Ultimate Raise Spectres Necromancer — 8M+ DPS Powerhouse on a Budget (PoE Sentinel 3.18)

PoEVault

980

Due to the latest balancing changes in Lake of Kalandra 3.19, we do not recommend playing 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.

Introduction

Raise Spectre Raise Spectre is the defacto king of summoner builds, sporting the best clear and the best damage. Better yet, it is not gated by any expensive Uniques or items — you can be tearing apart your first Awakener kill or blitzing through red maps for less than a hundred Chaos Orb Chaos Orbs. The main uniques incorporated, such as Victario's Charity Victario's Charity or The Devouring Diadem The Devouring Diadem, can be obtained easily on any league (such as SSF) or are entirely optional.

There are several types of Spectres that are commonly used, however, this build focuses on making use of the Slave Drivers, an underutilized Spectre that actually puts the rest of them to shame. Boss killing, mapping, deep delving — all fall before the spectral army we can employ, giving this build a rare flexibility that few others can boast of.

Uber Awakener

Build Assessment

Pros

+ Exceptional boss slayer — used for many Uber Awakener first kills upon Sirus’ release

+ Massive DPS from our cadre of Raise Spectre Raise Spectres (5M+ Shaper DPS)

+ Strong all around defenses (high maximum life, regeneration, many Jewel sockets, high Evasion)

+ Excellent league starter

+ Reaches millions of DPS even with less than an Exalted Orb Exalted Orb of investment

+ Delve to depths of ~650+ without trouble

+ Flatten all types of content from the safety of the backline — let your army do the work

+ High movement speed

Cons

Summoner playstyle is polarizing — usually a “love it or hate it” type of build
Spectres can be squishy before end-game gem levels and tree and need special care

Path of Building

Path of Building is available for my build here.

DPS is counted for each spectre individually — remember you have 4 (or 5, if you have a +1 gems item!).

We use the Path of Building Community Fork for all of our builds, which is highly recommended. If you are encountering errors importing the build, please ensure you are using the Community Fork.

Playstyle and Build Mechanics

Many players find Necromancer to be a polarizing Ascendancy — the Summoner archetype is a fairly unique one in feel and gameplay, and while certain players fall in love with it from the get-go, others find themselves alienated by the differences. Our Raise Spectre Raise Spectre Necromancer strikes a nice balance between a conventional build and a summoner — since Armageddon Brand Armageddon Brand is used as the main trigger for our Elemental Equilibrium, this build does have the combined feel of a spellcaster and a summoner.

This build makes use of the Slave Driver, an uncommon choice but our overall best option in Patch 3.12 Heist League. Unlike past iterations of the summoner, we do not need to make use of multiple types of spectres to maximize our potential in all areas of the game — boss killing, clear, and delve, the Slave Drivers are exceptional at it all.

Elemental Equilibrium allows us to deal massively increased damage with our minions for free and is easily applied using a self-cast spell. While this is not completely necessary for clearing standard mobs, it is an enormous increase for bossing and Legion rares, and helps us really power through targets that are a bit more beefy. Slave Drivers deal a heavy amount of Lightning damage and tear apart virtually everything.

Obtaining the Slave Driver Spectres

  1. Go to the Control Blocks in Act V.
  2. Cast Desecrate Desecrate to spawn corpses.
  3. Cast Raise Spectre Raise Spectre on a Slave Driver (holding “A” makes this process far easier).

With the new Raise Spectre Raise Spectre gem, the summoned spectre’s level is based on the level of your Raise Spectre Raise Spectre gem and not the level of the zone you are in. You should be certain that you are using the highest level Raise Spectre Raise Spectre gem you can afford.

Remove Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support from the link when casting Raise Spectre Raise Spectre to summon the Slave Drivers, or you will summon twice in a row causing additional random spectres to spawn. We are using Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support purely for influencing the Slave Drivers damage, not for the manual casting of Raise Spectre Raise Spectre itself.

  1. Cast Raise Spectre Raise Spectre on a Slave Driver (holding “A” makes this process far easier). Repeat this and the previous step until you have the maximum number of Spectres.

Passive Skill Tree

This is our recommended Level 90 Passive Skill Tree.

For more information and a late game juggernaut version of this build, be sure to check out the Passive Skill Tree page.

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links

Gems

We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links

Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers

Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.

Ascendancy, Bandits, Pantheon Powers

Gear Summary / TL;DR

These items strike a balance between power and cost-effectiveness. If you want to explore more options for Gear (both budget and high-end), Flasks, or get more information on alternatives and specialty items, please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels, and Flasks section in its entirety.

Our recommendation:

Item Slot Item Name
Head +3 Minion Gems Bone Helmet Bone Helmet or The Devouring Diadem The Devouring Diadem (has separate gem setup and talent tree)
Amulet Rare Amulet
Chest +1 to Maximum Spectres Rare Chest
Gloves Rare Gloves
Boots +1 Raise Spectre Raise Spectre Level Elder Rare Boots
Belt Rare Stygian Vise Stygian Vise
Rings Rare Unset Ring Unset Rings
Weapon Trigger a Socketed Spell When You Use a Skill Rare Wand
Shield Victario's Charity Victario's Charity or Rare Shield

For much more detailed information on the best gear, jewels, and flasks to use, be sure to check out our Gear page.

Gear, Jewels, and Flasks Breakdown

Leveling

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

Act I

It is highly recommended you follow our Quick Reference Leveling Guide in tandem from this point onwards. It is the most efficient leveling guide available and will direct you exactly where you need to go to get through the Acts as quickly as possible while also obtaining all essential items and lab trials. This section is written assuming that you are following our optimal path.

20 Point Tree

20 Point Tree

Kill Hillock and enter Lioneye’s Watch. Collect Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse from Tarkleigh and immediately purchase Raise Zombie Raise Zombie from Nessa. Remove Fireball Fireball and replace it with Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse linked to Arcane Surge Support Arcane Surge Support. Keep your Fireball Fireball gem for now.

Socket Raise Zombie Raise Zombie as soon as you are able and use these two abilities as you enter The Coast and beyond. Keep an eye out for any Sapphire Ring Sapphire Ring drops and pick them up.

After you return to Lioneye’s Watch for the first time (assuming you are following the guide), collect:

Now link together:

  1. Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem
  2. Summon Phantasm Support Summon Phantasm Support

And socket your Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit to begin leveling it up.

After you kill Brutus and return to town, collect:

Freezing Pulse Freezing Pulse is no longer needed to clear or kill enemies but hold onto the gem if you need a Sapphire Ring Sapphire Ring for Merveil.

Convert your Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem to a 3-Link as soon as possible:

  1. Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem
  2. Summon Phantasm Support Summon Phantasm Support
  3. Combustion Support Combustion Support

Additionally, link Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit when a second 3-Link is available:

  1. Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit
  2. Infernal Legion Support Infernal Legion Support
  3. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support

You should also link your Raise Zombie Raise Zombie to the other Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support, as lowest priority, for additional damage and auto-clear.

When you return to Lioneye’s Watch after entering the Cavern of Wrath:

Recommended to bring at least one Sapphire Ring Sapphire Ring to kill Merveil, or two to make it super smooth. If you haven’t received any as drops:

This recipe works for any Resistance ring — Iron Ring Iron Ring + gem — with blue gems for Cold Resistance, red for Fire Resistance, and green for Lightning Resistance.

Act II.

38 Point Tree

38 Point Tree

In this Act we kill Oak, Kraityn, and Alira for the 2 Passive Points from Eramir.

After you kill the Weaver collect:

After you have completed The Root of the Problem quest collect:

Now it’s time to reconfigure your links. Your Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem 3-Link stays the same. The Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit link becomes:

  1. Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit
  2. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  3. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support

Your new link, and first aura, will be Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots:

  1. Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots
  2. Infernal Legion Support Infernal Legion Support

Your Raise Zombie Raise Zombie link can stay the same for now, or you can add a Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support to make it a 3-Link if you have space.

These links should be plenty to get you all the way through Act III.

Act III

61 Point Tree

61 Point Tree

It’s worth doing the Library quest if you are League Starting or Solo Self-Found, as there are several helpful leveling gems:

Make your Raise Zombie Raise Zombie a 4-Link:

  1. Raise Zombie Raise Zombie
  2. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  3. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support (take from your Raging Spirit link if you don’t have it yet)
  4. Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support

And your new Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit 3-Link will be:

  1. Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit
  2. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  3. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support

Be sure to take Raise Spectre Raise Spectre as your quest reward after killing General Gravicius to start leveling it up immediately.

Leveling with Raise Spectre Raise Spectre

You can start using Raise Spectre Raise Spectre to level in a 4-link from this point onwards, should you desire. This is much easier done with a Wraithlord Wraithlord and is usually slower than simply using zombies and raging spirits if league starting, but it is a viable strategy.

Link together:

  1. Raise Spectre Raise Spectre
  2. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  3. Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support
  4. Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support

Head to Act I The Ledge and cast Desecrate Desecrate. Use the “A” key to mouse over the corpses and raise 2 Cannibal Fire Eaters. Repeat Desecrate Desecrate cast if you can’t find them in the pile of corpses. You should still keep your Holy Flame Totem Holy Flame Totem and at least one other minion link, as the spectres do not have very impressive clear speed or tankiness at this level.

Act IV

You can ascend in The Labyrinth to Necromancer whenever you choose at this point. Remember that we take Mindless Aggression first.

Golem of choice is Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem for its taunt and regeneration. You should also take the Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support reward and start leveling it in the offhand for later on.

Act V and Onwards

89 Point Tree

89 Points

This tree should be completed around the time you are finishing Act X and are ready for the Merciless Labyrinth.

As you start Act V you can ditch your Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots link with Infernal Legion Support Infernal Legion Support and start running both Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots and Wrath Wrath at the same time. If you are using spectres in your leveling setup you can also get Slave Drivers from Act IV now, but be aware they are somewhat squishy, so don’t hesitate to invest in some additional Minion Life if necessary (or link them to Minion Life Support Minion Life Support).

If you are using Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit as a form of primary damage, you should upgrade to a 4-Link at this point:

  1. Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit
  2. Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
  3. Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support
  4. Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support or Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support

Melee splash allows you to use your raging spirits to clear; you can simply fire a few off and keep running through the area. Melee Physical will be helpful for burning down bosses and will gain value as you get deeper into the Acts. Choose one or feel free to swap between them if you want to try hard.

Improving the Animate Guardian Animate Guardian

Animate Guardian Animate Guardian is similar to having your own personal [budget] aura-bot, following you and your undead army around and keeping them buffed up and strong. You can equip the Animate Guardian Animate Guardian with powerful items and gear, however, if the guardian dies all its equipped items are lost on death.

One of the primary factors behind the survival of the Animate Guardian Animate Guardian is gem level. Your Animate Guardian Animate Guardian gem level should be at least Level 20 before you start to equip it with proper gear, especially if they are items you fear to lose. Additionally, there are a few ways of improving your Animate Guardian Animate Guardian‘s gem level:

Your Animate Guardian Animate Guardian wants as much Life Regeneration as possible to ensure it always stays healthy, even with constant use of Convocation Convocation. One of the main Uniques that is excellent for fulfilling this purpose is Gruthkul's Pelt Gruthkul's Pelt, which gives it a large injection of Life, Resistances, and a healthy 5% Life Regeneration per second.

Kingmaker Kingmaker is also an exceptional upgrade for damage and survivability, and ensures that a mobility skill like Shield Charge Shield Charge (which can procure Fortify Support Fortify Support) is not at all necessary. It grants you and all your minions Fortify Support Fortify Support in perpetuity, Culling Strike, +50% to Critical Strike Multiplier, and a nice Rarity bonus. Kingmaker Kingmaker is the best possible upgrade, but not the most essential out of the gate — you want to ensure that your Animate Guardian Animate Guardian will always survive before you start investing too heavily.

Upgrading the Rainbowstride Rainbowstride boots to a pair with the enchant Regenerate 2% of Life and Mana per second if you were Hit Recently is also ideal. Alternately, you can get a Rare pair of boots with Elemental Resistances, Life, and Life regeneration, although this is a larger investment and commitment and not necessary.

Life is one of the best stats for the Animate Guardian Animate Guardian, as we want as much Regeneration on it as possible, creating a nice synergy.

Animate Guardian Animate Guardian End-Game 4-Link

These are your options for improving your Animate Guardian Animate Guardian in the end-game. Even without Empower Support Empower Support and Minion Life Support Minion Life Support the Animate Guardian Animate Guardian will be extremely difficult to kill. There are some attacks, however, that it may not survive such as Sirus’ meteor attack if you forget to use Convocation Convocation. It is highly recommended to use either Minion Life or Empower if you are delving past ~250, as the physical damage from monsters starts to become extremely high. Avoid taking the guardian any deeper than around 450, as it will likely be killed if the wrong combinations of mods arises.

  1. Animate Guardian Animate Guardian
  2. Empower Support Empower Support (Level 3/4) or Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem
  3. Elemental Army Support Elemental Army Support
  4. Minion Life Support Minion Life Support or Raise Zombie Raise Zombie

Here is our end-game recommendations for Animate Guardian Animate Guardian equipment, once it is properly Level 20 and you have Empower Support Empower Support Level 3/4.

Remember that having a Bone Helmet Bone Helmet equipped on your character that has +# to Level of Socketed Minion Gems is enormously beneficial to your Animate Guardian Animate Guardian‘s ability to survive (providing you have your link in the helmet, of course).

FAQ

Which Annointment is Best for My Amulet?

Our current preferences are:

My Spectres Are Dying

There are a few additional Minion Survivability nodes on the tree you can take if you find you need them, however, with the Ascendancy and Passive Recommendations we provided your minions should be extremely durable. Ensure you are casting Convocation Convocation often if this process is not already automated.

How Can I Run Two 50% Auras?

As we note on the Passive Skill Tree Page, you will need to acquire the reduced Mana in the __Sovereignty_ wheel up in the top-left of the skill tree before being able to run both of your auras.

What Map Mods should I avoid?

Elemental Reflect is the only Map mod that is not possible/majorly inconvenient for this build, so avoid it at all points.

Check out the other pages of our guide for more information:

Passive Skill Tree and Gem Links


Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheon Powers


Gear, Jewels, and Flasks Breakdown

Changelog

  • Old tree updated for 3.17. Full rebuild coming after POB is updated and testing complete!

  • 3.16 Scourge; Updated base build for use in 3.16. Working on massive overhaul to rebuild with new spectres to follow later.

  • 3.15 Expedition updates.

  • 3.14 Ultimatum first round of updates completed.

  • 3.13 Ritual; compensated for Spectre level nerfs by beefing them up on the tree. Updated for Ritual!

  • Ready for Heist 3.12; Massive leveling section expansion, Path of Building added for default build, new gem links, gear tweaks, and text body updated!

  • Initial updates for 3.11 Harvest; tree, pantheon, introduction, FAQ.

  • Updated end-game Animate Guardian section.

  • Added Sirus example to Introduction section.

  • Initial updates for Patch 3.10 Delirium: Build Assessment, Pros/Cons, Playstyle, Gear, and much more.

  • Updated introduction, build assessment, various formatting changes, added context on 3.10 changes.

  • Added Feeding Frenzy to the end-game Animate Guardian link in place of Dread Banner.

  • Initial updates for Patch 3.9 Metamorph; huge passive tree rework, gems updated, gear recommendations, annointment advice, and more!

  • Additional gearing recommendations included.

  • Updated Gearing advice!

  • Added Annointment recommendations to the FAQ!

  • Updated Raise Spectre 6-Link to include Feeding Frenzy and Elemental Army.

  • Significant updates for 3.8 Blight League: Gem Links, Passive Tree, Leveling Advice, Gearing, Ascendancy information, Mechanics, Spectre Acquisition, and the FAQ have all been updated.

  • Updated gems section.

  • Added "Improving the Animate Guardian" section, "Additional Information" section on Ascendancy, and updated the "Gems" section of the guide.

  • Build added.

69
For optimal website performance during this new league launch, we have disabled the comments on the guides for now. For any questions or support please join our Discord (PoE-Vault Discord)