Passive Skill Tree
This build can achieve a lot of power early, since a lot of the surplus points are invested towards tying Jewel Sockets together. Not only can we quickly stack up a really healthy amount of Life, but Phase Acrobatics adds a degree of elusiveness that underscores the overall fortitude of our build. Elemental Equilibrium is triggered by our Armageddon Brand, however, it should not be used before reliable triggering can be employed.
Since our build utilizes both Haste and Zealotry, the reduced Mana reservation node in the Leadership notable wheel is taken. The Leadership notable itself is not as important, and can be saved for an “icing on the cake” investment when you are in the 90s. Charisma is also used, allowing us to incorporate Dread Banner to further reduce the accuracy of enemy attacks. Jewels should be invested towards as soon as you have them — since this build makes exclusive use of Ghastly Eye Jewels, which are typically not expensive or difficult to self-craft, this can usually be done fairly early on.
Phase Acrobatics should be acquired in the latter half of the leveling process, as you head towards maps for the first time. Since we are able to leverage our minions as a frontline of sorts, protecting us from some of the harm other builds may struggle with, the defenses are not as critical early on. As you ease into maps, however, you will find that having a stable base of defense is one of the most important aspects of quickly moving through a map.
Passive Tree Progression Advice
Due to a fair amount of allocation being invested towards Jewel sockets, you can easily acquire all the core notables and keystones by the time you reach maps. Most of the end-game points are used to pick up additional Jewels and Maximum Life.
In addition to the Raise Spectre link for our Slave Drivers, we also use Armageddon Brand as a means of procuring the Elemental Equilibrium effect, as well as applying our curse of choice and Blind Support. Brand skills are excellent to suit this purpose, as they stick to targets, can be cast at range while repositioning, and do not need to be re-applied if the target moves. This makes Armageddon Brand the ideal candidate versus other skills that are often used to fulfill a similar purpose.
Auras are relatively flexible, but our preferences are Wrath and Zealotry. We also make good use of Vaal Haste as a damage steroid, but the actual Haste aura itself is not used. Wrath adds a huge amount of Lightning damage to our Raise Spectres. Zealotry also adds a lump of straight damage as well as extra regeneration for you and your minions from Consecrated Ground, which can be enormously beneficial during encounters where your Spectres are taking heavy damage.
A classic combination of Desecrate and Flesh Offering gives all of our minions a massive injection of attack, cast, and movement speed, and these can be auto-cast to eliminate any frustration — see the Gear section for more information.
Raise Spectre Slave Drivers 6-Link
Many players have complained of the Slave Drivers having “twitchy” AI, and not behaving as predictably as other spectres. Fortunately the new Feeding Frenzy Support gem solves this problem entirely. For our sixth gem we have several options that vary according to your playstyle, gear level, and what kind of content you are looking to tackle.
- Raise Spectre
- Spell Echo Support
- Minion Damage Support
- Feeding Frenzy Support
- Elemental Focus Support
- Player’s Preference
Options for the sixth link:
- Elemental Army Support — our default recommendation
- Concentrated Effect Support — great for boss damage
- Deathmark — good all-purpose option
- Empower Support (Level 4) — the best option for late-game, especially if you are using Skin of the Loyal
Remember to , 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.
Armageddon Brand 4-Link
As we mentioned earlier in the guide, Armageddon Brand is a self-cast skill that is used to trigger the Elemental Equilibrium effect. In addition to being a straight damage boost for that aforementioned reason, it can also be used as a means of applying a Curse of Choice as well as Blind Support.
Our default recommendation for your curse is Conductivity, since our build has fairly potent base survivability and most players look to maximize their damage output. For this purpose, Conductivity is an ideal candidate, adding further chance to shock and further reducing enemy Lightning Resistance alongside Elemental Equilibrium. Other options can be more defensive, especially for players on the Hardcore servers, or for those who want to give themselves the best chance of reaching Level 100. Good options for defense are Temporal Chains and Enfeeble.
Vaal Haste is only used for the active effect, and Haste itself is not employed. Generosity Support is a very important gem for maximizing the damage of our Raise Spectres. Quality on the aura gems is actually beneficial, unlike most builds, because having a healthy area of effect ensures that your spectres are always benefiting from your buffs.
Animate Guardian 4-Link
Animate Guardian is an important support minion that can equip items and even Uniques to help buff you and your Raise Spectres. The new Summon Carrion Golem further buffs minions and acts as a distraction in many situations. If you do not yet have the capability to run Dread Banner in addition to Wrath and Zealotry, drop it from the link and turn this 4-Link into 2 separate 2-Links within the item. Link Summon Carrion Golem to Meat Shield Support, and Animate Guardian to Minion Life Support.
The most important items to equip your Animate Guardian with are typical support Uniques. These are commonly used for this purpose and very cheaply obtained, and perfectly viable for leagues such as Solo Self-Found:
Desecrate and Flesh Offering 3-Link
This link should ideally be socketed in a wand with the crafted affix “Trigger a Socketed Spell When You Use a Skill” if possible, as it removes the need to cast any of these skills.
Blade Vortex can be an alternate means of procuring Elemental Equilibrium while clearing, as stopping to cast Armageddon Brand constantly is simply not worth it. You will need to have Cold or Fire damage to spells on your wand for this to work, and Blade Vortex is not worth using unless this setup is being employed. Replace it with a gem of your choosing if this is the case; Enduring Cry, your Curse of Choice, and Convocation are examples of options.
Phase Run does not need to be linked, although it makes little difference either way as it is too high to be activated by CWDT.
- Cast when Damage Taken Support (Level 10)
- Immortal Call (Level 12) or Guard Skill of Choice
- Phase Run (Level 20)
Unset Ring(s) 1-Link(s)
Similar to Armageddon Brand, it can be beneficial to keep these gems at Level 1 to avoid running out of Mana if you are casting them often.
Check out the main page of the guide or use the menu on the right side of this page to navigate to the other sections of the guide.