[2.6] Chaos Animate Weapon Necromancer (EHC level 100!)

Update for 3.0: This build isn't that great anymore. Elemental scaling and upfront damage scaling is better. The build still somewhat works with Dendrobate but the damage is really low without an insane amount of Wither stacking, and even with 20 wither stacks it's not better than what elemental can do.

Things to be added
More information in general
Guide on editing filters to make animate weapon filters
Video guide on Animate Weapon

It's been a while since I've made a guide for a build, the last one I made being my elemental animator back in Beyond league (may make a new one for this as well eventually.

This build is what I've been playing in the 2.4.0 patch in EHC. Made it to 100! It has undergone a few gear changes, but become all the more powerful in the process and really destroys bosses + feels great when it gets going.

I've also returned to this build for 2.5.0 after they released the new sword. The sword buffs the damage and adds great QoL that speeds up the build substantially.

Feel free to stop by my stream whenever I'm live to ask questions at http://twitch.tv/theuberelite

Introduction - What is this build and how does it work?
This build is based off the skill, Animate Weapon. Animate Weapon has an EXTREMELY high base damage, meaning any flat damage added to it is scaled immensely. On top of that, you have high numbers of weapons throughout the map.

On top of this, poison is an immense damage increase due to heavy amounts of double dipping modifiers with Chaos + Minion Damage modifiers.


* Can kill bosses up to t15 on a 5 link extremely fast
* High effective life for a life based build
* High curse effectiveness makes anything close to you slow and deal very little damage
* High minion movement speed which allows your summons to keep up with you and constantly be with you
* Compared to elemental animate, chaos damage weapons do not require to be in range of your auras to deal good damage
* In maps you don't feel comfortable in, you can opt for Bone Offering which gives you block, spell block, and a ton of life each time you block something
* Minions block lots of projectiles for you making you much safer from long range attacks


* Requires a decent amount of focus to play
* Must be prepared to log out if your Animate Guardian is low on HP or your weapons get wiped
* Annoying to clear trials of the Uber Labyrinth with - highly recommend getting help with them if you need them
* Slow at the start of maps when you don't have weapons or Vaal Haste up
* Can be annoying to play in a party for those using other curses (although you can also recolour your helmet for that)
* Can't level as animate weapon - have to level with something else until 75
* May not be good to attempt to make with no currency
* Very complicated build that can go many paths in it's tree and gearing.
* Can't solo Untainted Paradise (tfw 1 portal untainted...)
* 2 of the 4 T16 guardians are poison immune + have phases, meaning its a pain at bare minimum to kill them (might be possible, though)

Videos of my Animator in action
5-Man Xoph Breachstone (includes an aurabot, but still an amazing display of what this build is capable of): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osGuaIsoO5w

2.4 Version
* T15 Dark Forest with 40 pack size, cold mob sextant, conversion sextant, beyond, sea witches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov9pBC8Jibc - This map gave me 1.6 million xp at 99, which is unbelievable. This took me really long to clear because I had to slow down multiple times and be careful
* T16 Minotaur with 49% more life killed in 8 seconds on 6L +1 bow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn1z8ydQjzM
* T13 Gorge boss with 6-link + Queen's Escape setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj6adYIgIs0
* T14 Palace Dominus with a 5-link: https://www.twitch.tv/theuberelite/v/89658944

2.5: Current gear at 93 BHC

[2.4] Gear at 97 on EHC
This section is my old top-end bow version that hit 100 on BHC.

This is about as high tier in gear as you can get, your build will probably not use a bow for some time - the build itself is much more budget

Flask swaps for specific reasons:


First things first, you'll want to try to buy a high quality Animate Weapon and start leveling it in your offhand as soon as possible. Quality gives movement speed for the weapons which is very important as it lets them get from mob to mob faster as well as makes them able to keep up with you.

You will not want to start out leveling as Animate Weapon -- as a matter of fact, it's a bad idea until level 75+. The most efficient method of leveling I've found are Summon Raging Spirits.

Use normal skills until you can use melee splash + minion damage, maybe until 18 where you can use melee physical as well.

4L: Summon Raging Spirit - Minion Damage - Melee Splash - Melee Phys.

You can craft a +1 minion helmet on an es/armour base by getting the 4 link helmet, a bone spirit shield, and a life flask like so:
Vendor: Life Flask + 1 Transmute + bone spirit shield for a Flask of Animation
Vendor: 4 Link RRBB helmet + 1 Transmute + Life Flask of Animation for +1 minion gems 4 link RRBB helmet

This will carry you to level 50+ where you can get a 5 link +2 fire staff and add in either Minion Speed or Elemental Focus. Run Hatred on Generosity and use a mana flask.

May expand on this later.

Ascendancy points
We will be using a Necromancer Ascendancy for this build.
* Normal Lab: Mistress of Sacrifice (Your offering skills affect you). This means you can use bone offering while leveling to be super safe, or flesh offering to go faster.
* Cruel Lab: Commander of Darkness. This basically gives us and our minions 20% all res for free.
* Merc/Uber Lab: Spirit Eater or Beacon of Corruption. It is up to you which one you feel is better to take first.

Normal Bandit: Help Oak
Cruel Bandit: Kill all
Merciless Bandit: Kill all

Transitioning into Animate Weapon
Now that we are level 75 or higher, we can start our respec for Animate Weapon. First things first is to make sure we have the gear to transition.

Severed in Sleep version
Starting out gear
Starting Weapon: Severed in Sleep
This weapon gives us free Poison on a sword. This means we can play self cast on a 5 link, or totem on a 6 link.

Starting Chest: Decent ES + life. Resists in addition are always nice. 5 link preferred but is functional on a 4 link. A corrupted 6 link with RRGGBB also works (2 red, 2 blue, 2 green, to go with Spell Totem)

Boots: Movement speed + life + res on an es base.
Gloves: Life, Res, Dexterity if you can, ES base. Open prefix preferred to craft Minion Damage with Catarina.
Helmet: Life, res, ES.
Ring(s): Minion Movement Speed crafted rings, preferrably Screaming or higher crafted and a prefix open for Life.
Amulet: Minion Movement Speed crafted, Life, dex/str, res. When crafting this, try doing it on a Citrine Amulet.
Shield: High ES, Life.


5-Link: Animate Weapon - Minion Damage - Melee Splash - Added Chaos - Void Manpulation (Spell Totem or Increased Duration would be the 6th link)
4-Link: Animate Guardian - Summon Stone Golem - Minion Life - Fortify. Discipline or Purity of Elements in the free socket, depending on if you need the extra res from Purity.
4-Link: Faster Casting - Wither - Flame Dash - Convocation
4-Link: Increased Duration - Vaal Haste - Flesh Offering - Enduring Cry
3-Link: Blasphemy - Enfeeble - Temp Chains
3-Link: Discipline, 2 other links of choice (inc duration bone offering, cwdt immortal call, etc)

Queen's Escape starter
Starting out gear
Starting Weapon: Queen's Escape

This weapon gives us all the Minion Movement speed we need to start out and is fairly cheap. You can end up using this for a long time. It also looks hilarious on a witch.

Starting Chest: Decent ES + life. Resists in addition are always nice.

You can choose to 5 link the queen's escape or 5 link the chest for your Animate Weapon. It is probably easier to buy a 5 link chest

Boots: Movement speed + life + res on an es base.
Gloves: Life, Res, Dexterity if you can, ES base. Open prefix preferred to craft Minion Damage with Catarina.
Helmet: Life, res, ES. Alpha's Howl is also an option until you can afford Heretic's for tricurse, but requires you to take a bit of a different routing through the tree.
Ring(s): Life, res, str/dex. Remember you will be getting rid of one of these for a Doedre's Damning later.
Amulet: Life, dex/str, res. Really nice to get lots of dex/str here to save points on 30 dex/str nodes!


5-Link: Animate Weapon - Minion Damage - Melee Splash - Added Chaos - Poison (Void Manipulation would be the 6th link)
4-Link: Animate Guardian - Summon Stone Golem - Minion Life - Fortify. Discipline or Purity of Elements in the free socket, depending on if you need the extra res from Purity.
4-Link: Faster Casting - Wither - Flame Dash - Convocation
4-Link: Increased Duration - Vaal Haste - Flesh Offering - Enduring Cry
4-Link: Blasphemy - Enfeeble - Temp Chains, Discipline or Purity of Elements

You will want to be leveling a Bone Offering + Vulnerability in the offhand at least for later on.

Starting tree

You will want a jewel with Minion Resistance preferably to get their resistances up. Minion Damage + resistance jewels are the best 2 stat jewels you can get here - something like these:

This will get you started with dual curse + aura. Your nodes after this will pretty much all be life nodes, then damage nodes or Reduced Reservation nodes.

2.5 top end gear
This section assumes you have at least Severed in Sleep. If you don't, go back to the "Transitioning into Animate Weapon" section to see that setup.

You'll want to get a decent life+ES 6 link to use. Your 6 link will look like this:

Animate Weapon - Added Chaos - Minion Damage - Melee Splash - Void Manipulation - Spell Totem

You will either have Multistrike or Increased Duration in inventory to swap in instead of Spell Totem for when you feel you need it for bosses (<20 weapons in maps with an arena, T16 bosses, Breachlords). Please be careful about doing this in maps, it does cause lag swapping it in! Most of the time you can live off Spell Totem.

You can upgrade Severed in Sleep to United in Dream with a Blessing of Chayula. Once you have United in Dream, you will want to finish the Sovereignty cluster for another 10% reduced mana reserved. You will remove Discipline and put Generosity in the sword (preferably with high quality). Simple as that. Aura Effect nodes will improve damage a bit but are not as important as finishing off curse effect and life as you'll already have insane damage.

Your shield should hopefully be a decent life+ES hybrid. If you can, try to get one with a suffix open to get a Leo level 3 craft on it, Reduced Damage Taken from DoTs. This helps a lot with CB, bleed, burn ground, and chaos degens.

Lab Enchant Helmet is also nice but not necessary. Best enchants:
1. Chance to Copy Additional Animate Weapon
2. Animate Weapon Duration
3. Animate Weapon Damage

Other useful helmet enchants: Convocation cooldown, Wither Duration, Flesh Offering Attack Speed, Increased Buff of Stone Golem, Enfeeble effect, Temp Chains effect. All work fine, but Animate Weapon Copy is the best by a long shot.

[2.4] Old top-end gear additions
Heretic's Veil addition
Once you have Heretic's Veil, you will want to get a Doedre's Damning, a Conqueror's Efficiency jewel in your 3rd jewel slot, and 18% reduced reservation on the tree. You will be able to run tri-curse + a 35% aura at that point.

Your tree will look something like this with Heretic's Veil: https://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAABAMDAN-Km4rv6xUn6QK-T9AfjLFLrhsl2VttGX0YCPQi9OyKa9vAVGwLTLNqQ5MnBAe-in_G74iD26EvwcX5N1XG7BiIQtfPOliP-nC7Tm2CHkmxrJjw1aXE2wv315UuSVGcMpuhBx4Yao9GeC-nCB0UfOXr7vrSWAea4IUyHNwy0RZvFy9FnbiTjxpFRySq42pk51NSKPqIQMBmNumCx6asBLMdvvnoogAzh0GH8B8D7py-tz5o8g0f_go8KDrh2L1N4zWSplfyRbXy_o9uqkrIPyekOV-YIuJZbUfizzIqTYCkVdaQMw==

You will want to keep leveling Blasphemy and flip it - you will use a 20q level 20 blasphemy in the helmet when you have it.

Bow Transition
This can be one of the harder parts to transition to. You will need a ring, amulet, and quiver rolled with Minion Movement speed to do this. Make sure to look if theres any that fit what you need on poe trade before crafting with Shrieking/Deafening Fear essences.

With 3 pieces of Shrieking Fear essence, you will have 69-78% minion movement speed. With 3 pieces of Deafening Fear essence, you will have 81-90% minion movement speed. You can opt for Shrieking to make it cheaper at the cost of some minion speed.

Crafting the bow
With the bow, you will want a 6 link to put your animate weapon in. The lower the dex requirement, the better (with <= 155 dex requirement being ideal) simply because we only need 155 dex for Vaal Haste. Avoid buying a bow with too much dex requirement!

So here are the steps to crafting the bow:

1. Buy a 6 linked bow, itemlevel 50+. Low dex requirement. Without ilvl50, you can't roll +1 gems (there are some 6 links out there that aren't ilvl50!)
2. Use Shrieking or Deafening Essence of Fear on it until you have 2 prefixes and 2 suffixes. The minion damage is a suffix.
3. Get someone with a Catarina 8 to put on "Cannot Roll Attack Mods" on the bow and use an exalt on it, then get rid of the Catarina mod. You will now have a bow with +1 gems.
4. Craft desired suffix of choice on the bow. My personal favourite is Leo 3's "Reduced damage taken from damage over time".

Your bow will look something like this:

The advantage to this is that we will gain damage from all our gems being +1 level, especially Added Chaos and Animate Weapon. On top of that, our Animated weapons now have more base life.

The bow version will give us even more damage, make our weapons have more life, and give us another slot to get stats from (quiver).

Animate Guardian gear sets
Set 1: Cheap, good physical resistance, simple

- Dying Breath: BiS for guardian for damage + curse effectiveness
- Leer Cast: Damage aura
- Cloak of Flame: 15% physical damage mitigation through damage conversion and fire res
- Southbound: % life increase on top of a huge base life, cold resistances.
- Rare boots with light res (optional chaos res): Rounding out the resistances.

Set 2: Consecrated ground with small spell block
- Dying Breath: BiS for guardian for damage + curse effectiveness
- Leer Cast: Damage aura
- Zahndethus' Cassock: Consecrated Ground on block. This gives a patch of regen for all allies that stand on it that regens 4% of life per second. Quite a bit of regen when your summons have 10k+ life. Also caps chaos res.
- Rainbowstrides: Small amount of spell block. Helps with rapid hitting skills as well, and gives resists.
- Southbound: %Life, Cold Resistances.

Other set piece item ideas
Using the Death's Oath chest is interesting and does do a decent amount of chaos damage degen to enemies around it.
You could replace the Southbound gloves but not sure what else would really be better. Does suck that you can't kill stuff with the guardian sometimes though.
The 2.5k fire degen boots actually work on a guardian and are an option but aren't the most effective thing in the world, lol.

Playstyle of Animate Weapon
You'll want to start off maps by dropping 2 or more identified weapons on the ground and animating them. Try to get an army of weapons started before moving faster through the map. Vaal Haste whenever, and keep Flesh Offering up. Use Wither to direct minions and Convocation to move them in the case that they get stuck. You don't have to animate literally everything that drops - if you have 30+ weapons and a pack is dead just move on.

When to run Bone Offering
This is a bit important for maps as sometimes you need to run Bone Offering in order to keep weapons alive.
1. Porcupines - these guys shoot spikes on death and they hit for a lot, really hurts weapons. Highly recommend running bone offering for maps that these are in.
2. Quay(T10) map boss - the rest of the map is fine, but the map boss likes to spam a long duration blast rain on your minions. Use Bone Offering for the boss and you should be okay, just keep spamming it as each phase of the boss dies.
3. Ivory Temple(T12) final pack/boss - these maps spawn perandus packs in and near the boss room. One of the side area has dogs that use Sunder which can really own weapons hard. Can use for boss room too, but mostly need it for the dog pack.
4. Colosseum (T15) boss - the swords hurt weapons a lot. Recommend having a life leech gem instead of melee splash for this too, or fortify.

Other tips and tricks
* Try to have a stash tab of small 3 slot white weapons for when you need it.
* The Grand Arena waypoint in normal lets you open some chests and weapon racks right near the waypoint to get started for the day.
* You can pick up some blue weapons from the boss and ID them even if your loot filter hides them by pressing Alt to prepare for the next map.
* Run Bone offering if you feel like the map is sketchy.
* You can craft a life flask with HP recovery for minions by using: Flask, Transmute, Bone Spirit Shield. You can farm Bone Spirit Shields in Chamber of Sins 1 Normal, and collect small weapons & stone hammers for chisels while there as well.

Bad map mods

1. Multiprojectile - more weapons get hit, things with aoe effects overlap like Fire Curtains, probably one of the most dangerous mods in the game at the moment for any build due to shotgunning.
2. Chain - Chain can be absolutely deadly and will destroy a map with porcupines (spikes on death). This can also pair badly with some exiles.
3. Blood Magic - Runnable but we will have no auras. We will actually keep our Energy Shield MoM mitigation, interestingly enough. Be careful in this though. Recommend Bone Offering if you really want to run these.
4. Hexproof - This is runnable but scary. Replace your curses with other auras if you really want to run this. Recommend Bone Offering instead of Flesh Offering too.

Guide to Minotaur and Phoenix guardians
The 2 guardian fights are a little different than others, so I wanted to mention how they worked.

Minotaur fight
You'll preferably want a Stibnite flask prepped for this fight. Pop a max corpse Flesh Offering then go in the boss room, pop vaal haste and sprint towards the boss. if he burrows, move out of the line that he is going, don't get hit by it.

When he starts slamming, run behind him and convocate. Drop your Stibnite flask and hold your Wither on him and he should drop pretty quick.

If you socket a life leech instead of melee splash, it can help a lot in keeping the weapons alive here.

Phoenix fight
This mostly requires a gear swap. You need to start the map with this amulet:

This will charge Gluttony of Elements. Don't use it until the boss. When you get to the boss, pop max Flesh Offering and Vaal Haste, then switch Vaal Haste key to Gluttony of Elements. Run in, dodge any cyclone he might do (make sure you use Basalt in case he does cyclone) and stay close to him. As long as you have Gluttony of Elements up you'll be fine.

Q: Why run Blasphemy gem in Heretic's Veil when it gives a level 22?
A: A level 20 with 20 quality will be upped to level 22 giving us the bonus of quality on the gem, which is Increased Curse Effectiveness.

Q: Cloak of Tawm'r Isley?
A: I think it is overkill, and the +1 gems you can get from bow is better. However you could still use it simply for the blue weapons and the chance to blind. You'll get some extra damage from it, though it isn't really necessary.

My Filter for Animate Weapon
This is based off of NeverSink's filter.
Larger weapons: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10208269/NeverSink%204.3anime.filter
Smaller weapons (good for totem!): https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10208269/NeverSink%204.3anitotem.filter

2.4 version: http://pastebin.com/TJsgCMqv -- This is a modified version of NeverSink's 4.0 filter

Special thanks to Junyan Liu on youtube for inspiring me to make my own version of the Chaos Animator.
Current IGN: twitchtvTheuberelite

http://twitch.tv/theuberelite - I stream sometimes.
Last edited by TheuberClips on Sep 19, 2017, 2:41:45 PM
Last bumped on May 23, 2017, 3:02:56 PM
Looking great so far! Just got
Gonna start this build tomorrow since it was a very long time since i played with AW so should be fun yet again
Last edited by Fernqvist on Sep 29, 2016, 8:56:55 PM
Thank you for the guide! Seems very promising so far :)
Thanks Uber see you on stream !
alk must and will be removed (✿ =‿‿=)
Hello, could you please write which map bosses is better to skip? You mention it on stream but i don't remember it. ;)
Very nice, god job.

I saw you play this on stream and it seemed very strong and fun.
I might try this on next build as it is way different that the builds i usually play and i need to try something new with a different playstyle.
I might even start this build in parallell to my current build.
It can be good to have something to play if i should die with my ordinary build.
I play hardcore essence league.

dYykA wrote:
Hello, could you please write which map bosses is better to skip? You mention it on stream but i don't remember it. ;)

The only bosses I skip at the moment are Core Malachai, Chimera and Hydra. Other than that I skip some 13+ zana bosses like Jungle Valley because I don't want to test the damage and the spider's EK forks, which can shotgun you and own you.

Phoenix in T16 will probably require some gear swap (Blood of Corruption in particular) but should be possible with that swap.

Will add to the guide soon.
Current IGN: twitchtvTheuberelite

http://twitch.tv/theuberelite - I stream sometimes.
Last edited by TheuberClips on Sep 30, 2016, 3:48:18 PM
very nice guide uber. The guide covers everything to the point.
Amazing build, do it now feels perfectly at 59. animate weapon began to play with ~ 52, though not recommended by the author, I feel great
Added a section about when you need Bone Offering. Quay boss is annoying as hell if you don't know about using Bone OFfering and spamming it on the boss corpses that get created. Had some people ask me about it.
Current IGN: twitchtvTheuberelite

http://twitch.tv/theuberelite - I stream sometimes.
Last edited by TheuberClips on Oct 2, 2016, 6:55:09 PM

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