[3.3] Pure Skeleton Warriors Summoner, 1.9M Shaper DPS (Videos Inside)
Changes for 3.3
Swap Summon Skeletons for Vaal Summon Skeletons.
Ranking The Build:
Clear Speed: 6
Single Target: 9
Ease of play: 8
Fun Factor: 8
This is a Skeleton only build, I wanted to see what they're like in maps and endgame bossing.
They're not as good as Specters or Flame Golems for clear, because their AI is still pretty dumb.
But they're a lot stronger for bossing.
Shaper & Friends:
Elder & Friends:
Full Map Clear:
T15 Sunken City:
T14 Double Beyond Dark Forest:
Path of Building
Whatever the hell you want, I like Solaris + Garukhan
Gear & Gems
Check the Path of Building link for the recommended Tree & Gear
My Gear & Tree
You can also check my profile for any changes: https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Catharsis/characters
It's slightly different than the recommended one because I have lots of Dex on gear and enough life to sacrifice a Ring.
The heart of the build, I wouldn't replace it for anything in a skeleton build.
The second heart of the build, huge survivability boost.
Big damage boost and a higher chance for your minions to chill/freeze.
Extremely important jewel to be able to summon skeletons quickly without running out of Mana.
A few of these will give a big damage boost.
Blind on hit halves monsters chance to hit, with one of these jewels it has 100% uptime on bosses.
Taunt on hit means less targeting and less damage on you.
Try to get the last 2 jewels with a "Minion damage if you used a minion skill recently" mod, and preferrably life, although all 3 mods can get expensive. Note that only one of each of the abyss jewels is needed.
Keeping Animate Guardian alive
Nothing complicated here, you really only need to worry about this in a few specific fights, like Acid Lakes boss, Uber Trio, Minotaur and a couple of others.
Just make sure he's attached to a minion life gem, sufficiently leveled and has all his regen gear (another reason to use femurs), A +2 helmet is nice to have, but not nessecery.
If you notice him dropping below 50% HP at any point, unsocket the gem and resummon him when safe.
Low Budget Options
This build can be done as a league starter with zero Budget.
The only thing you need to get started is a 4-Link Femurs Staff, which costs 1 Chaos, and a From Dust jewel and work your way up from there.
Use a Bloodbond chest until you can afford a Kaom's
Skeletons Gem Priority
Summon Skeleton > Melee Splash > Minion Damage > Multistrike > Minion Speed > Maim
Swap Splash for Melee Physical Damage on high HP Bosses.
Keeping Skeletons Alive
-Bone Offering all the time, forget about flesh.
-Max out their resists with 16% resist tree node and Commander of Darkness Ascendancy.
-Use the staff for +2 levels.
-Leech node and minion regen are somewhat helpful too.
tl;dr SRS + Zombies until you get Bone Sculptor from Cruel Labyrinth, from that point you can drop everything else, switch to Skeleton Warriors and watch everything melt.
Use only single curse Temporal Chains until red maps, more damage isn't needed before then.
Invoker > Bone Sculptor > Commander of Darkness > Mistress of Sacrifice
Useful Leveling Items
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Violent_Dead For zombies to do damage.
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Mark_of_the_Red_Covenant For beefy SRS.
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Bloodbond For Minion Survival and a nice HP boost.
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Redblade_Band For a fat golem that taunts things.
https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Matua_Tupuna For an early +2 minions item.
Any +2 Minion Helm for a +2 4-Link until you can equip Femurs.
Questions & Answers
Femurs vs 1H + Shield
I would only consider a 1H + Shield setup on an ES based build.
-More skeleton HP
-Ability to wear Kaom's Heart, which pairs well with the high life regen from the tree.
-Skeleton survivability boost (+2 levels)
-Golem and Guardian survivability boost
Scourge + Victario's Charity
-Shield Charge mobility
-Would need a significant and inefficient tree rework to grab Necromantic Aegis, and skeletons don't get maximum benefit from the charges because you'll constantly resummon them.
You won't have enough mana to repeatedly cast Summon Skeletons, therefore https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/From_Dust Jewel is critical to be able to run this build on very little available Mana/Regen.
Don't level clarity at all, it's only there for +20% resistance bonus in combination with Commander of Darkness.
Are they worth using? In my experience no, Here's a couple of reasons:
-Their high Mana cost doesn't jive with the high Mana reservation and low Mana regen of this build, meaning if they die during combat it requires turning off an aura and slowly waiting for the mana to regen for each zombie.
-They can do more harm than good in Multi-Proj/Chain maps since they tend to conjugate around you, meanning a quick for them and possibly you.
-Their Damage and Survivability drops drastically in high end content.
I personally don't think they're needed, but they can help with clear since skeletons aren't the fastest clearing minions in the world with their dumb AI.
However sockets are scarce, so a is probably your best bet, you will likely have to buy level 19 gems and level them to 20 yourself since nobody uses or sells these.
Note that mine is set up for Vanguards, not clear specters.
Mind over Matter
Is it worth using? I say No.
Pros: Gain 1-1.5k eHP
Gain a few Gem slots.
Can spam skeletons and drop From Dust jewel, gaining +1 jewel slot
Cons: Lose Blasphemy Temp Chains.
Lose generosity on Hatred (Essence Worm).
Lose a flask slot to a mana flask.
Harder to cap Resists.
League Starter / Low Budget
The recommended gear isn't cheap, but it's also not that expensive compared to the power it gives.
This build was my league starter, and it's possible to make it work from scratch, Skeletons are very powerful with only a 4-Link femur, use BloodBond chest until you can afford a Kaom's Heart
Fine to use in yellow maps/easy red maps, beyond that your skeletons will die too quicky without bone offering, which is also a great survival boost for you.
You can, if you plan on running easy maps, I would never swap it for high damage red maps or endgame bosses.
They would need a significant HP boost (double), which is achievable through +1 gems +2 minion gems staff and a level 4 empower, then the fight is quite easy, I wouldn't attempt it with less than 8,000 HP Skeletons.
Low DPS in PoB?
-Remember to enable curses and auras
-Check gem levels
-Attack speed bonus per skeleton from Femurs doesn't count, you can add it manually
-Having 9-10% AS rolls on to dusts adds up
-Remember to swap gem from Splash to Melee Physical for single target DPS
Last edited by Catharsis on Sep 5, 2018, 5:33:26 PM
Last bumped on Jul 28, 2019, 3:09:36 PM
on Mar 13, 2018, 4:48:18 PM
Thanks for the guide. Going to give it a try mainly because I have all gear already.
on Mar 13, 2018, 7:47:13 PM
Great build, it's what I started this league with, has been fun so far !
on Mar 13, 2018, 8:10:52 PM
Interested about more details :)
Please add bandits in FAQ when you can.
I tried playing a version of this build with Queen's escape, it is amazing but hard to reach late game maps because of the lack of suitability.
on Mar 13, 2018, 9:56:36 PM
If you don't use the Kaom's heart could you drop the staff for the scourge? I was thinking of using spectres in a elder bone helmet and using vis mortis. Thanks
on Mar 14, 2018, 2:37:07 AM
You can, but then your life pool won't be sufficient for late-game imo.
The staff is also important for the +2 to keep skeletons alive.
on Mar 14, 2018, 3:44:41 AM
Good point. Thank you for the reply.
on Mar 14, 2018, 4:43:08 AM
thanks for the post, and i wanna ask what should i use for my animated guardians? or i just missed?
on Mar 14, 2018, 9:34:17 AM
I'll add it to main post.
The items for Animated Guardian are: Dying Breath, Leer Cast, Ambu's Charge, Victario's Flight, Southbound
Last edited by Catharsis on Mar 18, 2018, 4:57:55 AM
on Mar 14, 2018, 10:17:37 AM
nice build. I am trying to figure out how are you effectively proc-ing EE? Is it just by using ball lighting? Seems clunky no?
on Mar 14, 2018, 3:58:43 PM