[0.10.1] HC Necro-Witch Guide | How to survive and progress as a pure summoner.

Hello everyone, my name is Spencer and I'm currently grinding maps on the hardcore ladder. I've been playing a summoner witch since closed beta and have thought long and hard about the best decisions for the build. There are already a few summoner guides on the forums however few that I have seen (if any) seem to be hardcore focused. I also feel that many of the popular summoner paths aren't as efficient as they could be. Hopefully I will be able to provide some insight into the already popular character build and explain my decisions clearly. I realize that I am only one person and do not know everything about the game/may have made inefficient decisions myself, so criticisms and questions are encouraged.

Section Overview

1. Build Basics
2. Passive Tree and Leveling Walkthrough
3. Bandit Rewards
4. Auras
5. Curses
6. How to Gem Your Summons
7. Flasks
8. A Note on Uniques
9. My Current Gear

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Build Basics

-This build is very defensive early on. If you are playing on default or like to make risky decisions in order to feel more masculine, this build may not be for you
-This build focuses on being a pure summoner. Spectres as a source of DPS, Skeletons and Zombies as a source of damage mitigation. Late game this build does no damage from spells on character
-Utilizes multiple curses and auras to support minions
-HP + Elderitch Battery based

Pros
-Scales well into late game
-Reflect in maps is not an issue
-High health pool and a combination of evasion, Enfeeble, Vitatlity and a plethera of meat shields make this a very safe build
-Having an army is fun

Cons
-Summons are weak until merciless
-Particle spam from Spectres can be hard on FPS
-Groups may not like you
-Potentially slower clear speeds compared to other popular builds
-Low armor can make for some sticky situations

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Passive Tree and Leveling Walkthrough

25 points - Acquiring HP
Spoiler
http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgMAVysHY3NTwFR5Awj0MYiLeqcr4vc74W0ZwfOio3_GflknqVptJDynXElRHNzjn9QZvJ8=

At this point in the game all we want is HP. Grab a couple Bear Traps (level some shadows if you have to) and a Freezing Pulse to level up with. Buy a Lesser Multiple Projectiles gem off the trade chat when you hit 19 and support FP with it. Clarity will be the only aura that you need for now. Pick up Elemental Weakness as your curse. This is how we will play up until merciless Ledge. The dex node is picked up to level LMP and Bear Traps as we level, and for Grace later on.


46 points - More HP, dex
Spoiler
http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgMAVysHY3NTwFR5Awj0MYiLeqcr4vc74W0ZwfOio3_GflknqVptJDynXElRHNzjn9QZvJ-CHkwtF1AA_RSwrJj315uh0NDPZVXGFm-PRqcI2t2drhpsGYUkqjbp42o=

Fairly straightforward, pick up more health. Why head over the witch tree rather than under or through the left side? Going through the top is a safer start as it allows for an earlier Divine Toughness, and an earlier Fitness Node near Templar. Getting this early large health base will allow us to pick up summons safer and faster. We will have to respec three points later on to connect the bottom.


66 points - Summons nodes
Spoiler
http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgMAVysHY3NTwFRr23kDfRgI9DGI7IqLeqcr4vc74W0ZwfOCHqKjTC1_xhdQHNwnqX5ZAP2TJ-OfWm0UsL-X1BkkPKyYyT28n6dc99fyHklRzLyboRCXhWDQ0EjnRASqxM9lj0ZNuVXGpwgWb9rd2QudriqYGmz6gBmFpqwkqohANumQM-Nq

I usually acquire the summons nodes in this order: Minion Instability -> Lord of the Dead -> health and extra minions on the left -> health and extra Spectre at the top -> health near LotD -> damage and extra minions on the far left -> remaining damage nodes -> life and extra minions on the right side.

You should just use Zombies as meat shields as you pulse enemies down. While they won't be very useful at least you're getting some benefit. Summon Skeletons + Spell Totem is obviously useful as well. I wouldn't bother with Spectres until Merciless (more discussion on skills in a bit).

Merciless Ledge was where I could drop FP all together. For faceroll Ledge farming, go to Solaris Temple in Cruel and Spectre the Flame Sentinels (carpets that shoot fireballs) or Burning Miscreations (righteous fire casters) from Lunaris 2.


82 points - Center health, chaos resistance
Spoiler
http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgMAVysHY3NTwFRr23kDfRgI9DGI7IqLeqcr4vc74W0ZwfOCHqKj8XZMLX_GF1Ac3CepflkA_ZMn459abRSwv5fUGSQ8rJjJPbyfp1z31_IeSVHMvJuhEJeFYNDQSOdEBKrEz2WPRk25VcanCBZv2t3ZC52uuJMqmBps6-76gBmFpqwo-iSqiECCxzbpkDNBh-Nqtz56uMaurpP-CqZX8kU64edjiPE=

In preparation for maps we are going to pick up the mass amount of health nodes at the center as well as the 16% Chaos Resist node near the witch. The first rings should be enough for now. We'll pick up the rest in a little bit.


91 points - Elderitch Battery, Whispers of Doom, Inner Force
Spoiler
http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgMAVysHY3NTwFRr23kDfRgI9DGI7IqLeqcr4vc74W0ZwfOCHqKj8XZMLX_GF1Ac3CepflkA_ZMn459abRSwv5fUGSQ8rJjJPbyfp1z31_IeSVHMvJuhEJeFYNDQSOdEBKrEz2WPRk25VcanCBZv2t3ZC52uuJMqmBps6-76gBmFpqwo-iSqiECCxzbpkDNBh-Nqtz56uMaurpP-CqZX8kU64edjiPHbCzowOVK8N05tWAcMfRB_xp4=

This is a good place to be before maps. You should be able to use 5-7 auras based on your mana (more on which auras soon). Make sure to stack as much maximum life on gear as possible before maps. Aim for at least 3k.


103 points - More health, Leadership (respec 3 points), remaining summons
Spoiler
http://www.pathofexile.com/passive-skill-tree/AAAAAgMAB2MI9Ax9EH8QlxSwFm8ZhRpsHNwkPCSqJwsnqSj6KpgxiDbpOVI6MDrhO-FBh0QERnFI50lRTblN405tVcZXK1gHWm1akWqsa9ttGXNTeQN6uH0Yfll_xoIegseFYIhAiPGLeo9GkDOTJ5Ugm6GdrqKjplemrKcIpyunXKh9qW6qxKxZrJiuk7QMtfK3PriTvDe8n7-XwFTB88aexq7JPcy8z2XQ0NP71BnZC9rd2wvi9-Nq45_nY-vu7IrxdvIe8kX31_qA-wn-Cv5J_o8=

Pick up the remaining of those juicy life nodes. With decent gear you should have ~4k. You should then connect the int nodes at the bottom, pick up Leadership, and respec the three points at the top you don't need. Leadership will allow you to support your minions from far away, something that is very important in higher level maps.


Not sure where I'm going from here. I'll update with my decisions when I hit that point. I'm currently level 78.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. Bandit Rewards

Normal: HP from Oak
Cruel: Passive point
Merciless: Passive point

These are what I took, however there are some options. I feel that HP is the safest and most useful reward and makes the most sense for normal however if you are feeling particularly manly you can take a skill point. Cruel is a no-brainer. Endurance charge in Merciless is an option (one that I probably should have took) if you plan on using Enduring Cry for hard maps.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. Auras

For this build I currently run the auras Purity, Vitality, Discipline, Grace, Clarity, and Wrath. Eventually I hope to run Anger as well.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Curses

I have three curses on my gear: Enfeeble, Elemental Weakness, and Temporal Chains

Enfeeble synergizes well with Grace and helps prevent that insane spike damage that comes from maps. I usually double curse Enfeeble and Elemental Weakness on most mobs. If the Spectres I have deal physical or chaos damage, the mob I'm fighting is annoying, or I'm at the boss, I substitute Temporal Chains for Elemental Weakness.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. How to Gem Your Summons

In general, support gems go from most important to least important.

Late game, your 5 or 6 link will probably be used with your auras.

Spectres (4 link): Raise Spectre + Greater(or Lesser) Multiple Projectiles + Minion Life + Minion Damage.

This would be for ranged Spectres. If you prefer non ranged, such as Burning Miscreations (my personal favorite) then you would replace GMP with something like Added Chaos Damage, or quality Culling Strike.

Late game if you feel like your Spectres never die, Added Chaos Damage can replace minion life.

Zombies (4 link): Raise Zombie + Minion Life + Minion Damage + Minion Speed

Ideally, you will place your zombies in a helmet with a +2 to minion gems stat,

Skeletons (4 link): Summon Skeletons + Spell Totem + Faster Casting + Minion Damage


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7. Flasks

Flasks are particularly important in this build (or really any HC build).

Here are my current flasks:


The notable flask is the first one: A Perpetual of Animation. Getting one of these and spamming it will add a lot to the survivability of your minions early game. The rest are pretty straightforward: Seething of heats for WTF moments, perpetual QS of adrenaline for travel and perpetual granite of warding for physical reduction and curse removable. I will probably replace one of my seethings with a well rolled perpetual granite of iron skin eventually.

In my opinion, everyone should invest heavily in their flasks shortly after hitting level 53 and gaining access to hallowed flasks.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8. A Note on Uniques


Bones of Ullr are the only summoner unique I use and the only one that I personally believe is necessary for hard-core. Losing a well rolled amulet is not worth using Sidhebreath, and losing the benefits of a shield is not worth using Queen's Decree (sword). Midnight Bargain (wand) is interesting, but losing 30% of your already non-insane life pool in a one death league? You make the decision.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9. My Current Gear


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for reading, and feel free to post any questions. I'll try to check back here often. Good luck!
HC Necro-Witch Guide: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/188249
My Shop: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/187238
Last edited by SpencerRelly on Mar 7, 2013, 6:26:26 PM
Great guide.

I'm also a hybrid life / es hardcore summon witch (level 79) and this information is very accurate. I was considering running multi-curses but went with more mana / 5 auras instead.

Also using molten shell / conversion trap with ID for harder maps.

I would fully encourage any softcore players to follow this guide. Being squishy sucks.

/tip hat
ty for guide
IGN: SaraThirtyPercent
Good build! Very sleek and efficient from what I can tell. Every stat node leads to important major nodes. That long stand of +10 intelligence leads to Deep Thoughts and Hex Master and it seems very well thought-out.

I've been trying out this build on my new HC Witch and I was struggling a bit in the early levels (I mainly play solo and I lag like crazy in groups) but now it's starting to pick up and I enjoy playing my new witch. I can't wait until my summoners get strong. :)

If only I can get my hands on Bones of Ullr... I can't seem to find anyone who sells it and when they do they offer exorbitant prices upwards of 1-2 exalted.
[Tempest] Level 42 Tornado Shot Ranger
Last edited by Exacerbated on Feb 26, 2013, 4:59:38 AM
"
ty for guide

You're welcome!

"
Good build! Very sleek and efficient from what I can tell. Every stat node leads to important major nodes. That long stand of +10 intelligence leads to Deep Thoughts and Hex Master and it seems very well thought-out.

I've been trying out this build on my new HC Witch and I was struggling a bit in the early levels (I mainly play solo and I lag like crazy in groups) but now it's starting to pick up and I enjoy playing my new witch. I can't wait until my summoners get strong. :)

If only I can get my hands on Bones of Ullr... I can't seem to find anyone who sells it and when they do they offer exorbitant prices upwards of 1-2 exalted.

Thanks for reading! 1-2 exalted seems crazy for BoU! I got mine for 2-3 Chaos, though they are only 10% MS. I would not purchase them for that much.
HC Necro-Witch Guide: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/188249
My Shop: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/187238
I have a few questions:

1. What stats are you looking for on your gear? What stats are important that will affect the summons?
2. How do you solve the low armor problem? I'd imagine that relying on Granite Flask for armor is a gamble.
[Tempest] Level 42 Tornado Shot Ranger
"
I have a few questions:

1. What stats are you looking for on your gear? What stats are important that will affect the summons?
2. How do you solve the low armor problem? I'd imagine that relying on Granite Flask for armor is a gamble.

Good questions.

As far as stats on gear that affect summons, there aren't many. +2 to minion gems in helmets comes to mind. Other than that it comes down to having enough mana to run a large amount of auras. Auras and curses are your main forms of minion support.

For stats I look at on gear: life, resists, dexterity. One strength of this build is that you can really focus on defensive gear, even in a weapon. If you find a sword or wand (after transitioning into summons) with triple resists, you're golden. In terms of other stats to look for, cast speed, +mana, and mana regen are useful and convenient, but not really needed on gear. Elderitch Battery + Inner Force takes care of mana issues and as far as cast speed, curses will already be coming out fast from talents in the tree and skeleton totem + faster casting ensures your totem casting will be smooth as well.

I'm currently trying to find more chaos resist.

The armor issue: One downside of this build is inevitably low armor. With the need for blue sockets, armor gear is out of the question (although hybrid is not). Determination also isn't useful as it is manipulates the amount of armor you already have. To fix this I chain granites when enemies are nearby (not at all hard when you have the perpetual mod). I also keep Enduring Cry on my skill bar for dangerous areas. Unlike other specs that deal damage, Endurance Charges aren't really a hassle to keep up since your minions are doing all the work anyways. However the biggest line of defense is your minions. Ideally your zombies will be there to intercept that random pack of rhoas before they even reach you.

Hope that helps.
HC Necro-Witch Guide: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/188249
My Shop: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/187238
Solid build.
Hm, have you ever tested using Arc to shock enemies (with Static Blow node)?
I heard it works, but also that it doesn't. What is your opinion, please?
"
Solid build.
Hm, have you ever tested using Arc to shock enemies (with Static Blow node)?
I heard it works, but also that it doesn't. What is your opinion, please?

Yeah a lot of people like to go Arc + Ele Proliferation, grabbing the static blows passives. I don't for a couple reasons:

1) I don't think it's worth it, I would rather focus on double cursing everything on screen and managing my totem. If you're using correct Spectres (Burning Miscreations are my personal favorite and I think the most efficient) then things are dying fast enough anyways. I can see the appeal for single target DPS situations though. Overall I think it's mostly superfluous.

2) In an ideal late game situation where I have max sockets on my gear I actually won't have any room for an arc link.

This is what I'm picturing with ideal gear:

6 link - 5 auras, 1 Reduced Mana
4 link - zombies
4 link - spectres
4 link - 3 curses, Enduring Cry
3 link - skeleton totem
3 link - 2 auras, 1 Reduced Mana

I may or may not get rid of Enduring Cry in the future and put my skeleton totem in a four link. But you can see my dilemma.

I hope that answers your question!
HC Necro-Witch Guide: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/188249
My Shop: http://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/187238
Last edited by SpencerRelly on Feb 26, 2013, 10:13:38 PM
is fireball good to use?

im using it as a dps filler between summoning my skele's and zombies.... currently 24 tho.

what level/part of the game would b suggested to stop using it?

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info