[2.3] Spectre/Curse/Aura Necromancer with MoM/EB/ZO. Beginner friendly

2.5 Edit: Build is still viable and with the new summoner sword it might be better than ever. Update to this guide coming soon, since 2.5 makes me excited enough to play again :)

Welcome to my Witch Necromancer Guide. Stick around if you want to play an easy to get into and gear for Summoner, that actually let's summons fight for her, while debuffing and cursing mobs. It's basically the Necromancer from D2, let's be honest. You even have something similar to an Act 2 Merc with Auras.

Pros and Cons of the build:

+ easy for beginners to get into and level up a summoner
+ can clear maps with ease and even fast with Mistress of Sacrifice and Flesh Offering
+ with minions tanking for you, Mind over Matter/Eldritch Battery/Zealot's Oath and capped resists, you're very tanky

- have to manage your minions a bit sometimes. Cramped spaces are a bit annoying. You can play with a cup of coffee in one hand on easier maps. Harder maps to require some skillful play
- has a certain setup time before you can start mapping


Changelog:
6/05: 2.3 Version Up. We get a pretty nice buff with the Ascendancy changes. Yay

3/21: 3 Curses thanks to blasphemy. Changes to skilltree. We loose some aura effectiveness nodes, but gain whatever we want instead, like more jewel sockets
3/16: Changed PassiveTree - took out life/mana nodes. You can spend the free points however you want. Jewel Slots, life, even ES.
3/15: Added Flasks, updated Animate Guardian Section. Added notes about Quality Gems
3/14: HUGE Update. Changes to the passivetree. Got rid of a lot of wasteful nodes. Got rid of armor/es nodes, changed Aura Nodes, picked up MoM/EB/ZO. Removed Triple Curse Section. Formatting
3/11: Added How to Play section. Changed Aura Setup. Haste Aura is redundant with Vaal Haste and Flesh Offering, changed for defensive Auras. Changed Skill Tree to pick up more Aura Nodes. Put Desecrate into the Swap Slot
3/10: Formatting, settled for a spectre, added triple curse variation


Build Overview




The idea of this build is to use Spectres as our main damage dealers, with Zombies as Meatshields (and for a little bit of dmg). We support our Minions with 2 Curses, 4 Auras, Elemental Equilibrium and Flesh/Bone Offering for amazing results.

Defensively we're using high Lifepool, Mind over Matter/Eldritch Battery/Zealot's Oath and decent Energy Shield to raise our effective HP to very high levels. Capped resists and smart flask usage cover the rest.

Base build:

Skilltree

Order of Importance: Minions Nodes, Curse Nodes, Keystones, Aura Nodes (you can work with 3 auras for quite a while). Get Life and ES as you need it. Hardcore you may want to leave out a lot of smaller curse or minions nodes and get Life/ES first.

We use Flame Sentinels as Spectres. Get them from cruel act 3 Solaris Temple and merciless Eternal Lab later on. You can also get them from maps. More info from spectres can be found here


Ascendancy:

Spoiler
Mistress of Sacrifice - Your Offerings also effect you
Flesh Binder - 1% physical damage reduction for each zombie you have, for you and your zombies.
Soul Reaver - 100% increased damage and life for specters.

Mistress of Sacrifice is pretty ridiculous. Flesh Offering now gives much needed clear speed, while Bone Offering gives amazing defenses, if you're ever in a position where you might need them. Don't hesitate to have both gems available at all times and swap when needed!
Flesh Binder is a solid 8-10+ % decrease in physical damage taken, which is just awesome.
Soul Reaver = basically immortal spectres that do double damage.....what?

Commander of Darkness is now amazing. So good that we're now running a lvl 1 clarity, just to cheat in another 10% damage for our minions and some castspeed for ourselves. The main reason the build went from 3 to 2 curses, so we can have more auras.



Bandits:
Save Oak, Kill All, Kill All


Gear and Skill Setup:

Spoiler
Stats you want on gear: Life, ES, Resists, +Dex +Str or +All Attributes helps too. A Strength Belt with Strength, Life and resist rolls is pretty nice to have. Dex Amulet also helps.


Helm with +2 to minion gems

Raise Zombies, Fortify, Minion Life, Stone Golem, switch later to Animate Guardian with Leer Cast and Dying Breath.
You can also use Zahndethus' Cassock for chaos resists and Concecrated Ground on Block.

Your Guardian has 35% resists on all difficulties. Gets 16% from nodes. More from minion resist jewels. Even more from Purity of Fire and Commander of Darkness. So you don't even need resists on Boots or Gloves, or at least not much. Rest of the budget goes into Maximum Life, Energy Shield, Armor, Life Reg. DON'T GIVE HIM MOVEMENTSPEED! It makes him survive longer. So no quality Animate Guardian gem either. Unless you're absolutely sure he wont die by getting in the mobs' faces faster.
Guardian isn't worth it without Leer Cast and Dying Breath. Make sure his resists are capped and he has +life on gear. He will be you best buddy, if you take good care of him.

If you're really worried about the Guardian dying and loosing his gear, put him in the shield and weapon swap if he's about to die. Mine has yet to come even close to dying up to tier 10 maps.


6L Chest (Tabula Rasa early on):

Raise Spectre, Spell Echo, Minion Damage, Greater Multiple Projectiles (Lesser Multiple Proj is also an option. Slightly more damage, worse AoE), Fire Penetration, Elemental Focus

Vis Mortis is BiS for endgame. Otherwise a good 6L Chest with high ES, Life.

Instead of using Multiple Projectiles you can also use Elemental Destruction. Sacrifice AoE for even more damage. You can also use both and just swap before entering a Boss Room as long as you're using Tabula Rasa. Bosses have not lived for more than 10 seconds so far with using GMP. On higher level maps you may need the extra dps though. Try out both and decide what's best for you.


4L Boots of Ullr:

Curse on Hit, Ball Lightning (lvl 1), Enfeeble, Temporal Chains

4L Gloves:
Faster Casting, Flame Dash (lvl 1), Desecration, Convocation

Weapon: 3L Auromvorax:

Increased Duration, Vaal Haste(lvl 8 is easy enough, more if you have the dex for it), Flesh/Bone Offering


Victario's Charity:

Discipline, Grace, Purity of Elements


Rings:

Unsocket Rings for Summon Stone Golem and a lvl 1 Clarity


Amulet

Citrine Amulet with good life, es, resist rolls. Try to get a lot of your dex on this piece.


Jewels:

Minion Damage, Increased Life/Minion Life, + to all stats or anything useful really.



Flasks:

1. Seething Divine Flask of Staunching (instant flask, remove bleed)
2. Sapping Eternal Flask of Animation (BIG heal over 4 seconds, also heals your minions)
3. Saturated Divine Flask of Grounding (LONG over time heal, shock removal on the flask you spam the most)
4. Experimenter's Granite Flask of Warding (curse removal and immunity on a 6 second duration flask)
5. Chemist's Quicksilver Flask of Heat (Triple Use movement speed flask, removes freeze)

People have different preferences, when it comes to flask. Use your own judgement as well.
Combinations can be different. You absolutely want to remove bleed, heal minions and remove curses though.


Swap Weapon Slot:

Desecrate (if you're not using an unset ring), plus whatever gems you want to level.

Good gems to quality are: Raise Zombie (+life, really good), Minion Life (+life), Minion Damage (+dmg), Greater Multiple Projectiles(+attck/cast speed), Spell Echo (+dmg), Elemental Focus (+dmg), Fire Penetration (+fire dmg), Offering Skill (+duration), Increased Duration (+duration), Fortify (+duration).
Raise Spectre and Animate Guardian get movement speed per quality, which isn't that useful. Aura Skills, and Vaal Haste get +radius, which can be useful. You can of course level all gems to 20, use vendor recipe (lvl 20 gem + gemcutter's prism = lvl 1 gem with 20 quality) and just level the gems again. Takes a while to do though. Very cost efficient on the other hand.


Mana Reserved is 98% since we take -22% mana reserved on the tree.



Leveling:

Spoiler
Leveling as a Summoner is unfortunately way too painful. So I'd suggest leveling with Flame Totem and Firestorm.
Leveling Build
Get a Quartz Scepter (20% elemtental damage) with the right sockets from a vendor. Use the following recipe: Magic Weapon + Orb of Alteration + Resistance Ring(Fire Res ring for + 1 to fire skills)
Put Flame Totem, Fire Penetration and Faster Casting in it.
Get a second Quartz Scepter with +1 to fire skills, or just any offhand. Put Firestorm and whatever you have (Spell Echo, Faster Casting, Elemental Focus, Added xyz damage) in it.
You can switch over to a summoner build at around level 60. You need access to cruel flame sentinels and at least 11 respec points

Switch to Summoner Build
Take out points spend on totem skills, put them into ES nodes at witch start, take out the 2 int nodes north of the witch start and connect through the mid instead.
Next points should go into more minion nodes, curse nodes, keystones, aura nodes



How to play:

Spoiler

1. Go to Cruel Solaris Temple or Merciless Eternal Lab (Merciless Eternal Lab is lvl 68 = better spectres)
(2. Swap to second weapon slot and use desecrate 3 times)
3. Hold A for corpse targeting and raise some Flame Sentinels
4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you have all your spectres
5. Swap back and summon zombies, use more swaps and desecrate if needed
6. Summon Golem, Animate your Guardian put on Auras
7. Run around, spam ball lightning with right click and drink coffee, while loot falls from the sky.
8. Use Flesh/Bone Offering whenever it runs out. Use Vaal Haste against Bosses for ultimate tryhard mode

Note: If you cannot get Flame Sentinels to spawn, remake the Instance.





Credits:
AngryAA (got me into playing Summoner Witch a couple months ago, Using Victario's Charity is something I really like about his SRS build Check out his thread for explanations on how to get the most out of spectres level-wise.
ItsYoji for his leveling guide. Which I added in the leveling section, because it's bananas.
mattc3303 for his amazing work on his Spectre Tier List
Last edited by DieKao on Dec 6, 2016, 1:14:49 PM
Last bumped on Dec 6, 2016, 1:13:24 PM
Very good guide, helped me a lot to get back to playing with my summoner.
"
Durish wrote:
Very good guide, helped me a lot to get back to playing with my summoner.


Thanks. Means a lot to me, if other people find this useful :D
Last edited by DieKao on Mar 11, 2016, 1:22:07 PM
I am curious to ask: Why GMP on flame sentinels? Don't they already have LMP on one of their attacks? Between spell echo and GMP, that's a lot of damage lost, even if you pick up the spectre damage+health ascendancy passive.

Surely there's something else you can put in GMP's place to do more damage. Perhaps controlled destruction, since you're not building your minions to crit?

I'd very much like to know the reason. Like I said, I am simply curious.
PoE players: Our game has a wide diversity of builds.

Also PoE players: The [league mechanic] doesn't need to be nerfed, you just need to play a [current meta] build!

There's nothing wrong with Harvest's deterministic crafting. Perhaps it's that loot is largely worthless and slows the game down.
Last edited by Pizzarugi on Mar 12, 2016, 7:13:53 PM
I've been thinking about that as well. Easiest would probably be to use Lesser Multiple Projectiles instead. I will test both and update with the results. Maybe LMP is enough to cover the screen. Good point.

Edit: I will say though: That right now, Damage is not the weakness of this build. Seriously. Shit just melts.
Last edited by DieKao on Mar 13, 2016, 6:49:13 AM
"
DieKao wrote:
I've been thinking about that as well. Easiest would probably be to use Lesser Multiple Projectiles instead. I will test both and update with the results. Maybe LMP is enough to cover the screen. Good point.

Edit: I will say though: That right now, Damage is not the weakness of this build. Seriously. Shit just melts.


I'm more concerned with single-target damage. While LMP/GMP enables spectres to obliterate everything in a group standing in front of them, heavy-hitting bosses won't be getting too much of an impact from them.

With all gems at level 20, spectres are getting 42% more damage after factoring in the lost damage from GMP+spell echo. If you completely cut out GMP and replace with controlled destruction, your spectres will get 132% more damage after factoring in damage lost with spell echo.

Think of how powerful your spectres are right now especially with the new necromancer class, now make them do 132% MORE damage. Even if they lost the group clearing power from having LMP/GMP, they could very well eradicate even the hardest boss.

And of course, this is all before we even factored in the extra damage caused by EE and fire penetration.
PoE players: Our game has a wide diversity of builds.

Also PoE players: The [league mechanic] doesn't need to be nerfed, you just need to play a [current meta] build!

There's nothing wrong with Harvest's deterministic crafting. Perhaps it's that loot is largely worthless and slows the game down.
Last edited by Pizzarugi on Mar 13, 2016, 1:56:02 PM
Very good points you make there. I will definitely try out swapping GMP for Elemental Destr.
On the other hand, you could always use both and just swap before entering the boss area too.
I really haven't felt like my damage is lacking so far. Even on Bosses. I just pop Vaal haste and laugh like a maniac as my flaming bed-sheets just tear the boss apart. I will update the guide with your suggestion.
what is ur current lvl and what tier maps can u farm?
"
justforlulzzz wrote:
what is ur current lvl and what tier maps can u farm?


Currently lvl 80. Check my profile for "Shinkao"

Have not done really high maps yet, mostly because I spend a bit of time leveling a qual 20 zombie gem.
Up to tier 5 everything has been easy so far (and easy is an understatement). Gear-wise I can still improve bits and pieces, but so far the build seems really strong.

I'll report back when I do higher Tier maps. Will probably chisel and alch a Tier 6 in a couple minutes.
/push


Just did a pretty huge update. Might have missed something. Feel free to point out any inconsistencies.
Don't think I will change much else. Build should be as good as it can get, while still keeping with the theme.

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