3.6 Caustic Ground Zombie Sacrificer

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EDIT for 3.7: GLOVES OF FARTING LOOK LIKE THEY MIGHT MAKE THIS FUN TO PLAY. 'Aukuna's will' - Increased zombie max life %, and most importantly, 'RAISE ZOMBIES DOES NOT REQUIRE A CORPSE'. This will fundamentally alter the viability of this build as it will make zombie spam significantly faster and less clunky, also easily repeatable.

Also, 'Your raised zombies count as corpses' will be interesting, as you'll potentially be able to ditch desecrate entirely, using your zombies to proc offerings. Bosses hate this one simple trick...

I'll probably not be starting with this build in the 3.7 league, but will definitely try it out after my starter and update this page then. Hopefully these gloves aren't too hard to get!

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This is an awkward build. You might make it work better than I have so far, but I wanted to make an entry on here for posterity, so that there's a basis for others to work on. I'm very open to suggestions!

Also, I've not posted a build on here before so sorry if formatting is bad, I'll improve it over time. Update with POB link to be expected shortly.

Caustic Ground Zombie Sacrificer (Fart Zombies).


A build based around the 'Your Raised Zombies spread Caustic Ground on Death, dealing 50% of their maximum Life as Chaos Damage per second' ability from the Witch Necromancer ascendency node 'Flesh Binder'. We summon zombies until one of them dies, in it's death throes it craps itself all over any nearby monsters, killing them very rapidly. Not a pretty sight.

Pros:

High damage
Cheap gear (With options to spend more to get more out of it)
You'll be a fairly special snowflake

Cons:

Clunky



Have successfully cleared T15 maps with relative ease. Normal Atziri was laughably easy. I generally don't bother with anything other than guardians but if I get round to it I'll update.

POB
Spoiler
To be added


Gem Links
Spoiler

Chest:
Raise Zombie - Minion Life - Minion Damage - Conc Effect/increased AOE (swap for bossing/clearing)- Unleash - Void manipulation

Gloves:
Unearth - GMP - Faster Casting - Flame Dash

Helm:
Generosity - Malediction - [Blasphemy] - Despair - Enlighten

Boots:
CWDT - Immortal call - increased duration - convocation

Weapon 1:
Cast while Channelling - Wither - Vaal summon skeletons

Weapon 2:
Minion life, Raise Spectre, Lightning Golem

Rings:
Clarity, Desecrate


Gear
Spoiler

Essential:
Mon'Tregul, a Stygian Vise

Advised:
Heretics Veil, Bloodbond, two unset rings, a sceptre with %minion damage, gloves with minion damage.

Jewels with a mixture of life, minion damage, cast speed and minion life, as you require.

Optional:
Heretics veil here as well, as I'm still experimenting.
Violent dead jewel(s). I'm undecided on whether it's better to just get more ghastly jewels and rely on smooth caustic ground application, or stay with one or two of these as they mean your zombies have utility beyond just dying.


How to play
Spoiler

Run up to a pack/boss, cast unearth, cast raise zombie. Pack/boss dies.

On bosses you can boost your damage by casting a bunch of unearth/desecrate and using blood offering then casting a load of zombies (lots of caustic ground), then holding wither on them. Vaal summon skeletons if it's up just because.

Spectres you have two bubble type ones, because ranged attacks are scary. Have desecrate in a +levels ring and get it as high as you can. They won't die much.

Lightning golem for cast speed

CWDT convocation, as you only really need it to get your bubbles back on top of you.

Despair and Malediction I currently have in my heretics veil with an enlighten. Considering swapping out despair for enfeeble or temp chains or getting rid of heretics veil and doing it another way altogether! See what works for you.

Explanation (warning! Wall of text!)
Spoiler

Damage for this build is easy to come by. Get minion life and minion damage and you get it in spades. Mon'tregul gives us a massive boost in this regard and is essential to actually have the build function. It's also common and very cheap, so yay!

So the main problem we have is that you can't just instantly get caustic ground. A zombie has to die or be resummoned. We have 5 zombies minimum (base gem + the ascendancy to give you caustic ground), but realistically you'll end up with 7 zombies total so you can have two spectres (we need two projectile bubble spectres, trust me) and spec through the tree efficiently enough for the nodes you need. We want as few zombies as is possible so that we get caustic ground as fast as possible, as you'll only get it once a zombie disappears. We have options here:

- run into a pack, cast desecrate or unearth, cast convocation and resummon as many zombies as possible. Congratulations you died in the 5 years or so it takes to do this.

- cast desecrate/unearth on a pack and hold down CWC+Wither on them until enough zombies lurch into life to kill an existing one that is near enough to the pack to get caustic ground on enough of the pack to kill them.

- (my preferred method) cast desecrate/unearth on a pack and cast your unleash-supported zombies on it. Repeat as necessary to finish off the pack (since the zombies all there at that point, you can keep casting zombies on the corpses and you'll clear up.)

I prefer the last method because I don't like dying and the CWC+Wither combo takes a really long time to get any damage happening. CWC+Wither is friendlier to having more zombies and costs basically no mana, but is less efficient for map clearing. It also costs two links instead of one (although you get a damage boost from it).

For the last method to work, you have to have exactly 3 zombies able to be alive at any one time. This is because unleash lets you cast zombie 4 times (once then 3 repeats). This means you cast desecrate/unearth and you raise 4 zombies instantly, which kills the first one raised in the middle of the pack, so you get the caustic ground straight away. No convocation needed, only one link 'wasted'. This means 7 zombies from gem+tree, then we use Mon'tregul to halve that (and get a stupid tasty damage boost), which rounds down to 3.

Now we've got a way of having caustic ground appear where and when we want it, the next challenge is getting it to happen smoothly. The cast time for raise zombie is slow. Desecrate is also a bit slow. Since casting twice (two separate skills at that!) to kill a pack isn't great, we need cast speed. Unearth gets cast speed with quality and casts faster than desecrate anyway. Unearth + GMP + faster cast is functional. Still not great, but it's the best I've found so far. Don't use spell echo, because it locks you in place for too long.

The rest of this is a balancing act on your tree+gear. The faster we cast, the better it feels and the longer we live. Unfortunately, the only thing we can really spare on the tree is damage (we need all the survivability we can get). So you sacrifice boss killing for clear speed. Up to you. Jewels help with this, because you can get some nice combos of damage, life and cast speed on a ghastly jewel.

We also need a lot of mana as we need to get just under 200 unreserved mana and enough regen to keep it up. Luckily the nodes we can use also give us life regen and/or life and/or Energy shield equivalents.



Last edited by jokerrf on May 21, 2019, 5:57:19 PM
Last bumped on May 5, 2019, 2:47:23 PM
Sounds interesting!

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