posts
    76

    Hi Ghazzy!

    Thank you so much for the written guide! I am leveling this now and it is going smoothly. I believe I will have enough currency to do the medium budget build but I had one question.

    Is the Necromantic Aegis used in the tree in the medium budget build only for POB purposes (so that POB will see the AG mods you edited on the shield) or should we be using Necromantic Aegis as part of the real build?

  3. GhazzyTV

    Moderator

    Posts
    889

    @Duckingsenpai:

    You only need white sockets if you’re switching any gem to another color. So it depends on what gems you’re interested in swapping. I accidentally hit 4 white sockets and had to pay a ton for it >.<

    (Could have bought a Harvest craft instead…)

    @BigGreenEgg:

    Correct you are not to use Necromantic Aegis, I will have another way of displaying this in the future by using culling strike gem & information about it in the custom modifiers instead with some adjustments as that would provide damage you shouldn’t be getting etc etc

  4. Posts
    3

    Great work! Thanks for this. I know I’m going to end up having questions, so here’s a trick so I can repay you in advance:

    In POB to provide your minions with AG buffs without having to mess with the tree I edit a utility flask to add additional text. For example, my physical carrion golem POB from a few leagues ago had the following:

    Surgeon’s Basalt Flask of Staunching
    Item Level: 73
    Quality: 20
    LevelReq: 40
    Implicits: 0
    40% increased Duration
    Immunity to Freeze and Chill during Flask effect, Removes Freeze and Chill on use
    ———————
    AG
    ———————
    20% less damage taken from hits for 4 seconds
    Curse Enemies with Vulnerability on Hit, with 44% increased Effect
    Nearby Allies have Culling Strike
    Nearby Allies have +50% to Critical Strike Multiplier
    Nearby Enemies take 9% increased Physical Damage

    PS. I’m sure you’ll fix it but your mirror tier POB link right now is labelled “Dark Pact Necromancer Mirror Tier Budget PoB”.

    Cheers and thanks again for the hard work.

  5. Posts
    76

    @Setlist, instead of editing a flask, would you just be able to add those modifiers directly to the new Custom Modifier are in the Config window that was added this league by the POB coders?

  6. Posts
    8

    If I can luck out and get a couple white sockets on my helmet, what do we run for maps?

  7. Posts
    1

    I have a question regarding the host and carnage chieftain. Do they need lifetap support or not? Seems a lot of others guides say it is needed because of their mana, but when looking at minion databases, I cant seems to see they have any mana and you are not using it either.

  8. Posts
    76

    On 22/11/2021 at 10:43 AM, Maionna said

    I have a question regarding the host and carnage chieftain. Do they need lifetap support or not? Seems a lot of others guides say it is needed because of their mana, but when looking at minion databases, I cant seems to see they have any mana and you are not using it either.

    You 100% do not need it. They changed it this league but did not publicize it. I am not using lifetap and have constant charges from the apes.

  9. Posts
    76

    On 21/11/2021 at 11:35 PM, XDannyManX said

    If I can luck out and get a couple white sockets on my helmet, what do we run for maps?

    I was lucky and was able to get two white sockets in my helmet in the safehouse yesterday. I tried a lot of combos and this is what I settled on (helmet has Minion Damage and Hypothermia built in):

    Clearing: VSS – Pierce – Spell Echo – GMP
    Single Target: VSS – Predator – Spell Echo – Elemental Focus

    GMP is insane in this build! I was clearing T16’s with ease and getting to high stacks in scourge and my build is no where near done (level 82, no AG yet, under leveled gems etc)

  10. Posts
    76

    since we moved to the helmet for Skele’s, I decided to put the zombies to work and moved them to a 6 link setup in the armor and gave them feeding frenzy. They do a much better job keeping the buff up than the single Golem. I removed the golem from the build for now but may add back later. Once I can afford an Enlighten I will try and add in Precision in the Golems place.

  11. Posts
    76

    I have also been experimenting with a flask set up. I have not yet settled on a perfect group but I auditioned a new flask I have never used before and it is working very well so far.

    It is the Elixir of Unbroken Circle Iron Flask

    It gives a tiny amount of Ward but more importantly, it gives me excellent uptime on 3 endurance charges when mapping. These are a nice little addition for some extra defense in a character that can use it.

    I will be doing more testing today and let you guys know but I have a feeling I am going to keep it because it is such an easy way to get endurance charges in a flask slot that I was kind of scratching my head on how best to use as there was nothing obvious in the 5th slot.

    My full load out for flasks is as follows

    Seething life flask – bleed
    Elixir of Unbroken Circle Iron Flask – Endurance Charges
    Rumi’s Concoction – armor and block chance
    Quartz – extra armor and phasing. Phasing makes gliding through packs effortless.
    Quicksilver – movement speed, poison. I don’t like the reduced duration on this so I may try something else.

  12. GhazzyTV

    Moderator

    Posts
    889

    Short & quick answers only today due to being swarmed on the forums!

    @Setlist:

    Rip that’s on me, thanks for letting me know!
    Yeah there’s a couple of different ways to modify it with recent additions to PoB I normally fall back in old-habits and do it the old-school way, thanks for sharing though I wasn’t aware of a few of those “nearby” modifiers able to work but it all makes perfect sense :)

    @BigGReenEgg:

    Yes, basically this but I thought of adding Culling Strike as a gem lvl 1/0 but since “nearby allies have culling strike” works using the custom modifier box is the way to go.

    @xDannyManx:

    Not sure if I understand your question? For the higher budget options white socket is required for the gem swap. You can get this via Vorici from Betrayal encounters or if you’re insanely lucky via Harvest.

    @Maionna:

    That’s because most guide creators don’t care for minions the way I do I guess. It’s been tested extensively and confirmed that they do not need Lifetap support anymore, no.

    @BigGreenEgg:

    I see you’re doing my job in helping out in the thread, much appreciated sir! :D

    Pretty neat idea with the flask actually. Keep us posted!

  13. Posts
    76

    I finalized my AG gear and this is what I decided to roll with.

    Kingmaker
    Helmet with enemies take 6% increased elemental damage
    Gloves with Enfeeble on hit curse (need every tiny bit of defense I can get as I feel too squishy)
    Windscream boots (allows for an extra curse to use enfeeble from AG and Snipers Mark that I self cast)
    Doppleganger Guise (sounds good, hope it works as advertised).

    I made sure nothing had chaos res on it to avoid the interaction with Fleshcrafter

  14. Posts
    76

    I hit level 88 and noticed my survivability was not great in T14 red maps. I made some sweeping changes that has significantly improved my survivability and it is a bit counter intuitive.

    I was having some minor mana problems so I removed Determination entirely from the build. It sounds crazy but it opened up so many other things for me to use:

    1) Added Tempest Shield for a ton of spell block and immunity to shock
    2) Added Defiance Banner for a little armor
    3) Saved 5 tree points since mana was now in abundance and I did not need a bunch of mana specific tree nodes.
    4) With those 5 points I grabbed a bunch of spell and attack block as well as a ton of resists, when holding a shield. With offerings and flask up I am at 68/61 block chance.
    5) The resists from step 4 allowed me to remove Commander of Darkness from the build and added in Bone Barrier of which I use Bone Armor on my left mouse button.

    All these along with my 3 constant endurance charges from my flask have made a big difference for my play style (read: I suck). Capped resists including capped chaos resist and trying to keep the AG near me with Convocation all helps.

    I am now running semi juiced (chisel/alched/scarabs/sextents) T16’s with no issues! I am at about 14.7M peak damage for single target.

    I went from level 88 to 90 with no deaths and barely any use of my panic flask. I clear with GMP, which is wonderful.

    I tried to sneak Chaos Golem into the build but that was a mistake due to Fleshcrafter :)

  15. Posts
    76

    @GhazzyTV,

    Thank you for your tip on Ruthless for the meat shields!

    I now have the following set up for my meat shield in a 6 link.

    Raise Zombie – Summon Stone Golem – Melee Splash – Ruthless – Minion Life – Feeding Frenzy

    I am using a 20% quality Anomalous Ruthless to extend the stun time.

    I am still have to get the glove enchant Decree of the Grave (I know it does not have stun synergy but it at least has some synergy with minions).

  16. GhazzyTV

    Moderator

    Posts
    889

    @BigGreenEgg:

    Solid choice on the AG!
    Not sure if I’m overly fond of dropping Determination but, hey, if it works it works :D

    That’s fair on the Ruthless set-up, splash on that is absolutely beautiful!

  17. Posts
    1

    @GhazzyTV Hello! Huge thanks for this guide, this is the first time I’ve comfortably played PoE without biting my nails off out of panic and frustration. What I like most about this build is that it doesn’t try to be too many things all at once like most of the builds on this site, leaving you to juggle impossible set of stats, wasting huge sums on the market.
    (Loved it so much that I had to register here just to say it, and coming out of my social-awkward bubble isn’t something I do often)

    Quick question: what are your thoughts on using Midnight Bargain as a main hand? Makes you much more squishy, yes but the pay-off, mmmm…

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