My poormans witch HC solo build I use to clear maps

Decided just for fun to post my solo HC build(lvl69) which I am having some success with. Nothing spectacular or not seen before but figured that maybe it would be useful for someone out there, who knows. Maybe someone will get some ideas out of it.

The build is not finalized by any means. I am playing without trading and need alot of gear, some gems ( like for example reduced mana gem in order to use more auras etc) and a few more lvls in order to complete it. But what I think my setup illustrate is that it is possible with very poor gear to solo through the game and do endgame maps in HC and survive.

The skill selection is such that it bypasses a large part of the gearchecks in the game.

Since there will be alot of text I will use spoilers to make the post easier to read and not take up as much screen space. Just open one spoiler and close when done reading that part.

The basics of the build:

So the basics of the build is a double curse summoner with eldritch battery using spork to apply shock debuff. Atm the skills used are:

Spork, Skeleton totem, Raise Zombie, temporal chains, enfeeble, conversion trap, fire trap, raise spectre, wrath, clarity and enduring cry.

In order to fit everything I reassign enduring cry to raise spectre whenever I need to raise one. Same with activating the auras ofc. On Weaponswap I keep alot of other gems that I occasionally switch in, conductivity for example (combos nicely with temporal chains). But the above setup is the safest one which I use for hard content. It is an active build and requires alot of buttonmashing. So mana is consumed fast. Before I got eldritch battery I ran 2 hybridflasks+2manaflasks since there is so much spam and mana used.

The way you play the build and how you are able to tackle very hard mobs in maps. Mobs that would otherwise crush your minions:

So the way the build plays is first throw down a skeletotem to aggro mobs, followed by temp chains to slow then enfeeble. This gives a massive defensive buff to your minions. Spark is cast to give shock debuff and followed up with firetraps. Enduring cry is used occasionally to gain some extra safesty in hard fights. During the fighting new zombies are raised continueusly as soon as old ones dies ofc.

The most important part though is conversion trap. Without conversion trap you will have a hard time in certain situations. Like chains and enfeeble conversion trap will let your zombies live long enough for you to generate a steady supply of corpses to raise new ones. If not using it you would need +minion lvl gear or items with +minion life and the like to not have them die of very fast in the maps. Rare packs hit hard. These three skills is why I wrote earlier the build is not a gearcheck. Your minions will get so much extra durability from these skills that their weak stats will not matter as much.

How to use conversion trap:

So the way I use conversion trap is either throw down 3 from max range infront of a pack and just let the mobs run into them. This is the option if I don't have a full amount of skeletons or zombies around. Also when needing to distract very dangerous mob packs right away( like the last map I did that had rare poison bomb throwers, you can't afford to be close even with minions).

Otherwise I use conversiontrap from a closer distance to snipe the toughest mobs in pack.

This is extremly powerful since it is basically is a oneshotkill move. Targeting rare mobs means you remove them from the fight altogether and they help you kill the trash mobs. Also they will get damaged when fighting the other mobs. When the trap duration is about to run out you can always if you want recast a new conversion trap under the mob to keep it controlled again instantly. If not the previously controlled mob will get surrounded by your other minions in the blink of an eye since all of them will target it because most of the trashmobs are likely dead. Minion instability will kill it very fast. It is a very safe way to kill very dangerous enemies. And like I wrote it doesn't matter how strong the mob is. Conversiontrap doesn't care it controls them just the same. Do note though that if you are playing in a party I would imagine conversiontrap being very annoying for your teammates. They will end up trying to target untargetable mobs. This is a solobuild.

The passive skilltree of the build looks like this at lvl 69 with all quest skillpoints:


Some things to note is the lack of some 15% minion damage nodes and the last +1 zombie/skeleton node. Reason I waited so long for getting these is that with shock debuff, minion instability, spectres, firetrap and minion damage support gems damage is good enough. Stuff will die fast enough. Also the +resist all nodes and +30dex node can be skipped if having the gear to do it.

The final build will look like this:


So maxing out the minion buffs while grabbing the shield block passives. If lvling higher then this, though doubtful, 3 healthnodes near the templar area can be grabbed also. Do note that the res all nodes are dropped because of the shield passive resistance nodes.

While leveling this is the route I took: (also some lvling advice)

Build at 43 points:

Build at 61 points:

Conductivity is used all through out normal and cruel. Since mobs will not be that difficult. When grabbing double curses conductivity+chains is a killer. Late act2 merciless though you must start using chains+enfeeble to be safe and get your minions to be able to tank effectively. Chaos resistance nodes should be grabbed in act2 merciless.

Also for Vaal merciless and Piety you will need to gather a group. Just clear the way yourself then create a for example "Piety, Portal up" game. Will take no time at all to get a full group then. And since you are the partyleader they will not kick you when they see you are a summoner. ;)

Banditquest I took HP/skillpoint/skillpoint

For a closer look at my gear, what support gems I use, this is the gear:


I am squishy as hell since the gear is so bad. 2500hp, 500ish armor, resist is max though. But it works since the build in itself is so safe.

For flasksetup this is what I use:


An amethyst flask with runspeed is also kept in the inventory incase the map have chaos dealing enemies. This runspeed amethyst flask then replaces the quicksilver flask. The important things with the flask setup are 2 flasks that can remove curses, 1 instant heal, 1 granite. The manaflask and hybridflask in my setup is not needed but it was the only way I had to get remove curse flasks.

For the future, finalizing the build and some general thoughts:

For the future some things I want to run if getting more links are: reduced mana gem to be able to run more auras(purity most importantly), chance to ignite gem to use with firetrap(temp chains increases burn duration. Faster casting/blind for spork. And finally gmp instead of lmp for spectres should I find a gmp gem.

All in all I feel this is a very good way to make a viable solo build that doesn't require that much gear, just one 4 link for the zombies. Skeleton and Spark you can get by with just 3 links really.
It isn't a particulary easy build to play though, will have to juggle alot of skills around. Will take some time to get used to and probably in order to survive some previous HC experience from other games if not having played PoE alot before OB. So don't expect to roll through content without being at risk of dying. PoE endgame is hard and you will always be in danger.
Last edited by Eivon on Feb 14, 2013, 10:36:07 AM
how did you survive act 3 without any chaos resi ? Join the fun.
SSF HC Legacy Witch Lvl 53
ventiman wrote:
how did you survive act 3 without any chaos resi ?

32% chaos res is gotten through the skilltree. Other then that the trick to stay alive is to use the three core skills I talk about in the writeup, temporal chains, enfeeble and most importantly conversion trap. So basically just using a careful playstyle, not rushing into the middle of fights.

Also like I wrote under the flask spoiler, when I am in zones with chaos dealing mobs that I don't think I can avoid being hit by successfully at all times I replace my quicksilverflask with an amethyst flask(gives 35% chaos res) that has runspeed. This flask can then also sortoff be used as a quicksilver flask to save some time running around if no mobs around.
Last edited by Eivon on Feb 12, 2013, 9:40:45 AM
I really don't see how you can survive, my build is a little bit different, although i also play with conversion trap, enfeeble and even molten shell for the extra armour/ shield absorb.

The problem i have is that I don't feel safe at all, even a single mob that hits me one time means that i lose a nice chunk of hp.

The build I play with:

The gear I have: this gives me 76% ressit to all (purity only at lvl 8 atm), 0 armour (968 with molten shell), 105% minion dmg increase, 81% minion life increase

Having no energy shield feels like im playing naked. I do have to say that I just started with eldrich battery and that mana was an issue before. Now I can run with purity/ clarity.
It feels that they way you need to play with this spec is you walk 1 step at a time, pop skelleton totem as soon as you see a mob coming, enfeeble it and spam arc / resummon if needed.

But when you get hit one time, you can lose 50% hp since you dont have armour/ energy shield.

I'm lvl 60 and at Act 1 Merciless (ledge), it feels i will have to farm till lvl 70 before i have enough points to maybe make some progress. I really feel like the ultimate glass canon, its a matter of hours before i feel i will die.

If you have some tips/ ideas, feel free to leave them
Last edited by bioxx on Feb 16, 2013, 7:00:59 PM
Our builds are quite different though there are some similiarities. Don't know how many respec points you have left but you could always try a build closer to what I am using and see how it works for you.

I don't really feel that safety is an issue with the build. The character I am using the build on is closing in on lvl 74 now( splitting my time between this toon and another) and sofar have been cruising through the maps pretty easily. It isn't the fastest clearingspeed by any means but things die pretty fast. Have been sticking to do maps around 2 lvls or so lower then my lvl. Some of them rare maps with very nasty mods.

The biggest safety improvements you would get from following my build would be:

1. Using spark( spark+fork+lifeleech+whatever you prefer) isntead of arc is much safer.

With spark you can just spam from far away without targeting anything. And it will also bounce around corners and the like to hit stuff that is not directly infront of you. This is good since you can be out of line sight for very dangerous enemies.

I do this when I face flickerstrike mobs in the maps for example. Park myself in the bend of a corridor out of line sight. Sparks can be spammed from there and for using the other skills I just activate a runspeed flask and quickly move out of cover to use those and then back in safesty again continueing to spam spark.

Also I saw you had "life gain on hit" gem. This doesn't work with spells only attacks. So don't get any life from using it. Lifeleech does work for spells though. So switch to that even if still using arc.

2. Double curses, being able to use temporal chains.

Chains will let you much easier keep mobs at a safe distance because of their slower runspeed. Also giving you extra time when fighting ranged mobs to do a sidestep after you have been stationary using a skill.

What I mean with "sidestep" is repositioning yourself after using in my case for example a firetrap. Since projectiles can be dodged this way. Mobs will shot at your current position and by moving a few inches away every other second or so you can dodge their attacks. A slower attack speed from temp chains makes this easier vs ranged mobs.

3. Being able to shockstack. You are not running staticblow+the 10% shock talent. This will vastly improve damage output. And thus shorter fights and better safety. Also shock duration/burn duration( from firetrap which is used in my build) increases with temp chains. So for shockstacking running temp chains is great.

Regarding your comment about losing 50% hp for being hit. Yes this is essentially how it is vs some of the tougher mobs. My armor like I wrote in my guide is only 500 so I too take alot of damage.
But you should not get hit much at all really. So seldom infact that you should be able to pop a graniteflask each time.
What I do is just use my graniteflask each time I have a mob that does physical damage right next to me regardless if I know he will target me or not. There are so few times that a mob is that close so I don't run out of granitecharges even with just 1 graniteflask.

edit: forgot to answer this:
bioxx wrote:
It feels that they way you need to play with this spec is you walk 1 step at a time, pop skelleton totem as soon as you see a mob coming, enfeeble it and spam arc / resummon if needed.

Can't say I agree it needs to be that slow. I mean yes you are in effect casting down the totem as soon as you see a mob. However you will fight huge amounts of mobs at a time if you want so the clearing speed is not slow.

What I mean is you cast the totem when entering a map section with a monsterpack, however when the fight starts there is no reason to wait until you have killed those mobs to aggro more. I just recast the totem at teh edge of the screen/into the next room to aggro those mobs while I am still trying to kill the first monsterpack. Make them enter the area where I am fighting atm.

So no need for inching forward killing a few monsters at a time. Just make huge kill zones. But will need sturdy minions for this though. So it comes back to double curse,enfeeble+chains(and conversiontrap ofc) to give zombies durability.
Last edited by Eivon on Feb 16, 2013, 9:34:32 PM
WOW, I HATE summoner builds, and the next thing I hate as nearly as much is traps. But I think what I hate even more is grinding for gear. It amazes me that you are having such success in "HC" with such shit gear lol. Not an insult, but a praise. If I ever make a summoner build, I'm gonna look this thread up. Kudos man.
Thanks for the compliment.

Yeah the gear I am using is bad as you say but I really don't feel it impacts the performance that much. I am actually still using exactly the same items as when I wrote the guide and it's not really a problem. Minions/firetrap works fine just as they are without +minion gems/fire % damage. Spark could ofc use some better gear but since it applies shock the damageoutput it brings is fine.

Found this earlier today though, will start using it after I have grabbed the first 15% resist all node in the shield passive line in a few lvls. Was nice to finally find something that I could use. Atm I can't afford to use it though because of resist problems.


Summoners are in general a great idea to play when you don't have good gear. There are ofc many ways you could build one but I think this version I am running came out really well in how little items it needs to still have nice damage output and safety.
Last edited by Eivon on Feb 16, 2013, 10:46:14 PM
Ouch all good things come to an end. Just ripped. Very unnecessary death too. Was listening to a radio podcast while playing and not fully focused. A charging roah killed me.

Map was lvl 72 without any super dangerous mods really the problem was that it was an open outdoor map so I got blindsided. Those things don't happen in maps with corridors/obstacles.

Oh well was fun while it lasted. Can post my build at the moment of death, was just about to ding lvl75.

The plan was to at the next lvl respec out of both 8% res all nodes and temporarily out of 2 minion damage nodes. This would give 5 points total with the point from the lvl up. Enought to grab the 15% resist all node in the shield passive line on the left side. Then grabbing back those damage nodes and fill up the shieldline. With the new unique shield I gotten+talent I would then then also have had not just only high block % but high spellblock %.

Damn. :P
Last edited by Eivon on Feb 17, 2013, 8:34:32 AM
there is no way thats your real gear lol
Sic Semper Evello Mortem Tyrannis
there is no way thats your real gear lol


Yes that is my gear. Why is that so hard to believe? You mean that it shouldn't be possible to run endgame maps with that bad items? We are talking about a character build that will take probably among the fewest hits from mobs in the game if using a careful playstyle.

A summoner build like this one will not get hit alot, you don't need anything better to do good. You are always shielded by a huge amount of minions and with double curses +the conversion trap it is a very sturdy build. Ofc my death proves that my life/armor was to low but it was also kinda a fluke death which normally I would have avoided. Got oneshooted pretty much because I wasn't paying attention and playing in an open map. Under normal circumstances a mob like that roah would never have gotten close to charge. Just an enfeeble on it would have saved me from being oneshooted also.

If you are wondering why I didn't use better gear, reason like I wrote in my guide is I am playing selffound without trading. It is hard as hell to find/craft items that are upgrades stat wise and have the necessary sockets/links/colours so you are still able to use the same skillgem setup as before. That is the reason why I was using that gear.

Why the hell would I lie? Anyone that have played a summoner in endgame would see that you don't need much gear. And this build was once again made to maximize the usage of skills that don't need good items to perform well.

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