About the Author
Furty has been playing Path of Exile since the release of the Onslaught League in 2013, and has a deep and diverse well of experience within the game. Equally comfortable playing on Hardcore, Softcore, and Solo-Self Found Leagues, recent ladder results include finishing Delirium League at Rank 61 playing his Kinetic Blast & Power Siphon Pathfinder Build, Rank 5 on the Legion SSF League playing his Essence Drain & Contagion Trickster Build, and the Betrayal League at Rank 186 playing his Elemental Hit Ascendant Build. You can follow him on Twitter, or check out his occasional streams on Twitch.
This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:
Raise Spectre is the defacto 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 Orbs. The main uniques incorporated, such as Victario's Charity or 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 , 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.
In the Raise Spectre gem received nerfs:
Raised Spectres are now level 31 at gem level 1, up to level 76 at gem level 20 (previously level 80 at gem level 20).
This is a fairly significant reduction, cutting damage output by roughly ten percent and the health values by slightly more. While this impact to performance will be felt, the build is left in a place that is still extremely powerful, especially when painted in contrast with the state of summoner builds prior to the Necromancer rework that was implemented several patches past. Currently we are unsure of how the health values will affect performance overall, but our strong suspicion is that it will only affect deep delving where high incoming physical damage against the spectres is prevalent and sustained.
With some changes made to the gearing table and skill tree, we may have even managed to make this build’s damage , or at least capable of matching the Patch 3.9 version. This comes [literally] at a cost; the more powerful configurations come with a corresponding set of gear that is more expensive or correspondingly more difficult to obtain without trade. This was previously unnecessary, as it only served to further complicate the build and increase the cost for newer players, but is now recommended for end-game players looking for the cleanest possible kills of bosses like Uber Awakener.
Overall, this means that Solo Self-Found players will feel the ~10% damage nerfs directly, while trade league players will likely be able to compensate or exceed previous thresholds with their free market advantage.
In Patch the build remains largely unaffected by changes and remains a potent powerhouse.
+ Exceptional boss slayer — used for many Uber Awakener first kills last league
+ Massive DPS from our cadre of Raise Spectres (5M+ Shaper DPS)
+ Strong all around defenses (high maximum life, regeneration, 9 Jewel sockets, Phase Acrobatics, high Evasion)
+ Excellent league starter
+ Reaches millions of DPS even with less than an 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
– Summoner playstyle is polarizing — usually a “love it or hate it” type of build
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 Necromancer strikes a nice balance between a conventional build and a summoner — since 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 in Patch 3.11 Harvest 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 can Shock.
Obtaining the Slave Driver Spectres
- Go to the Control Blocks in Act V.
- Cast Desecrate to spawn corpses.
- Cast Raise Spectre on a Slave Driver (holding “A” makes this process far easier).
, or you will summon twice in a row causing additional random spectres to spawn. We are using Spell Echo Support purely for influencing the Slave Drivers damage, not for the manual casting of Raise Spectre itself.
- Cast 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
For more information and a late game juggernaut version of this build, be sure to check out the Passive Skill Tree page.
We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.
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.
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.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Head||Rare Bone Helmet or The Devouring Diadem (has separate gem setup)|
|Chest||Rare Chest with +1 to Maximum Spectres|
|Boots||Elder Rare Boots_ with +1 Raise Spectre Level|
|Belt||Rare Stygian Vise|
|Rings||Rare Unset Rings|
|Weapon||Trigger a Socketed Spell When You Use a Skill Rare Wand|
For much more detailed information on the best gear, jewels, and flasks to use, be sure to check out our Gear page.
As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.
- 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.
As early as possible, you will want to link:
When you reach level 12 you will also want to grab Storm Brand. Link it to Added Lightning Damage Support and Onslaught Support for extra damage and movement speed. Do not forget to acquire Flame Dash in Act I for movement speed.
- Raise Spectre
- Minion Damage Support
- Controlled Destruction Support
- Spell Echo Support (from Level 38 onwards) / Minion Speed Support
Improving the 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 with powerful items and gear, however, if the guardian dies .
One of the primary factors behind the survival of the Animate Guardian is . Your Animate Guardian gem level should be 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‘s gem level:
Your Animate Guardian wants as much Life Regeneration as possible to ensure it always stays healthy, even with constant use of Convocation. One of the main Uniques that is excellent for fulfilling this purpose is Gruthkul's Pelt, which gives it a large injection of Life, Resistances, and a healthy .
Kingmaker is also an exceptional upgrade for damage and survivability, and ensures that a mobility skill like Shield Charge (which can procure Fortify Support) is not at all necessary. It grants you and all your minions Fortify Support in perpetuity, Culling Strike, +50% to Critical Strike Multiplier, and a nice Rarity bonus. Kingmaker is the best possible upgrade, but not the most essential out of the gate — you want to ensure that your Animate Guardian will always survive before you start investing too heavily.
Upgrading the 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, as we want as much Regeneration on it as possible, creating a nice synergy.
Animate Guardian End-Game 4-Link
These are your options for improving your Animate Guardian in the end-game. Even without Empower Support and Minion Life Support the 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. 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.
- Animate Guardian
- Empower Support (Level 3/4) or Summon Stone Golem
- Elemental Army Support
- Minion Life Support or Raise Zombie
- Gruthkul's Pelt
- Leer Cast or Nearby Enemies Have -9% to Lightning Resistance Rare Bone Helmet (Delve Crafted with Metallic Fossils)
- Rainbowstride (Regenerate 2% of Life and Mana per second if you were Hit Recently Enchanted)
Remember that having a Bone Helmet equipped on that has +# to Level of Socketed Minion Gems is enormously beneficial to your Animate Guardian‘s ability to survive (providing you have your link in the helmet, of course).
Which Annointment is Best for My Amulet?
Our current preferences are:
- Ravenous Horde ( Opalescent Oil + Opalescent Oil + Verdant Oil) is far and away the best choice, even with the nerfs in Patch 3.9.0 Metamorph.
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 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: