Summon Skeleton/Zombie Necromancer Build Guide (PoE Blight 3.8)

Cappie

26


Build Introduction

Here we are going to take a look at a very simple, yet effective summoner build that uses ###item:summon-skeleton### as its main source of a damage. The build is a great league starter due to it’s low item cost and how easy it is to level up. This might not be the strongest summoner build, but it certainly is one of the fastest, due to the fact we will be using Queen's Escape Queen's Escape. We will also have Raise Zombie Raise Zombie which will act mainly as meat shields and will also provide us with some nice damage. We will also be supporting our minions with auras and curses.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Great boss killer
+ Most of the gear is cheap
+ High clear speed
+ Good league starter
+ Easy to level up

Cons

- Fairly squishy
- Depends on Minion AI

Playstyle

The playstyle of the build is actually pretty simple. We will just stay in the backline and let our minions do the hard work for us, while our main goal will be to support them. The way we are going to do that is by using Flesh Offering Flesh Offering (with Desecrate Desecrate on bosses). Also we will be cursing the enemies with Vulnerability Vulnerability and provide our minions with Hatred Hatred. We will keep ourselves away from danger as much as possible by avoiding the enemy attacks and using Flame Dash Flame Dash.

Passive tree

Early Game

Early Game Passive Tree

Mid Game

Mid Game Passive Tree

End Game Passive Tree

End Game Passive Tree

Ascendancy – Necromancer

Normal Lab – Mindless Aggression

Mindless Aggression will make our leveling a lot easier as it gives us pretty much everything we need for our Minions.

Cruel Lab – Bone Barrier

Next we will pick Bone Barrier from the Cruel Lab mainly for defenses.

Merciless Lab – Unnatural Strength

Unnatural Strength will further increase the damage potential of our Minions.

Eternal Lab – Commander of Darkness

From the Eternal Lab we will pick Commander of Darkness

Gem Links

Summon Skeleton (6-Link)

  1. Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons
  2. Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support
  3. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  4. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support
  5. Multistrike Support Multistrike Support
  6. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support

Note: Against tougher bosses, always change Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support for Maim Support Maim Support.

Raise Zombie (6-Link)

  1. Raise Zombie Raise Zombie
  2. Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support
  3. Multistrike Support Multistrike Support
  4. Empower Support Empower Support
  5. Ruthless Support Ruthless Support
  6. Minion Life Support Minion Life Support

Flesh Offering / Desecrate / Flame Dash (4-link)

The main reason we are linking these tree together is to take advantage of Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support, so the links should be like this:

  1. Flesh Offering Flesh Offering
  2. Desecrate Desecrate
  3. Flame Dash Flame Dash
  4. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support

Hatred / Haste (3-link)

  1. Hatred Hatred
  2. Generosity Support Generosity Support
  3. Vaal Haste Vaal Haste

Vulnerability (4-link)

  1. Vulnerability Vulnerability
  2. Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support
  3. Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
  4. Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Other Gems

These gems do not need to be linked.

  1. Summon Carrion Golem Summon Carrion Golem

Note: You can also use Clarity Clarity if you feel like you need the extra mana.

Bandits & Pantheon

Bandits

Kill them all.

Pantheon

Major God

For a major god, the best one is Soul of Lunaris for the extra damage reduction.

Minor God

For a minor god, the best one is Soul of Tukohama as, it would reduce physical damage taken while stationary.

Gear / Items

Weapon

A 6-linked Queen's Escape Queen's Escape is hands down the best weapon for this build. This is the most expensive part of our build, but it is not mandatory to begin with a 6-linked Queen's Escape Queen's Escape. You can start with a 4-5 linked one.

Helmet

The best option is a Rare Bone Helmet Bone Helmet with these stats:

  1. + % total Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum life
  3. + % increased Maximum Life

Note: The best enchant from the Uber Lab is “Skeletons deal 40% increased Damage”. You should ideally search for a bone helmet with this enchant.

Body Armour

A good rare body armour with the following stats will do the trick :

  1. + % total Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum life
  3. + % increased Maximum Life
  4. + to Dexterity (if needed)

Note : The new legendary Rotting Legion Rotting Legion is also a great option.

Gloves

For gloves, the best in slot are Grip of the Council Grip of the Council . Also you can always go with Rare Gloves and look for the following stats:

  1. + % total Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum Life
  3. + % increased Maximum Life

Belt

A Stygian Vise Stygian Vise Rare belt is the best option here.

  1. + % total Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum Life

Boots

Just a regular rare boots are the best in slot with the following stats:

  1. + % total Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum Life
  3. + % Movement speed increase

Note: Recommended enchant from the Lab here would be “Movement Speed increase if not struck recently”.

Rings

Rare rings with the following stats are best in slot :

  1. + % total Resistances (until capped)
  2. + % to maximum Life
  3. + to Dexterity (if needed)

Amulet

Sidhebreath Sidhebreath is a very good option here, but if you feel it lacking you can also go with a rare amulet with the following stats:

  1. + % total Resistances (until capped)
  2. + total Dexterity (if needed)
  3. + % to maximum Life

Jewels

We are going to prioritize Abyssal Jewels over regular ones, and make sure they have the following stats:

  1. + % Increased Maximum Life
  2. + % increased Minion Damage if you’ve used a Minion Skill Recently
  3. + % Increased Minion Damage
  4. + % Increased Minion Life
  5. + to Dexterity (if needed)

Note: A good unique jewels to consider, but not mandatory is a well rolled To Dust To Dust. Also Violent Dead Violent Dead, but mainly for leveling as we will not depend on our Zombies’ damage.

Flasks

For this build we will not be benefiting much from any special flasks. Just make sure you have decent instant recovery life flasks that remove bleeding (Staunching) and freezing (Heat). You should also use Quicksilver flask, preferably with duration increase – you can get 2 of them. One unique flask you can get is Bottled Faith Bottled Faith, as it would increase our Minion damage.

Be sure to check out our Flask Crafting Guide to learn everything you need to know about how to set up your non-Unique flasks.

Leveling

As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.

This is one of the easiest builds to level up because we can start using Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit on level 4 and use Raise Zombie Raise Zombie from level 1. We will start by linking our Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit with Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support and Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support we can also add Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support if we have a 4 link. On level 24 we can also start using Hatred Hatred. On level 38 equip your Queen's Escape Queen's Escape and switch Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit for ###item:summon-skeleton### you can also use Multistrike Support Multistrike Support. While leveling up one of the hardest things will be keeping our mana up so you can run Clarity Clarity as well. As always make sure you have enough Life and Resistances on your gear. Recommended uniques for leveling up include:

Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa
Goldrim Goldrim
Praxis Praxis x2 or rare rings that reduce mana cost of spells.
Wanderlust Wanderlust
Earendel's Embrace Earendel's Embrace

Conclusion

The build is an amazing league starter with a good clear speed, the only drawback being depending on Minion AI.

Changelog
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    Build added.

1
  1. Posts
    8

    Hi,

    Is it possible to do uber elder with this build?

  2. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 08/09/2019 at 9:04 AM, demiurgo said

    Hi,

    Is it possible to do uber elder with this build?

    Hi this build is not recommended for Uber Elder. It focuses mainly on fast clear speed due to Queen's Escape Queen's Escape. If you want to do Uber Elder with Summoner build please check there are other summoner builds on the website and they have the ,, Uber Elder ‘’ tag underneath them :) .

  3. Posts
    8

    I see. Is this possible to do T16 maps with it, though? Thanks for the quick reply!

  4. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 08/09/2019 at 10:36 AM, demiurgo said

    I see. Is this possible to do T16 maps with it, though? Thanks for the quick reply!

    Yes that is entirely possible once you get good items and some level.

    Edited by Cappie on September 8th, 2019

  5. Posts
    8

    Do we use Haste with Generosity, for our minions, or do we just use the active effect of Vaal Haste? It’s been a fun build so far. Hope you keep it up to date. Thank you!

  6. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 09/09/2019 at 8:59 AM, demiurgo said

    Do we use Haste with Generosity, for our minions, or do we just use the active effect of Vaal Haste? It’s been a fun build so far. Hope you keep it up to date. Thank you!

    Since we have some reduction for Mana reservation we can use both Haste and Hatred. Whether or not Haste should be linked I will leave the choice to you. If you link it – you give your minions more damage. If you don’t link it you get some extra movement speed plus cast speed for Flame dash Desecrate etc.

    So for harder content link it , for clear speed – don’t .

  7. Posts
    8

    Do you think it would be a good idea to switch Melee Physical Damage Support for Feeding Frenzy on the skeletons link? What about Brutality for the zombies, instead of Minion Damage? Thanks!

  8. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 12/09/2019 at 3:04 PM, demiurgo said

    Do you think it would be a good idea to switch Melee Physical Damage Support for Feeding Frenzy on the skeletons link? What about Brutality for the zombies, instead of Minion Damage? Thanks!

    Those are both great ideas, especially the Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support. I think changing Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support for Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support will increase our clear speed you are spot on here. However to get the most damage possible i’d put the Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support on our zombies because they are our ,,support’‘ guys. All the minions get the Feeding Frenzy buff anyways and we save one gem slot for the Skeletons :).

    As for the Brutality Support Brutality Support it won’t make much of a difference, because we are supporting the Zombies with Hatred. Brutality will make Hatred ineffective.

    Edit: I switched out the Zombie’s Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support for Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support thanks to your suggestion :) .

    Edited by Cappie on September 12th, 2019

  9. Posts
    8

    Oh, that’s right. Brutality doesn’t go well with Hatred.

    I’ve slotted Feeding Frenzy in a Rotting Legion armor. That way I don’t need Meat Shield from gem.

    Cheers!

  10. Posts
    9

    Hello, i’ve some questions regarding your build.
    First at all, you said it’s difficult to do Uber Elder with this build, but difficult don’t mean impossible haha. What improvements can we do to try uber elder (without switch for another build) ?
    For gloves, you said Grip of the council is great, i just looted Triad Grip, can this option be considered or is too weak vs rare gloves ?
    For weapons, is it possible to consider another setup, like wand + shield, or it’s not compatible with this build ?
    Thx !

  11. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 14/09/2019 at 9:34 AM, scorflex said

    Hello, i’ve some questions regarding your build.
    First at all, you said it’s difficult to do Uber Elder with this build, but difficult don’t mean impossible haha. What improvements can we do to try uber elder (without switch for another build) ?
    For gloves, you said Grip of the council is great, i just looted Triad Grip, can this option be considered or is too weak vs rare gloves ?
    For weapons, is it possible to consider another setup, like wand + shield, or it’s not compatible with this build ?
    Thx !

    Hello, yes if you want to switch the build and progress further the first step would be to change weapon. It will drop your clear speed by a lot of course and we are loosing our 6 linked zombies which is a big deal. Look for a weapon with minion damage increase by a lot around 80% , like you said a wand is ideal Convoking Wand Convoking Wand mostly of this type. For a shield I would go with Lioneye's Remorse Lioneye's Remorse or Ahn's Heritage Ahn's Heritage. Make sure all of your gems have 20% quantity and you have upgraded your jewels.

    As for Triad Grip Triad Grip they are not adding extra damage like Hatred Hatred. They are Converting the damage the minions already have. Maybe usefull if you know you want to make your Minions deal only Fire damage and curse enemies with Flammability Flammability . Definetely not usefull for our build though. Grip of the Council Grip of the Council adds has the ,,Extra’‘ Damage added that’s why it’s better. Grip of the Council Grip of the Council and Command of the Pit Command of the Pit are usually the only usefull summoner gloves.

    Anyways how to improve – Like i said above switch the weapon – link your Zombies in the helmet instead and remove the Ruthless Support Ruthless Support and Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support from them. Add Raise Spectre Raise Spectre to the build and link them with the Summon Carrion Golem Summon Carrion Golem and Minion Life Support Minion Life Support ( some extra damage here). Make sure your Gem’s have 20% quantity. Level up your character to get extra skill points. Consider buying the Watcher's Eye Watcher's Eye at some point with hatred mods. Get better gear with maximum stats and also jewels. That’s all I am thinking of now.

    Important Note : The weapon change will drop your clear speed by a lot. Make sure you get some level’s while using the Queen's Escape Queen's Escape. You can switch to a better weapon for example after you clear t14-t15 maps. Focus on the other stuff I mentioned before that.

    Edited by Cappie on September 15th, 2019

  12. Posts
    2

    I love your build. It’s cheap to start with, easy to clear maps for a nubie like me, and feels easier to help out sister cassia than the other builds, but I do have a certain question. I did know that meat shield support makes the zombies more likely to stick around your character while the skeletons go after mobs however your build says that you recommend that I put the skeleton skills on the armor which I did on my tabula rasa. But now I got a 6s rotting legion armor and exchanged it and now the skeletons seem to have gotten protective due to the level 1 meat shield support. So can I put the summon skeleton to the weapon and swap it with the zombie skill or is there some other reason that I should keep supporting my skeletons this way?

  13. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 18/09/2019 at 1:19 AM, Tsovinar said

    I love your build. It’s cheap to start with, easy to clear maps for a nubie like me, and feels easier to help out sister cassia than the other builds, but I do have a certain question. I did know that meat shield support makes the zombies more likely to stick around your character while the skeletons go after mobs however your build says that you recommend that I put the skeleton skills on the armor which I did on my tabula rasa. But now I got a 6s rotting legion armor and exchanged it and now the skeletons seem to have gotten protective due to the level 1 meat shield support. So can I put the summon skeleton to the weapon and swap it with the zombie skill or is there some other reason that I should keep supporting my skeletons this way?

    Hey, no don’t put the skeletons with meat shield support. The only reason I typed this was because the skeletons are the most important part of the build and they need to be 6 linked. We dont care about the zombies that much thats why i put them on the weapon (because usually its harder to get a 6 linked weapon). You are correct I should fix this typo.

    Edited by Cappie on September 18th, 2019

  14. Posts
    3

    Sorry newbie here… How did you get 4 blue gems on your weapon? I’ve been using alot of chromatics and all I can get is 2 blue 1 green and 2 red to roll on my 6link.

  15. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 27/09/2019 at 3:46 AM, MI-JUGGALO said

    Sorry newbie here… How did you get 4 blue gems on your weapon? I’ve been using alot of chromatics and all I can get is 2 blue 1 green and 2 red to roll on my 6link.

    Hi,

    Thats actually a really good question. Since Queen's Escape Queen's Escape is a Strength/Dexterity based weapon its more likely to roll Red and Green sockets. It is extremelly difficult to get 4 blue sockets or more and it will cost you lots of Chromatic Orb Chromatic Orb. So lets look for alternative.

    We should be using our Raise Zombie Raise Zombie in our weapon, because the skeletons are more important and should already be 6 linked. The best support gem for our zombies is Meat Shield Support Meat Shield Support. Since you already have 2 blues use it. You can get 3 certain Blue sockets by using the crafting bench, the recipe you can obtain from the Azurite Mine. It still costs around 120 Chromatic orb and you get 3 certain blues and 3 random ones. Our third link is Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support, so an alternative until you get 3 blues is to use Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support linked to your Summon Carrion Golem Summon Carrion Golem, this way the Golem can also provide us with the Buff. The fourth blue link is Minion Life Support Minion Life Support, this one is extremelly helpful , but not mandatory. So until you get 3 or 4 blues use Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support, or Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support or Empower Support Empower Support for example depending on your color of sockets.

    Note : Do not waste like 1000 to 2000 Chromatic orbs for your Queen's Escape Queen's Escape. Thats a lot of currency. If you dont get the blue sockets just let it go. With that currency you can get a better update for your build and simply use an alternative support gem. The most budget friendly version is to get 3 certain blues from the Crafting Bench and use Empower Support Empower Support instead of Minion Life Support Minion Life Support

    Edited by Cappie on September 27th, 2019

  16. Posts
    3

    Thanks. I didn’t think about faster attacks. I had hypothermia in there instead. I have that crafting recipe but wasn’t sure if it would break my six link or not. Really liking this build. Level 89 atm just kinda hit a wall. Working on gem quality atm.

  17. Posts
    3

    On 27/09/2019 at 8:10 AM, MI-JUGGALO said

    Thanks. I didn’t think about faster attacks. I had hypothermia in there instead. I have that crafting recipe but wasn’t sure if it would break my six link or not. Really liking this build. Level 89 atm just kinda hit a wall. Working on gem quality atm.

  18. Posts
    2

    I just have a question about a mod of a map that seems to wipe out my entire minions. I had a monsters reflect damage 15% mod on a map and didn’t think that it would be much a problem, but it happened to be a huge problem. I ended up clearing it with only my skeletons since my zombies and golem got their ass wiped. Is there a way to clear these maps in some smooth manner? (For example : changing gems?)

  19. Cappie

    Moderator

    Posts
    53

    On 01/10/2019 at 7:42 AM, Tsovinar said

    I just have a question about a mod of a map that seems to wipe out my entire minions. I had a monsters reflect damage 15% mod on a map and didn’t think that it would be much a problem, but it happened to be a huge problem. I ended up clearing it with only my skeletons since my zombies and golem got their ass wiped. Is there a way to clear these maps in some smooth manner? (For example : changing gems?)

    Hi, unfortunately no. Even if you pick more Minion Life regen or Leech they still kill themselves. The best thing you can do is to avoid the mod or depend on the skeletons if you must complete the map.

  20. Posts
    5

    what mana reserved buff should i have on all the time and what ability should i be constantly using?

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