The Baron Zombies/Skeletons Necromancer Build Guide (PoE Betrayal 3.5)

Vvckd

4


Introduction

The following build is a Necromancer that specializes in raising very strong zombies and skeletons in order to defeat foes. The Baron The Baron applies half of your strength to your minions while also giving you additional maximum zombies per 300 strength and your zombies leech life to you when you acquire 1000 strength. This is a strength stacking build. Considering strength gives a lot of flat hit points it is easy to reach great life pool without much effort. The build is able to reach 9-10k life by level 95 and due to recent changes the build only gets better. The leech that the helm provides is actually a great sustain since the zombies hit so hard. Stacking a lot of flat and percent strength makes the build what it is, this requires specific items which may not be obtainable in a solo self-found environment. Consider that even without The Baron and the strength stacking you can still play a variation of this build simply relying on skeletons to carry you through the game since they are so strong.

Build Summary

This build can be played as a league starter. In the beginning of leagues The Baron The Baron costs couple of Chaos Orb Chaos Orb. The helm can carry you alone after level 28, simply put your Raise Zombie Raise Zombie setup in it so they can benefit from the +2 minion gem levels. Until then you can level with Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit. Summon Skeleton Summon Skeleton become playable after you ascend into Bone Scupltor, until then do not bother with them, just level the gem on the side. Violent Dead Violent Dead is the zombie threshold jewel. Use two of them since they stack. Alberon's Warpath Alberon’s Warpath unique boots provide huge percent strength that is required for the build to work, they should be very cheap. Astramentis Astramentis is a unique amulet that provides over 100 flat attributes, although it is recommended replacing it with well rolled rare amulet later on. When it comes to weapons you have few options. You can either dual wield Mon'tregul's Grasp Mon’tregul’s Grasp along with Severed in Sleep Severed in Sleep or United in Dream United in Dream. This setup makes your zombies extremely strong.

Pros & Cons

Pros

+ Hardcore viable
+ Great boss killer
+ Good sustain even without flasks
+ Simple play style

Cons

- Clear speed is on the low end
- Requires specific items in order to play
- Relies on minion AI

Playstyle

Offensively, you have more than enough damage to deal with anything, as long as you keep up your skeletons and apply offensive curse via curse on hit setup. Elemental Equilibrium can be very useful if you use added damage and converting part of the physical into elemental damage for your minions like Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support and Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support while cursing with Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse. Makes sure to keep Flesh Offering Flesh Offering up at all times. Detonating enemies on death via Mon'tregul's Grasp Mon’tregul’s Grasp will clear whole packs of mobs with a single zombie slam. If you want to be more skeleton oriented and want your minions to be faster in order to improve clear speed you can choose to play with Queen's Escape Queen’s Escape.

Defensively, damage dealt by zombies leech to you as life takes care of most of the things. 9k+ endgame life pool makes most hits not relevant. Playing a minion build frees up space for defensive flasks. Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support and Immortal Call Immortal Call setup is always useful. Use Convocation Convocation when you are all by yourself in order to summon your army to defend you.

Ascendancy, Passive Tree, Bandits, and Pantheons

Ascendancy (Witch – Necromancer)

  1. Invoker
  2. Bone Sculptor
  3. Flesh Binder
  4. Puppet Master

Invoker brings enough minion life regeneration in order for zombies to be relevant while leveling and the Convocation Convocation cooldown recovery speed is great. Bone Sculptor is our second choice. When ascended you can start using Summon Skeleton Summon Skeleton. Even on a 4-Link they will destroy all enemies. Flesh Binder makes zombies that much more useful. Raise Zombie Raise Zombie ’ slam ability proves to be very strong and the area of effect and cooldown recovery increases from Flesh Binder makes zombies much more reliable when it comes to area of effect clearing. Here you can basically choose whatever you want since none of the other ascendancy nodes make or break the build. Puppet Master is a great choice since it provides a much needed minion speed. The build can feel kind of slow and additional minion speed always helps.

Passive Tree

Here is an endgame version of the passive tree.

Basically early on you should focus on life and minion nodes, strength stacking comes later on.

Bandits

The Act II quest Deal with the Bandits presents few character choices for us. Considering the build does not benefit from helping any specific bandit we choose to kill them all.

Pantheons

Major: Soul of Lunaris – This major god can be upgraded by capturing Lycius, Midnight’s Howl in order to avoid chained projectiles which a problem for every summoner build. Additionally the other upgrades and defensive stats prove to be very useful.
Minor: Here it is up to personal preference. Poison immunity via Shakari is always handy. Use Ralakesh when running labyrinths. Other gods can be used too whenever you feel like they can be useful.

Gems

The build’s two main sources of damage are Raise Zombie Raise Zombie and Summon Skeleton Summon Skeleton. Your Raise Zombie gem should be socketed in your helmet in order to benefit from the two additional levels of socketed minion gems. Summon Skeletons should be ideally used in a 6-Link for maximum damage output. Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse is used as a utility skill in order to curse enemies and proc Elemental Equilibrium in order to improve your minion’s damage even further. Flesh Offering Flesh Offering will empower your minions by giving them additional movement and attack speed. For mobility, use Lightning Warp Lightning Warp on a 4-Link, keep in mind that the skill is affected by your movement speed, this means “warping” around while you Quicksilver flask is up will be faster. The usual Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support with Immortal Call Immortal Call is used to prevent deaths from consecutive physical hits, such as dying Porcupines.

Vaal Summon Skeletons (6-Link)

Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons is the skill that you will be mostly relying on late game, when it comes to clearing. It will be ideally used in a 6-Link. Depending on your goals we recommend two 6-Links.

For clearing, use the following link.

Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support

For singe target, use the following link.

Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support Multistrike Support Multistrike Support

Raise Zombie (4-Link)

Raise Zombie Raise Zombie should be socketed in The Baron The Baron in order to benefit from the additional two gem levels. Zombies become very strong late game and will most likely have more than 15k life and will one-shot most monster packs with a single slam.

Raise Zombie Raise Zombie Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support

Freezing Pulse (3-Link)

Your minions deal a considerable amount of elemental damage, this is why it is very efficient to lower enemies’ elemental resistances as much as possible. The way this build achieves such goal is by using Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse in combination with Elemental Equilibrium and Curse On Hit Support Curse On Hit Support in order to curse enemies with Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness.

Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse Curse On Hit Support Curse On Hit Support Elemental Weakness Elemental Weakness

Immortal Call (3-Link)

Immortal Call Immortal Call triggered by a Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support is a standard gem setup in most builds that prevents deaths from consecutive physical hits that occur at the same time.

Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support Immortal Call Immortal Call Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support

Chaos Golem and Raise Specre (4-Link)

These are utility minions, which are used for the benefits that they provide, their goal is not to kill enemies. Summon Chaos Golem Summon Chaos Golem is used for the additional physical mitigation it provides, while Raise Spectre Raise Spectre is used in order to raise Silverback monkeys from Act II, because they provide Frenzy charges to your other minions.

Summon Chaos Golem Summon Chaos Golem Raise Spectre Raise Spectre Minion Life Support Minion Life Support Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance Support Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance Support

Lightning Warp (4-Link)

Lightning Warp Lightning Warp is one of the underestimated mobility skills in Path of Exile. When properly linked, you can travel a whole screen away in a split-second. Keep in mind that the skill is affected by your current movement speed, this means having your Quicksilver flask active while using the spell is important.

Lightning WarpLightning Warp Less Duration Support Less Duration Support Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support Swift Affliction Support Swift Affliction Support

Other Gems

Desecrate Desecrate is useful in every summoner build. It is needed in order to Raise Spectre Raise Spectre, Raise Zombie Raise Zombie and simply to provide corpses for your Flesh Offering Flesh Offering. Convocation Convocation is a great utility skill, every so often your minions run away from you and you get exposed to enemies, simply use Convocation to teleport your minions next to you in these situations. Flame Dash Flame Dash can be used to improve build’s mobility.

Gearing

The Baron The Baron is a build enabler. Alberon's Warpath Alberon's Warpath is needed in order to reach high strength amounts. Get as big strength rolls on other items as possible.

Helmet

The Baron The Baron is irreplaceable. Decently enchanted one can be very nice although it will probably hard to obtain. Look for any Raise Zombie Raise Zombie enchant. Other enchants work well too.

Body Armour

If you choose to play with Queen's Escape Queen’s Escape you can use Kaom's Heart Kaom’s Heart. Otherwise Belly of the Beast Belly of the Beast is a great choice. Well rolled rare body pieces work well too. The Rare Affix priority is:

  1. Maximum life
  2. Elemental resistances
  3. Strength
  4. Chaos resistance

Gloves

Meginord's Vise Meginord’s Vise gives 100 strength and can be useful early on if you are struggling to break the 1000 strength mark. After that the best in slot gloves are well rolled rare ones. The Rare Affix priority is:

  1. Maximum life
  2. Elemental resistances
  3. Strength
  4. Chaos Resistance

Note: If you happen to find decently rolled corrupted gloves with any curse on hit you can drop the curse on hit setup and only use Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse. This will free up additional gem sockets which the build needs any ways. Do not worry about what curse you curse with since they are all beneficial for the build.

Boots

Alberon's Warpath Alberon’s Warpath is irreplaceable due to the very high percent strength it provides.

Belt

Heavy Belt is the best choice since it provides implicit strength, although if you have enough strength already you can choose other bases too. Cyclopean Coil Cyclopean Coil has percent increased attributes but can be hard to use because you will struggle with resists. The Rare Affix priority is:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Strength
  4. Flask duration / reduced charges used

Amulet

Astramentis Astramentis provides big amount of all attributes. Best amulet choice is well rolled one. It comes close to Astramentis Astramentis when it comes to strength and you can also have some life and resists. The Rare Affix priority is:

  1. Strength ( 70+)
  2. Maximum life
  3. Elemental resistances
  4. Dexterity / Intelligence if needed
  5. Chaos resistance

Rings

Two well rolled rings with basically the same mods as amulet are needed. The Rare Affix priority is:

  1. Strength ( 30+)
  2. Maximum life
  3. Elemental resistances
  4. Dexterity / Intelligence if needed
  5. Chaos resistance

Weapons

Queen's Escape Queen’s Escape is a tremendous boost to minion’s movement speed. Combination of Mon'tregul's Grasp Mon’tregul’s Grasp and Severed in Sleep Severed in Sleep is the best choice though, if you are aiming to clear high-end content. Prior to these you can use any weapon and a shield that provides resists and life.

Flasks

Quicksilver flask, preferably with additional movement speed, since the build is not very mobile. Stibnite flask’s blinding cloud comes in handy, it can be replaced with another flask if you do not like it. Granite flask should be rolled with percent armour, which will result in giving a ton of armour when the flask is active. Blood of the Karui Blood of the Karui – This flask proved to be the best life flask for the build as the ordinary life flasks simply do not do the work when you have 9k+ life pool. Basalt flask provides additional physical damage mitigation is always good.

Note: Rolls that you must have on your flasks are bleed and freeze immunity, beyond that it is up to you.

Jewels

Here we will provide a list of unique jewels that you will need for the build, some of them are not mandatory.

For rare jewels choose rare abyss ghastly jewels. The Rare Affix priority is:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Minions have chance to blind on hit with attacks
  3. Minions have chance to taunt on hit with attacks
  4. Minion attack speed
  5. Minions have increased attack speed if you or your minions killed recently

Leveling

Level up with SummonRaging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit until level 28, then you can sustain zombies with the additional levels from The Baron The Baron. Before that zombies are just too weak and will die easily, it is important to spend passive points in some minion resists and life/life regeneration from the passive skill tree first. At level 28 you will have all that you need and at this point you can ascend into even more minion sustain via Invoker. Violent Dead Violent Dead jewels should be socketed at this point. Although they might be a bit slow and lazy, Raise Zombie Raise Zombie will carry you through the content like it is nothing. Whenever you ascend into Bone Sculptor you can setup your Summon Skeleton Summon Skeleton too and that is where the build starts to show how powerful it is. You can easily obtain 1000 strength by level 70 for the additional leech you might need for maps.

Leveling Trees

With this tree you have enough minion life sustain to start playing with Raise Zombie Raise Zombie. Make sure you socket the two zombie threshold jewels(Violent Dead Violent Dead ), otherwise zombies will feel very clunky.

Here is a passive skill tree that will get you comfortably into maps.

Useful Leveling Uniques

As you begin a new character there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters. The Baron The Baron will make your zombies extremely strong and will ensure an easy leveling experience.

Gem Progression

Using Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.

In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.

From level 1, you should use the following link.

Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse Onslaught Support Onslaught Support Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support

At level 8, replace your Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse with the following Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit gem setup.

Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support Added Lightning Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

At level 10, you are able to add Flame Dash Flame Dash, which will help with your mobility. You should also pick up a Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons gem, which can be useful in boss fights.

At level 12, you should add Flesh Offering Flesh Offering.

At level 16, you should add Desecrate Desecrate.

By level 18, your Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit link should look like this.

Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support Added Cold Damage Support

At level 24, pick up a Convocation Convocation gem, this will become useful once you start using your zombies.

At level 28, finally, you can socket Raise Zombie Raise Zombie in The Baron The Baron. This will allow you to obliterate the leveling content. At this point you will mostly rely on your zombies until you ascend into Bone Sculptor, until then, you should not be using Skeletons because they will be slow and weak.

Raise Zombie Raise Zombie Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support Physical to Lightning Support Physical to Lightning Support

FAQ

Why would zombies and skeletons be chosen over spectres?

Spectres are great when it comes to clear speed, but they rely on being fed from Unending Hunger Unending Hunger. When it comes to tough single boss encounters spectres lack in single target damage, while zombies and skeletons melt bosses in matter of seconds.

Reaching 1000 strength seems hard, at what level should this be achieved?

If you have the right gear pieces 1000 strength should be reached by level 75 with no issues.

Conclusion

The zombies and skeletons necromancer is as classic summoner as you can get in Path of Exile. Summon an army of undead and watch them obliterate enemies for you while you empower them with offerings. The build has been able to do shaper guardians, Shaper and red Elder with ease. The damage is enough for Uber Elder for sure, although the build might lack in mobility for the fight. Over all the build is interesting while at the same time it is endgame viable.

Changelog
  •    Reworked Gem Link and Gem Progression sections for improved visibility
3
  1. Posts
    1

    This is gonna be a bit of a noob question as I haven’t been playing long. However, which class should be picked for this? I see a lot of strength being talked about so that suggests a melee class in my mind but summoning also suggests a caster.

    Additionally, I’m not sure how I should read the gem progression. Is it that I should get one of each of the gems at the level it’s listed under?

    Looking at the gems suggested and which gems are available to which classes through quests/vendor, it’s looking like the Templar is the choice for this? Correct me if I’m wrong

  2. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    10

    As in every other build guide you can see the Ascendancy class in the build title. Necromancer is an Ascendancy class of the Witch. When it comes to gem progression, the suggested levels indicate at what level a gem can be used. Most gems in this particular build guide can be bought of vendors. If you cannot find a particular gem you can simply buy it off poe.trade or complete the quests in Act III Library or Act VI Twilight Strand in order to have access to all gems.

    Edited by Vvckd on January 2nd, 2019

  3. Posts
    1

    Hi @vvckd, I also have a noob question for you or maybe more something I don’t really understand well.

    In your 7.3 chapter (gem progression), do you show us the level of the gem or the gem we should have and equipped at a certain level?

    Not totally sure because, when I see, at level 8 have 6 linked gem (I assume they are linked), it’s maybe difficult to reach.

    I also found myself that the onslaught support gem can’t be obtanaible with the witch until acte 3, if I remember well, so I cheat this part by doing a new character and reaching this gem asap to put it in the starch for the wich.

    Do you think you be a little more specific on these points in your guide? (when you have time of course). Could be very helpfull, especially for new player like me ^^

    Thanks for your sharing

  4. Vvckd

    Moderator

    Posts
    10

    Hello @djshivas, we have provided 6-Link example for low levels simply because you could be using Tabula Rasa Tabula Rasa since level 1, which allows you to have these links. If you do not have the Tabula simply drop off some of the last gems in the gem sequence. When it comes to acquiring gems that are not given to your specific class as a reward, simply buy one off poe.trade, or ask a friend to buy it from a vendor. The other solution to the problem is as you mentioned to make a new character and run the specific quest for the gem, but that in my opinion is not efficient. Feel free to ask any other questions if you are wondering how the game works. Stay safe exile.

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