Due to the latest balancing changes in Lake of Kalandra 3.19, we do not recommend to play 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 are working hard to make it viable again.
This build uses the Dead Reckoning which transforms your skeletons from the 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, 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 Do note that the video might be outdated in terms of information, you should always look at this guide to make sure you have the updated information.
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 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.
– 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.
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.
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 (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||Rare / Unique|
|Gloves||Life then Res/Attributes as needed||Rare|
|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.
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 have access to the Dead Reckoning.
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.
- Leveling skill tree with no jewel, 54 points
- Leveling skill tree with no jewel, 90 points
- Finished skill tree, this should be a point where you’ll have enough currency to transition into mage skellies
- Levelling skill tree with jewel, 54 points
- Levelling skill tree with jewel, 97 points
- Finished skill tree with jewel
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 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 cost 1 t Orb of Transmutation. This can then be combined with 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 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.
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 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!