[3.5] Ghoulish Overkill! Zombie+Skeleton Baron build

Ghoulish Overkill
Baron-based necromancer, running Zombies and Skeletons. Stacks strength, (goal is 1200+ in current iteration, though 1800 is entirely possible) as well as life (expect above 5K life total before maps).


[li] Durable -- I'd go so far as to say it's hardcore viable.
• So many minions! These act as both an informal taunt on your enemies (enemies tend to attack closer targets first) as well as a barrel of fun to watch
• TONS of damage. Perhaps the only build I've ever used to clear yellow/red maps with a 4-L.
• Pretty fast clear speed. It's no Windripper, but you do get the opportunity to kill bosses for higher map continuity.
• Can clear any content. Guardians, Shaper, and Uber Atziri are the only bosses that you may have issues with, and even then, only if you don't know mechanics. Elder is a faceroll joke.
• Affordable -- The afore mentioned T8 map was done with less than 10c worth of gear (in Incursion Softcore. Your mileage may vary, but I sincerely doubt it), and 8 levels below the monsters in the zone, and without having completed Uber Lab.
• Map mods are relatively easy. Only cares about "cannot regen" and reflect maps, and both can be overcome -- more on that later in the guide.

• Not conducive for SSF play styles. There are two uniques that, if you don't have them, the build doesn't function.
• Zombies can be pretty slow at first, and aren't your primary link for leveling, even if you have them around, as I did.
• You'll likely spend many chromes, as minion gems are largely blue, while most of your gear will be strength-based.
• Requires a solid handle on multiple different mechanics, as well as some minor mathematics.

POB links

https://pastebin.com/X8FSrE12 Note: This link is wearing what I'd call "the minimum viable products" for equipment, (I also left out an aura I expect to be including in the build, but haven't tested) and is still adding up to ~2M dps on a standard boss. Post a reply down below if you'd like to see me add a Gucci GG geared PoB link.


If you are going to ask "why not use Mon'tre'gul's Grasp and/or Geofri's Sanctuary??"
Just use this guide here
Clooney_is_best_Batman wrote a great guide that is more worth your time than trying to modify my build into his.

Mandatory for build. Gives you a large amount of zombies, gives you life leech as a summoner, and gives your minions half your strength.

Victario's Charity. Mandatory for build. Gives minions power and frenzy charges. Roughly doubles your damage.

Mandatory for build, x2. Both of them combined, along with Multistrike, and your ascendancy passives, makes zombies never miss, and only slam.

Fairly mandatory. I run 3.

Also fairly mandatory. I run 2.

Great boots for pure Strength. Alternative if you'd like a third Spectre:

Put it on as soon as you can wear it, swap it out at a later level, when you have nice rings.

Rare scepter (NOT wand. Wand = no fortify.) with the Citaquolotl's minion damage prefix, Strength, Mana if you can, and any resistances you need.
^this is double-legacy. Ignore unless in standard. Use this instead:

Near-mandatory. I made it to yellow maps without it, though. If short on cash, you can drop this.

Gives a TON of mana (this cannot be overstated). If you're running the MoM variant, you need to use these.

The leveling gloves for the build, and they stay relevant and hard to take off for a very long time. The flat strength and the life regen are hard to turn down.

Yet another good pair of gloves for the build. They give rampage, which gives your minions added damage and movement speed, as well as movement speed to you. They also give flat strength, hopefully letting you stay above your 1200 mark, and they give a good chunk of flat life. If you're running the non-MoM variant, use these when you can stay above 1200 strength with them on.

Your leveling belt. Fantastic for you. Replace it with a Stygian Vise with good life, resistances, and strength when you can. Those jewels can have some really fun stuff on them for you.
In any slots that you don't have a unique listed, grab a rare (though Tabula Rasa is still a fantastic leveling chestpiece). Your stat priority to obtain is: Resistances you need> Strength> Life> Mana> everything else.
If minions are particularly slow in maps, you can use Screaming Essence of Fear to craft rings. I suggest two-stone rings or coral rings.
Last edited by Orangeuglad on Dec 7, 2018, 4:31:22 PM
Last bumped on Nov 9, 2019, 9:11:08 PM

^Leveling pathing suggestions.

Put on all uniques from the build that you can afford, at the levels you can afford them.
There's not a whole lot else to it. Kill things, loot them, sell stuff, buy the uniques you need, and rush to maps or Uber lab.
Last edited by Orangeuglad on Dec 7, 2018, 12:37:47 PM
Video link below! Stay tuned!


This is a Tier 13 rare+corrupted Arsenal map (proven by the popup telling me that I completed it on my atlas). If you watch closely, you'll notice that not a single zombie dies the entire run through, with me rarely, if ever, using enfeeble totem or spirit offering to keep them alive.
IMHO, pretty decent clearspeed of a little over 5 mins, even with the lag in the first minute or two.
Last edited by Orangeuglad on Sep 4, 2018, 11:54:34 PM
Here's what I recommend. Feel free to change things around as you find worthwhile.
Zombie - Keep it in Baron until you can get it 5 or 6-linked. +2 levels is really nice.
Multistrike > Minion Damage > Melee Phys > (5th) Concentrated Effect > (6th) Ruthless
Alternate options:
Level 4 Empower gives similar damage to Ruthless, but also gives minion life.
Brutality works, if your minions are not gaining elemental damage from an ally with Hatred, or other sources.
Incresed Critical Damage also works quite well, once you've gotten your zombies to exclusively slam -- especially if you're finding that conc effect is slowing your clear speed.
Vaal Summon Skeletons
Maim > Minion Damage> Melee Physical Damage
Alternate options:
Blind support is a great defensive option, as your skeletons aren't exactly the bulk of your damage.
Culling Strikes Support also works quite well, if trying to skimp on mana costs while maintaining some damage/clear speed increases.
Shield Charge + Faster Attacks + Fortify. I consider it mandatory. Move flasks will get you by, but fortify is huge.
Stone Golem for life regen. No links necessary. (optional: Toss it into a redblade band ring to give it taunt and some levels. I like this a lot.)

Clarity(level it, it's fine) + Purity of Elements + War Banner -- all of these give minions more damage thanks to Necro ascendancy. They're also super useful for you, and Elements gives your minions near-immortality. War banner allows your zombies to have incredible accuracy at low levels, and keep that same great accuracy if you ever get your attack speed high enough that they're out-punching their slam cooldown. It's also 10% more damage for 10% mana. Don't bother keeping it on your bar though, you'll never get the ranks for it.
Increased Duration Support and Increased Area of Effect both affect both types of Spectres you should be summoning (1 Enfeeble Cursbot from Act 1 Prison: you'll need to go to the second level, but not to the Warden's Chamber-- it's called a Diabolist. And 1/2 Proximity Shield spectres: You'll have to go to Act 3's Upper Sceptre of God -- They're called Undying Evangelists)

Optional accents -- pick the ones you like until you have no more gem slots, or slots on your bar.


Your options here are Flesh or Spirit.
Spirit Offering gives minions extra chaos damage, as well as a ton of survivability. Useful for tippy-top red-tier maps. -- Do not take this with Brutality in your zombie links.
Flesh Offering gives minions extra damage and attack speed. (NOTE: IF ZOMBIES GET TOO MUCH ATTACK SPEED, THEY CAN START MISSING AND DOING LESS AOE SLAMS -- Unless you're running War Banner, then do as you please.)

I know, you're a minion build, who has time to hit something yourself, right? But this skill gives you what's effectively a free Wrath aura to your minions, at the cost of hitting something with it every few seconds. If you can spare the slot, link it to increased duration. Note: If you have Brutality support linked to your minions, this would do absolutely nothing for your damage.

Curse Totem: Spell totem + enfeeble (or your choice of curse, but tbh, I don't find damage is an issue with this build.) -- You can go with Increased AoE or Spell Cascade instead of spell totem, and cast it yourself, but I find that the duration of the totem as well as the effective area capabilities of the totem is far more worthwhile.

Convocation: You can either hard-cast this, or use it in a CWDT link.

CWDT link: Immortal call isn't a bad option, Convocation works here, phase run CAN work, but I find it's not worth the link. It falls off of me too often with the amount of skills I cast. Golem can work here as well, but I wouldn't, unless you're running CWDT level 20.

Other Auras: Keep in mind, if you reserve enough mana that you don't have at least 30% of your life as unreserved mana, that it's better to take MoM and any mana points off your tree, and put them into life/strength.
Vaal Haste
Dread banner will give %chance to Impale, and will gain charges as you shield charge things.
I don't know which banner is better damage at the moment, but recommend War banner, due to the reduced accuracy it gives enemies, as well as the %phys damage taken modifier. Awaiting PoB update to crunch damage numbers.

Got more ideas? Post them in the forum below and maybe I'll post them here if I like them!
Last edited by Orangeuglad on Dec 16, 2018, 7:24:57 PM
Problem Solving

Phys Reflect: Two options. First, put phys to lightning and endurance charge on melee stun in the zombie links. This increases their capability to take phys damage, but you'll definitely be resummoning them at some point. Option two, just swap skeletons into the six-link, and use them as your primary clear.

*insert meanie boss here* is killing my zombies: Skeletons as your six link is an option here. Alternatively, Minion life and Empower as supports on Zombies. This'll basically double your zombies' life. You can also use Mon'Tregul's Grasp for this one select purpose, as it adds like 5K life to them. But I really, REALLY would use this as a last option. It is, in every other respect, mathematically inferior to basically every other minion weapon (counting only one-handed weapons here. If you run a 2-handed weapon, you're not running my build, as the shield is critically important.)

But zombies are slooooow: Mine sure aren't. Make sure you quality your zombies ASAP. It's 20% movespeed (which, if you're following the guide will make them faster than your normal walking speed by itself -- we can go faster though)
You can get up to another whopping 60% from wearing rings crafted with Esseces of Fear. Too pricey? No problem. We can do better.
Rampage is HUGE. Allows you to clear by popping a phasing flask and just... walking. Increasing yours, and your zombies' movement speed as you kill. Not good enough? Well, there is ONE other option I can recommend.
Minion Speed. "But you said don't do that, as it'll probably make zombies be able to miss!" I hear you saying. And you're right. If you have absolutely ANY sources of attack speed for your zombies outside of multistrike and minion speed, you're liable to start missing. This includes the attack speed nodes on the tree, Haste, and picking up Puppet Master as an ascendancy point. If you're doing ANY of these things, you lose out on either massive amounts of minion damage and reliability, or minion speed. I REALLY did have your best interests in mind when telling you those things are non-optimal.
Last edited by Orangeuglad on Jun 26, 2018, 2:28:30 AM

Seriously though, love this build, it has carried me through Uber Elder and Shaper with relative ease. The dps is fantastic and I haven't had this much life as a necro before.

The interaction between the 2 Violent Dead, Flesh Binder and Multistrike is awesome. My zombies are only slamming and that seems to never miss now. I also can't believe how little this cost me to put together in league right now.

Update with current stats.
Current stats
Here is my current path of building link.

My current stats are
Capped Res
6k life
16x Zombies doing 142k dps AoE slams that cannot miss. (Shaper dps)
12x Skeletons doing 121k dps each, cannot miss. (Shaper dps)
600 life regen. (will gain another 150 with helmet enchant.)
Roughly 3.7 million Shaper dps, before Vaal Summon Skeletons (another 2.5 million dps+.)

Level 100 Goal Stats
Here is the level 100

The ideal passives with my current gear, before attempting to essence craft rings.
Capped Res
7.4k life
16x Zombies doing 192k dps AoE slams that cannot miss. (Shaper dps)
12x Skeletons doing 151k dps each, cannot miss. (Shaper dps)
960 life regen.
Roughly 4.9 million Shaper dps, before Vaal Summon Skeletons (another 3.6 million dps+.)
Last edited by TokeMcBong on Jun 20, 2018, 4:31:55 AM
Why Bone Sculptor?
I largely find that having damage that I can selectively place is far more valuable than increasing spectre life (I don't use them) or having my offering affect myself (I do no damage, and if I'm dying, it's not slowly) or having my minions attack faster (it's less useful for this build than it looks, as if they attack too much faster, they're capable of missing -- also throwing down 12 skeletons at 100K dps each within a 2 second span is much, much bigger of a damage spike than 30% increased minion damage.)
But this is a pretty flexible build. The zombies will carry pretty hard. Try it out different ways. See how you like it.
Last edited by Orangeuglad on Jun 16, 2018, 2:40:17 AM
Thank you
First time I've ever replied to a build thread, this looks incredible. Will likely give it a go soon.

I hope you did enough snow to make the Macho man proud while writing this build.

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