Stress-Free PoE! ANIMATED POISON (AW): No Required Items! 1-Button Play! SSF League Start-End! 3.12

Hey Maggots! WELCOME to my SLOW-MO WEAPONS guide :)!

SHUT UP Wrecker! I JUST WANT TO PLAY! (3.12's guide in one picture)
Ok! Yikes...you could have at least said "please" or something...

This is my Green Minion Gem guide. This Animate Weapon build is a life-based Occultist. Our minion damage is focused 100% on poison damage. We also have a major investment into curse efficiency as we'll be using three curses "auras" that are huge for both offence and defence. (Obviously, Temporal Chains is in there as it's my favourite skill.) There are a few optional ways to play this build depending on your playstyle (a pure one-button build or a higher damage two-button build). Every other aspect of this build is automatic! You'll clear the Atlas with a yawn and smile. It's easy 1 (or 2) button fun! Here's 3.12's Gameplay Example Video.

My builds don't require any specific/fancy items or mods to play so you can just pick up and play like a good old fashion "dungeon crawler" (SSF). Pure RNG fun :).

For those with similar limitations to mine, I can play this build on both PC and Console.

(Thanks Tagz for always being willing to figure out the Wiki with me.)

Why My Builds Are the Way They Are
All of my builds revolve around my medical situation and my love of old school dungeon crawling (which in PoE Land we call Solo Self Found). So if you're curious about why I design my builds the way I do (the limitations I revolve around), I explain it all in my One Stop Shop. (I have multiple guides. So some information is easier to explain in one location rather than many.)
A Quick Note Players new to Path of Exile
Welcome! PoE is a really in-depth game. Its million different mechanics work together is so many countless combinations that there really are endless ways to play this game. If you love theory crafting (coming up with different combos of skills and seeing if it'll work out), there is no other game that compares to this one.

For new people trying to learn Path of Exile, it's my opinion that the most efficient way to learn the game is by doing things for yourself; trying things out in-game, reading nodes/mods/skills, and making choices for yourself. I understand that some people look to guides for help progressing in the game, while others are simply looking for a neat idea to try out. It is the intent of all my guides to give people a relaxing way to play PoE (no matter their experience with the game) while also helping new people understand what's going on.

So, when it comes to my guides, it is my goal to help new players learn the game, but learn it in a way that you'll really grasp what's happening on your own. I give direction in my guides, but not many "step by step" directions. Nor do I tell you to do things in a certain order. I give lots of detail but it's to help explain and simplify the mechanics and concepts within the build and have you understand what's going on. My guides aren't intended to be the PoE wiki (but I provide many links to it, so don't worry).

My guides are massive because they completely revolve around helping new players understand what's going on. Just be prepared to discover the game and make some choices for yourself :).

I hope the guides help you have a relaxing PoE experience and also help you learn and love the game as well.

Happy slaying!

(I'll reference my One Stop Shop a few times in my guides. It has some Tips for New Players in there that you may find useful.)

Gem Links
PoE restricts which gems are available to each class until Act 3. Until then you can get some gems for free from quest rewards, purchase some from specific NPCs in each town, or find them as loot.

There are two NPC's that sell all purchasable gems: the first one is Siosa in the Library in Act 3 (you have to do his quest first (the Library is connected to The Imperial Gardens)), the second NPC is Lilly Roth in Act 6.

*If I have a level next to a gem, stop leveling that gem at that level. For example, Cast when Damage Taken (Level 2). Don’t level Cast when Damage Taken beyond gem level 2. Otherwise, fully level all gems.



5/6 Link - Animate Weapon and Poison (Main Skill) (Socket in your chest)
Animate Weapon
- Poison Support
- Lesser Poison Support
- Unbound Ailments Support
- Deadly Ailments Support
- Added Chaos Damage Support
Animate Weapon and Poison Explained
Alrighty! Animate Weapon is our main skill. As odd as it might seem, it's a minion skill. We'll eventually be able to have 14 weapons "dancing" by our side to attack enemies. These minions are created/raised by clicking the skill on either a normal item that you can see on the ground or a Lingering Blade that can be created by a couple of different skills. If you use a filter that shows normal items on the ground, the literal stats of the item will be used as that specific minion's base damage (before applying the tree and support gem bonuses). Animate Weapon innately gives a bit of bonus damage to minions "raised" by Lingering Blades as Lingering Blades have really low base damage. At the end of the day, the damage is pretty equal no matter which method you go with.

Now, as mentioned, these minions use the base stats of the weapon that was consumed to make them. These minions can only use melee weapons and only deal Melee Attack damage.

The primary damage of this build is poison damage. Both Poison Support and Lesser Poison Support's primary focus is to ensure the 100% chance to poison on hit, but their bonus damage is high enough that you'd likely have a hard time replacing them if you found a different way to give your minions poison chance.

Both Unbound Ailments Support and Deadly Ailments Support are HUGE damage bonuses. Yes, they improve the damage of poison directly, but their big boost is in the duration that poison lasts. Poison has a base duration of 2 seconds. We can apply as many poisons as we can within that duration; there is no cap to the number of poisons that can be applied to an enemy. So improving the duration of poison on an enemy helps in a variety of situations, primarily longer battles.

The Math:
So having 14 minions attacking very fast and often with an increased poison duration really adds up.

Here's an example of the radness:

Let's say we do 1000 poison damage per hit and the poison lasts 2 seconds. Now, let's say we can hit them 2x per second. That means we're applying 2 hits each second that also last 2 seconds. That's:

1000 damage x 2 (second poison duration) x 2 (hits per second)
=
4000 damage per second per weapon x 14 weapons
=
56'000 total damage.

Easy numbers for easy math. So the thing to keep in mind (though non of this is important) is that if our minions keep attacking the same enemy over and over, the duration of each poison overlaps. That's where the power of duration kicks in and where the numbers really shine. So even though you have 2 seconds of poison duration, you're applying multiple durations over and over and over...so the stacking is really powerful over time in longer battles.

So let's say we have...oh I don't know...without any items equipped, 3159 poison damage per hit. And maybe a 4.32 poison duration. If our hits per second are 3.24...that puts us at:

3159 damage per hit x 4.32 seconds x 14 applications per duration (3.24*4.32)
=
191'056.32 damage per Lingering Blade minion. (That may or may not be with the added bonus from the gem to Lingering Blades. I can't tell.)

191'056.32 x 14 minions
=
2'674'788.48 total damage without any items.

My point? Poison rocks.

Oh right! Added Chaos Damage Support just adds/increases the poison damage each hit our minions give.

Chaos/Poison?
Poison in PoE is an AILMENT, not a damage type. Applying the poison ailment deals Chaos Damage as a Damage Over Time mechanic. So the Poison Ailment applies Chaos Damage Over Time. Some skills/builds can deal Chaos damage without it being a DOT. Chaos damage is everywhere in the game (like all other damage types). But the poison ailment strictly deals Chaos Damage over a duration (Damage Over Time). So there isn't actually anything called Poison Damage in PoE. If someone or something says, Poison damage, they just mean "applying the poison ailment to deal chaos damage over time" ;). We apply a poison ailment that deals chaos damage. Make sense? No? Feel free to ask.

4 Link - Golem and Bonuses (Socket in your Helmet)
Cast When Damage Taken
Summon Carrion Golem
Steelskin
Feeding Frenzy Support
Golem and Bonuses Explained
You can honestly use whichever golem you like. Whichever golem you choose, it'll be a great support. It's attached to CwDT so we never have to bother looking to see if it's dead or not. It also gives ALL OUR MINIONS the Feeding Frenzy buff which gives them increases to damage, movement speed, and attack speed. It also makes the linked minion Aggressive. (Aggressive just means they don't stay as close to you and are more eager to kill stuff.)

We want this in our helmet because later in the game, helmets can roll a mod that increases the gem level of socketed minion gems. It's not important. Just a minor perk.

Steelskin is self explanatory.

4 Link - Blasphemy Curses (Socket in you Gloves or Boots)
Blasphemy Support
Enfeeble
Temporal Chains
Despair
Blasphemy Curses Details
These three "auras" each reserve 35% mana. We won't be able to have all of them active at once. Not until you've reached a few nodes on the tree. The Sovereignty cluster reduces mana reservation enough that we can run all three 35% curses at once. Whispers of Doom and Malediction each increase our curse limit by one, to get a total of three (we are allowed one curse by default).
-Blasphemy Support - This support turns all linked Hexes into auras that reserve 35% mana each. It removes the ability to cast the Hex as a spell.
-Enfeeble - Our Hex that makes us harder to be hit by Attacks (not spells) and take less overall damage. Focusing specifically on the general damage mitigation of the skill, we'll be improving Enfeeble's base damage mitigation as much as possible.
-Temporal Chains - Our hex that literally slows enemies. With the curse (hex) improvements on the tree and with Temporal Chains at 20% quality, this skill will slow enemies substantially. One of my favourite parts about this defensive curse is that because we're doing poison damage, TC also makes effects on Cursed enemies expire 40% slower. So this increases our offence by increasing the duration of each poison hit on an enemy. It's also my favourite curse :).
-Despair - Our pure offense curse. This makes enemies take more chaos damage by decreasing enemies' chaos resist. This skill also increases the chaos damage enemies take from being poisoned ANNNNND even adds chaos damage to hits against cursed enemies. Defence wins championships. True. But offence kills stuff :).

4 Link - Offering (Socket in you Gloves or Boots)
Cast When Damage Taken (Level 2)
Desecrate (Level 8)
Spirit Offering (Level 8)
Purifying Flame (Level 12)
Offering Explained
CwDT automatically casts linked spells. Linked spells can't be self casted. (For this set of links it's optimal to have CwDT on one of the end links and Desecrate right after it. This will ensure that Desecrate casts before the offering skill. BUT it's not important at all. There are almost always corpses around. I don't reroll socket colours to get this.)

Desecrate guarantees Corpses for our Offering Skill.

Spirit Offering consumes corpses to provide our minions some nice defence but it also gives our minions extra chaos damage. So that's nice.

Purifying Flame puts Consecrated Ground on the ground which gives us and our allies 6% life regen. You can ignore this and you'll find that you're standing on Consecrated Ground quite often just by chance.

The CwDT gem is low-level because I prefer the linked spells to be cast more frequently at lesser values than less frequently at greater values. Purifying Flame's Consecrated Ground's AoE increases slightly at level 12 as well.

3 Link - Spectres (Socket in your Shield)
Raise Spectre
- Blood Magic Support
- Minion Life Support
Spectres Explained
Spectres are a beast of a subject. They can be as offensive/defensive/supportive as you like. Hundreds of enemies in the game can be summoned to help in the way that you wish. I like to use it as support which is why I have the support gems listed.

Blood Magic gives support spectres a huge mana pool to cast their skills as often as they can (without ignoring their skills' cooldowns). Minion Life kinda makes sense doesn't it ;). I just want them to live and be supportive.

Now, whether you choose to have these minions support you or your allies is up to you. Feel free to min/max this to your heart's content of course. Feel free to discuss within the community via this thread what support combos people come up with! There's isn't enough space in this guide to fully explain Spectres. The options are infinite. So I'll only be answering questions about Spectres regarding the suggestions that I make. But please please please feel free to discuss the infinite options at your disposal with everyone else.

Spectres don't have a duration (unlike Animate Weapon) and are amazing. There are so many options to consider. Too many. So I use this site here for help. It shows monster damage types, life pools, where to find them...it's great. If you care to find your own Spectres, remember to look for physical damage minions. Remember, you can mix and match, you don't have to have all of your spectres as the same type.

For Spectres, these are the three options I like to suggest (out of the hundreds):

- If you want your minions to be like all the other minions (and not feel left out) and just deal lots of sweet damage themselves, try Kitava Heralds. They are those awesome looking big winged demons you start seeing in the Cathedral Rooftops and Feeding Trough (in acts 5 and 10 respectively). They deal lots of physical damage.
- For those that want to keep themselves and keep their allies a little more safe, try the Undying Evangelists. They provide temporary Proximity Shields around themselves that protect themselves and allies within the shield of any projectiles. They can be found in the Sceptre of God and Upper Sceptre of God in Act 3 and The Grand Promenade in Act 8.
- If you want to buff your allies, the big monkey things found in the Riverways in both Acts 2 and 6. They're called Stygian Silverbacks. They have a Mass Frenzy skill that occasionally gives THEIR nearby allies frenzy charges!

One of my favourite thing about spectres is that we don't have to raise them every time we login :).

Now, feel free to replace these gems based on your choices.

IF THE PROSPECT OF SPECTRES MAKES YOU BONKERS don't worry. It doesn't have to be min/maxed. You can be very care-free with this and still have the build function perfectly. Pick one of the three suggested Spectres and then ignore it. Easy peasy. Or even put in Zombies with Minion Life and Meat Shield.

3 Link - Lingering Blades (Socket in your Weapon)
Arcanist Brand
Ethereal Knives or Bladefall
- Culling Strike Support
Lingering Blades Explained
So this set of links (and maybe your build depending on how you choose to play) is the cornerstone of the build. Well, that and the curses. This set of links provide you with Lingering Blades that you can use with Animate Weapon to bring up your minions. You can use either Ethereal Knives or Bladefall. They both do the same thing. One thing to consider is that, for fun, we have Culling Strike linked to that skill. So anytime your chosen skill hits an enemy with 10% or less health left, they instantly die. ANY enemy!

Arcanist Brand is a unique skill. Without repeating what the gem says, you have to cast this skill on an enemy. The skill repeatedly hits the enemy with the linked spells. So to get Lingering Blades with Arcanist Brand, enemies have to be around. Some people will likely prefer self casting the chosen Lingering blades skill. I'll get into button options/combos in the "Gameplay (How the Build Functions When It's All Setup)" section.

Remember that you won't be applying all three curses until you have unlocked the ability (from the tree and ascendancy) to have 3 total curses on an enemy. Use whichever ones you want until then.
Gear
This is my setup if you're interested. I play the same as the guide unless I'm testing something out.

USE ANYTHING YOU WANT! - I like having a shield and one-handed weapon instead of two one-handed weapons. It's just a preference; no right or wrong there.

If you’re new to PoE, check out my One Stop Shop. It gives lots of help and tips on gear, mods, currency, levelling, and endgame mapping. Some good to know stuff that you'd hate not knowing.

- Weapon - Anything you like.
- Shield - Anything you like.
- Head - Anything you like.
- Chest - Anything you like.
- Hands - Anything you like.
- Feet - Anything you like.
- Amulet - Anything you like.
- Ring - Anything you like.
- Ring - Anything you like.
- Belt - Anything you like.
- Jewel - Anything you like.
- Flasks - Anything you like. I simply use 3 health flasks (all modified to remove bleeding (even though Bone Armour does the that too) and 2 Quartz Flasks that removes Chill/Freeze.


***Now don't go being a Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins and think that because this build doesn't require anything specific that you can go and melt end game content with crap gear. Crap gear will clear crap content while amazing gear will clear amazing content. My build/guide style just allows you more freedom to get there...m'kay?

My Dream Mods
Here's an example of some of the mods and gear I'd eventually aim for. Since this is Path of Exile, there are obviously a million different combos of mods that would work for any build. So don't think that this is the best or only combo of mods to aim for. This is just my preference for "non-fancy" gear as an example of what I'd aim for Endgame. So these aren't influenced, Delve specific, Essence mods, or anything. Just easy crafting or normal rolls. So obviously you can maximize this even more. Also, these are unrealistic goals as all these mods are tier 1 rolls. (The # at the beginning of each mod is the item level that T1 mod starts rolling at. The # at the beginning of each item is the map level that base-type starts dropping at.) Anyway, here you go:

(72) Convoking Wand(s) (Only drops in the Lex Ejoris region):
Implicit: - Can roll Minion Modifiers
Prefix:
- (84) - Minions deal (75–79)% increased Damage
- (80) - Minions deal (35–39)% increased Damage/+(42–45) to maximum Mana
- (60) - +1 to Level of all Minion Skill Gems
Suffix:
- (83) - Minions have (23–25)% increased Attack Speed/Minions have (23–25)% increased Cast Speed
- (82) - Minions have (37–40)% increased maximum Life
- (40) - Minions have (26–30)% increased Movement Speed


(68) Archon Kite Shield:
Implicit: - +(30-40) to maximum Life
Prefix:
- (73) - +(100–109) to maximum Life
- (80) - +2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems
- (62) - +(43–95) to Armour/+(29–33) to maximum Life
Suffix:
- (84) - +(46–48)% to Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
- (81) - +(31–35)% to Chaos Resistance
- (81) - Regenerate (1–1.1)% of Life per second


(73) Bone Helmet (Only drops in the Lira Arthain region):
Implicit: - Minions deal (15-20)% increased Damage
Prefix:
- (64) - +(90–99) to maximum Life
- (86) - +3 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems
- (81) - +(36–40) to maximum Life/Regenerate 4 Mana per second
Suffix:
- (84) - +(46–48)% to Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
- (81) - +(31–35)% to Chaos Resistance
- (68) - Minions have (16–20)% increased maximum Life


Chest:
Prefix:
- (86) - +(120–129) to maximum Life
- (60) - (5–8)% increased maximum Life/(5–8)% increased maximum Mana
Suffix:
- (84) - +(46–48)% to Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
- (84) - +(46–48)% to Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
- (81) - +(31–35)% to Chaos Resistance


Gloves:
Prefix:
- (54) - +(80–89) to maximum Life
- (40) - Minions deal (10–20)% increased Damage
- (81) - +(36–40) to maximum Life/Regenerate 4 Mana per second
Suffix:
- (84) - +(46–48)% to Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
- (84) - +(46–48)% to Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
- (81) - +(31–35)% to Chaos Resistance


(70) Two-Toned Boots (Only drops is the Tirn's End and Lex Proxima regions):
Prefix:
- (54) - +(80–89) to maximum Life
- (81) - (18–20)% increased Movement Speed/Cannot be Chilled
- (46) - +(11–15) to maximum Energy Shield/+(24–28) to maximum Life
Suffix:
- (84) - +(46–48)% to Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
- (84) - +(46–48)% to Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
- (81) - +(31–35)% to Chaos Resistance


(74) Marble Amulet (Only drops in the Haewark Hamlet region):
Implicit: - Regenerate (1.2-1.6)% of Life per second
Prefix:
- (54) - +(80–89) to maximum Life
- (81) - +(36–40) to maximum Life/Regenerate 4 Mana per second
- Something cool :)
Suffix:
- (85) - +(33–35) to all Attributes
- (82) - +(51–55) to Dexterity
- (60) - Minions have (18–22)% increased Movement Speed


(80) Vermillion Rings (Only drops in the Lex Proxima and New Vastir regions):
Implicit: - (5-7)% increased maximum Life
Prefix:
- (44) - +(70–79) to maximum Life
- (81) - +(36–40) to maximum Life/Regenerate 4 Mana per second
- Something Cool :)
Suffix:
- (84) - +(46–48)% to Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
- (81) - +(31–35)% to Chaos Resistance
- (60) - Minions have (18–22)% increased Movement Speed


(1) Stygian Vise (Belt):
Implicit: - Has 1 Abyssal Socket
Prefix:
- (64) - +(90–99) to maximum Life
- (81) - +(36–40) to maximum Life/Regenerate 4 Mana per second
- Something Cool :)
Suffix:
- (84) - +(46–48)% to Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
- (84) - +(46–48)% to Fire/Cold/Lightning Resistance
- (81) - +(31–35)% to Chaos Resistance


Flasks:
(60) Divine Life Flask or (65) Eternal Life Flask:
Prefix:
- (2) - +(10–20) to Maximum Charges
Suffix:
- (8) - Immunity to Bleeding during Flask effect/Removes Bleeding on use
(27) Quartz Flask:
Implicit: Phasing/10% chance to Dodge Attack Hits/10% chance to Dodge Spell Hits
Prefix:
- (2) - +(10–20) to Maximum Charges
Suffix:
- (4) - Immunity to Freeze and Chill during Flask effect/Removes Freeze and Chill on use

Weapon Mods:
- Anything Minion
- Any other minor thing that helps (resists, attributes...). This isn't important. It's just a bonus.


Your goal on the rest of your gear is:
- Increases to Maximum life
- Increases to Resists
- Increases to Movement Speed (Typically on Boots)
- Anything Minion
- Ensuring you have high enough attributes for your skills.


***Remember that the only mods that help minion damage SPECIFICALLY SAY "minion" or "ally". Any other improvements to damage only affect you (and you don't do damage).***

Filters:
- I make my own filters AND YOU ARE REQUIRED TO LOVE THEM! Just kidding...but they are awesome. They will make looting a MUCH more relaxing experience. They only filter gear. So if you don't want to miss out on ANY currency these are perfect for you. One filter is guide specific (it only displays gear relevant to all my guides) and the other is a global filter for any build. Details for each tier of each filter are within the filters themselves. Both the "Guide Specific" and the "Everyone" filters are available on all platforms. If you click "Follow" next to the filter that you want, it'll automatically load to your filter list in-game when you login! And it automatically updates upon each login as well!
Passive Tree
Here's 3.12's Passive Tree:


- 3.12's Pastebin - https://pastebin.com/K5wxjNqf - This Pastebin will only work in the Community Fork version of PoB. (Copy the link, open Path of Building, click on “New”, then click “Import/Export Build”, click “Import from Pastebin…”, paste the link.)
- 3.12's Passive Tree on PoE's website.


Ascendancy
As you go through the game you'll come across Trials of Ascendancy. Starting in Act 3 you'll see their value. Once you have completed all 6 of the first set of trails, you'll get to attempt your first Labyrinth (lab). Good luck! Upon completion Choose Occultist. You get two ascendancy points per lab. There are four labs for a total of 8 points. (Redoing the same lab difficulty will not reward you with more ascendancy points if you've already completed it.)

You can spend your points in any order you like. My preference is as follows (defence first):
- 1st Two Points - Profane Bloom. Has a chance to explode enemies upon kill. The explosion this causes can instantly clear a screen. My Favourite part is that enemies cannot be Hexproof. Hexproof means curse proof. So even if a map mod says that enemies are Hexproof, they aren't for you :). Hex/curse away!
- 2nd Two Points - Malediction. This one is busy. Every enemy we curse deals 10% reduced damage and takes 10% increased damage, we gain access to our 3rd curse and we greatly increase the effectiveness of our curses. This is a huge node for us. (WE don't do any killing, our minions do. So the line where we "gain a % of our non-chaos damage as extra chaos damage" doesn't apply to this build.) Also, when enemies take increased damage, that's totally different (and much stronger) than increasing our own damage.
- 3rd Two Points - Void Beacon. It lowers the Chaos Resist of nearby enemies (basically that's enemies on the screen) and slows their life regen down as well, which is awesome on some huge life regen bosses (Metamorph).
- 4th Two Points - Withering Presence. This increases our Chaos Damage and our personal Chaos Resist, and applies Withered to enemies. All of that is amazing. That's a ton of damage AND chaos resist that isn't needed on gear. Now Wither is a "debuff" per se that Hinders enemies and makes them take extra Chaos Damage. Now this version of Wither is automatically applied to an enemy once a second and lasts for 15 seconds! Each stack of Wither (up to 15) increases the amount of Chaos damage enemies take! Also, the first time enemies come close to us, they are Hindered for a split second. This version of Hinder reduces enemy movement speed and also makes enemies deal reduced Damage Over Time. Crazy node. An awesome way to fully ascend.
Delirium Clusters
I have provided one jewel socket on the outside of the Passive Tree for the sake of Cluster Jewels. In SSF Land you don't know what's going to drop. So the tree is made so that you can clear the Atlas no matter the jewels that drop. You can, therefore, choose which nodes from the provided tree to cut based on what drops. If curse efficiency drops in a jewel, you can remove it from the main tree. If Minion Damage drops, then you can remove that from the tree...and so forth. If you're in a trade league, you'll likely know what you're looking for and should have a plan of what to cut from the provided tree as part of your plan while purchasing.
The skill tree is easy to understand:
You'll start as a Witch. We start as a witch because we want the Occultist Ascendancy (Subclass) and starting as a Witch is the only way to get there. We are going to be the Occultist for its amazing Chaos and Curse /Hex perks.


Levelling Path:
All the nodes on this tree are valuable to the build, but there are 2 nodes build requires. It's your choice which ones you aim for first. You can't go wrong with either choice. Seriously, it's even pros and cons on both sides. The two nodes are Whispers of Doom which gives us the ability to apply an extra curse/hex (it's a Notable in the northwest of the tree), and the mana reservation cluster that leads to the Sovereignty Notable (farthest west) which lets us have enough mana to run all three Blasphemies at once. Basically, pick a branch and you'll find it quite naturally balanced with both offence and defence. The tree takes you to level 91 which will be easily achieved with this build. If you make it past 91, pick any nodes you like! If you're the type of person the requires more than guidance, I hug the right on everything. Mapping, my passive trees, everything. So if you just "hug the right" you'll eventually get everything you need in a wonderfully balanced order.

Tree Focuses:
- Curses - This build focuses on curse efficiency which means we need the nodes that improve curse efficiency.
- Life - It does a body good.
- Mana Reservation - To run all three curses as "auras" we needed some help. I took the most efficient nodes with the least investment.
- Minion Offence - I've grabbed as many offensive minion nodes as possible.
- Jewels - Jewel slots are amazing. Jewels are items you can find that you can actually allocate on your tree. They can give almost anything from health, damage, resists...anything. We only have two jewel slots selected :(. I'd love to put more in, many other guides would. But I don't have the ability to remember what each of my builds needs if a decent jewel drops while I'm playing. And I don't have the ability to focus on 7 jewels per build are remember what I'm doing. So 2 are plenty enough for me.


You'll see mentions of Doom improvements around the nodes that lead to curse effectiveness. Doom is only applicable to self-cast curses, not to Blasphemies. So it's something you can ignore.

Don't forget about attributes. We’re short 18 Strength and 84 Dexterity on the tree (97 Dex on a 6-link). The Strength is easy to overcome, the Dexterity not so much. You'll pass some nodes on the tree that give +30 to Strength or Dexterity. If you don't have items to cover what you're short in, feel free to select some of these as you pass them. You'll get respec points that will let you remove them later once you have better gear. (Amulets are an easy way to gain attributes you're short in.)

Now, feel free to modify this is anyway. This is just my preference for easy Solo Self Found.

Take your time to look at each skill as they come along. Some of the nodes are pretty dramatic.

Some quests earn you respec points in case you regret any decisions you made on the tree. You can also use Orbs of Regret for the same thing.
Pantheon
Choose any you like as they come across. I personally like physical damage reduction but there are no make or break options here. Just personal preference.
Bandits
For the Bandits in Act 2, do what you like, but I kill them all for the extra two skill points.
Attributes
You'll get most of the attributes that you require to use your gems from the tree. You'll need a little bit of Strength and A LOT of Dexterity.

You'll Be Short:
Strength: 11
Dexterity: 77
Intelligence: 0


Needing 77 Dex is quite a lot but 11 Strength is nothing. Keep your eye out for gear with Dex. Amulets can roll lots of high attributes so keep your eyes peeled for some good Dex amulets. Feel free to take the +30 attribute nodes if you're struggling to find gear to help you level. You can always respec in small amounts later.

From the Tree You'll Get:
Strength: 144
Dexterity: 34
Intelligence: 312

Your Gems Need:
Strength: 155
Dexterity: 111 (111 with Ethereal Knives, 155 with Bladefall.)
Intelligence: 155

Gameplay (How the Build Functions When It's All Setup)
This build is really easy to play. Sooooo easy.

Quick Version: Animate your "weapon minions" when you aren't at the maximum amount and watch them clear! Everything else is automatic.

Slightly Detailed Version: This build's offence is 100% minions. We do no damage ourselves. Our defence for the most part is all curses.

Offence: Our minion skill requires Lingering Blades (or Normal melee weapons if you're using your own filter) to exist. Every time our "Lingering Blade skill" goes off it'll put a few Lingering Blades on the ground for us to click on which summons our animated weapons. We'll eventually have 14 of them running around. Remember that we have 14 main minions. So if we only have one enemy in front of us, they'll die quickly. If all 14 minions are attacking 14 different enemies, things will be a little slower. The pros and cons of having lots of minions.

The minions' offence is invested in globally. All minion nodes we have increase minion damage generically, no matter the type of damage they're doing. We've made their support gems revolve around poisoning enemies with Chaos Damage. So the rest of the build's offensive support revolves around the Chaos Damage Over Time that the Weapons deal.

Poison: has an infinite cap. So you can poison an enemy as much as you can and all the stacks of poison will stack/overlap until they expire. So increasing our minions' attack speed along with their damage really improves how much damage poisoned enemies take. Couple that with increasing the duration of each poison (with Animate Weapon's supports and Temporal Chains) and you have a nice high DPS.

The key is to keep you minions at their max count. As the build progresses from levelling to maps, and from maps to high-end T16s, the method of keeping your max weapon count will change. So once the build is set up, find your most comfortable button configuration based on your platform. I'll list the options below.


Defence: Our primary defence are the two defensive curses: Enfeeble and Temporal Chains (I love that TC helps out our offence). Any enemy with-in their "aura" is impacted by these auras. The ascendancy nodes are also huge impacts defensively. Though most of the ascendancy nodes are offensive, they help us defensively. The Hinder, slower life regen, and increase to curse/hex effectiveness are the big ones. Don't underestimate the power of the curses. If you're a curse doubter, I think you'll be wonderfully surprised.

Keep in mind, lots of little extra perks happen when we get hit. When you check the gem section, you'll see that getting hit has its benefits, both offensive and defensive, as it refreshes many of our support skills.


Button Options:
- The 1 button playstyle is linking Arcanist Brand and your Lingering Blades skill with Animate Weapon, both poison supports, and Unbound Ailments Support. This method allows you to cast only one time and that one cast will create the weapons you need to consume and animate them as well. It obviously comes at the cost of a damage reduction as we'd be losing to offensive supports.
There are two two-button options for you:
- 2 button version one: is what's listed above. Keeping your Lingering Blade skill linked to Arcanist Brand has the perk of the brand constantly casting blades on the ground for us, if we need them. It keeps Culling Strike constant too. The con is that you need enemies to raise your skill. So you won't be able to have blades ready before a zone if you just got out of a loading screen (which wipes your duration minions).
- 2 button version two: Remove Arcansit Brand from the build. This allows you to cast your blades and Culling Strike anytime you want. You can prepare without enemies close by. The con to this is that it requires a little more aiming. Also, if you're finding you're at a stage of levelling or gem level where your minions aren't surviving well, it means casting more often than the Arcanist Brand approach.


There aren't any wrong choices here. The right way to play is the way you enjoy the most. Ignore everyone that talks about the right and wrong ways to play.

How Minions Work:
Minion damage only increases with items, gems, or passive tree nodes that specifically increase "minion damage". If a node on the tree or mod on an item doesn't specify "minion", it won't be useful at all. So something that says, "Increases your damage by 30%" won't improve you minions' damage. In this build your character will do almost no damage, only your minions will.

Minions ARE considered Allies. So auras, nodes, or items that improve allies will benefit our minions. (Not every skill that reserves mana is an aura.)

Minions are NOT considered Party Members and will not gain any benefit from Party Member benefits.

Our minions Attack enemies, they don't Cast spells. So anything that improves minion/ally Attack Speed will help our build, but not Cast Speed (that's for spells).

Lastly, minions are their own entity. Once you bring them into the world, they attack who they want. Some minions are summoned, others are raised. Summoned minions (like the Skeletons) don't follow you but will keep attacking and chasing enemies within their attack radius. These minions have a duration. Other minions are raised, such as Zombies. They do not have a duration and will stay raised until dead. These types of minions will follow us wherever we go. They will also follow the lead of summoned minions as well.

Lastly lastly, minions don't care about you. So if you're taking damage, they aren't going to run back and help you. You have to help yourself.


Let me know if you have any questions.
Media (Videos/Filters/Tools/Links/Social Media)
- Here's 3.12's Gameplay Example Video.
- My ANIMATED POISON playlist showing my most recent sessions with the build.
- My broadcast channel. Twitch keeps the last 14 days worth of broadcasts. I don't always play awake, but I'd rather play than not :).


Filters:
- I make my own filters AND YOU ARE REQUIRED TO LOVE THEM! Just kidding...but they are awesome. They will make looting a MUCH more relaxing experience. They only filter gear. So if you don't want to miss out on ANY currency these are perfect for you. One filter is guide specific (it only displays gear relevant to all my guides) and the other is a global filter for any build. There are four tiers of strictness per filter. Details for each tier of each filter are within the filters themselves. Both the "Guide Specific" and the "Everyone" filters are available on all platforms. If you click "Follow" next to the filter that you want, it'll automatically load to your filter list in-game when you login! And it automatically updates upon each login as well!


Social:
- Forever Exiled - A Path of Exile Podcast is a PoE podcast hosted by both Tagz and myself. We talk about everything Path of Exile...and only PoE. If you're looking for a podcast run by casual gamers but lovers of PoE, feel free to check it out!
- My Twitter. I only use my twitter account to give updates on PoE stuff like my guides and filters. I don't use Twitter for anything personal. So if you want updates about when guides are done or filter corrections have been updated, feel free to follow.


Software:
- PoEMate - My primary build planning tool. It's mobile. (If the link doesn't work in your area, just search PoEMate in your mobile store. Hopefully, it's available in your region. Every league it's updated faster than any other tool I use.)
- FORK Path of Building - Another planner I use.
- Yolo Mouse - If you have a hard time keeping track of your mouse during gameplay, try this out. I use it for all my PC games and I'd die 100x more in PoE if it wasn't for this little program.


Build Links:
- 3.12's Pastebin - https://pastebin.com/K5wxjNqf - This Pastebin will only work in the Community Fork version of PoB. (Copy the link, open Path of Building, click on “New”, then click “Import/Export Build”, click “Import from Pastebin…”, paste the link.)
- 3.12's Passive Tree on PoE's website.
The guide continues below :)
- Forever Exiled, A Path of Exile Podcast: https://foreverexiled.com

- Stress-Free PoE Guides: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606288 (for all experience levels)
Last edited by Wrecker_of_Days on Oct 19, 2020, 4:25:55 PM
Last bumped on Oct 24, 2020, 10:41:19 PM
Levelling
SHUT UP Wrecker! I JUST WANT TO PLAY! (3.12's guide in one picture)
Ok! Yikes...you could have at least said "please" or something...

In my opinion, there are two types of "levellers" in PoE:

1. The first is a player that knows the game well enough that, no matter the guide/build, they have no need for direction.
2. The second is a player that wants to be able to level like the person I just mentioned.

Though newer PoE players may find PoE daunting, I feel the most efficient way to learn PoE is to make decisions for yourself. I think you'll be surprised how quickly you catch on to each mechanic you start playing with. So this section won't be about holding your hand and giving you a step by step process. It'll guide and encourage you to choose between the pros and cons your character will constantly face...while levelling and selecting gear. I know, I know, you hate me. But maybe you'll thank me later? Maybe?

(Remember, I have some tips for new players in my One Stop Shop that'll help in the overall PoE experience that any levelling process will benefit from. Below are tips for levelling this character, not general levelling tips.)
Where to Get All the Gems You'll Need
There are two NPCs that sell all purchasable gems: the first one is Siosa in the Library in Act 3 (you have to do his quest first (the Library is connected to The Imperial Gardens)), the second NPC is Lilly Roth in Act 6 (Do her quest in Act 6).

Act 1 - Enemy at the Gate - Reward - Level 1 - Ethereal Knives
Act 1 - Enemy at the Gate - Purchase - Level 1 - Purifying Flame
Act 1 - Mercy Mission - Reward - Level 1 - Lesser Poison Support
Act 1 - Breaking Some Eggs - Purchase - Level 4 - Animate Weapon
Act 1 - Breaking Some Eggs - Purchase - Level 4 - Steelskin
Act 1 - The Caged Brute - Reward - Level 8 - Unbound Ailments Support
Act 1 - The Siren's Cadence - Purchase - Level 12 - Spirit Offering
Act 2 - Intruders in Black - Reward - Level 16 - Desecrate
Act 2 - Sharp and Cruel - Purchase - Level 18 - Culling Strike Support
Act 2 - Sharp and Cruel - Purchase - Level 18 - Deadly Ailments Support
Act 2 - Sharp and Cruel - Purchase - Level 18 - Minion Life Support
Act 3 - Lost in Love - Reward - Level 24 - Despair
Act 3 - Lost in Love - Purchase - Level 24 - Enfeeble
Act 3 - Sever the Right Hand - Reward - Level 28 - Raise Spectre
Act 3 - Sever the Right Hand - Purchase - Level 28 - Bladefall
Act 3 - A Fixture of Fate - Purchase - Level 24 - Temporal Chains
Act 3 - A Fixture of Fate - Reward - Level 31 - Blasphemy Support
Act 3 - A Fixture of Fate - Purchase - Level 31 - Added Chaos Damage Support
Act 3 - A Fixture of Fate - Purchase - Level 31 - Blood Magic Support
Act 3 - A Fixture of Fate - Purchase - Level 31 - Feeding Frenzy Support
Act 3 - A Fixture of Fate - Purchase - Level 31 - Poison Support
Act 4 - Breaking the Seal - Reward - Level 34 - Summon Carrion Golem
Act 4 - The Eternal Nightmare - Reward - Level 38 - Arcanist Brand
Act 4 - The Eternal Nightmare - Purchase - Level 38 - Cast when Damage Taken Support (x2)


(Let me know if you see any errors in the list.)
Which Quests to Do?
- I suggest doing every quest in the game. It doesn't take too much longer and you'll get some nice bonus gear to help the SSF process. For those that just want to rush to the Endgame, here's a link to all the quests that give Passive Points as a reward. You don't want to miss those.

Bandits
- With the Bandits in Act 2, I kill them all for the extra 2 skill points. You, of course, do what you like.


The Lord's Labyrinth
- Here's a list of all the lab trials for the first three labyrinths (the trials for the fourth lab are found randomly in endgame maps).


How to Level the Build
What Skill(s) Should I Use
- Our main skill, Animate Weapon, is available right away. So is a Lingering Blades skill (Ethereal Knives). If for some reason you don't want to use our skill right off the bat, you can use Summon Raging Spirits (SRS) or Summon Skeleton. You'll want to keep a mana flask for SRS. Feel free to use SRS until any point in the game, just be sure that you're levelling the build's gems too. Animate Weapon/SRS-Minion Damage-Summon Phantasm is a great 3 link to level with.

This build is really easy to level as all the major gems you need are available naturally and early on to the Witch.


Passive Tree
- You can honestly go in any direction you like. The main points to the tree are: life nodes for you, minion nodes, curse effectiveness, and mana reservation. No matter the direction you choose, if you pick all nodes as they come across without skipping any, you'll have a very balanced character as you level. There really isn't a wrong way to go. There isn't anything wrong with getting any major nodes early or later on.
- If you have to be told what to do in order to progress ;), progress on your tree like I progress my maps; "hug the right wall". There's no reason for it though. I just like turning right :).


Gear
- Gear is so easy here. Minions only benefit from terms that specifically say Minion or Ally; and most of those mods don't drop while you're levelling. So you're really only looking for gear for yourself that has better life and resists than what you currently have equipped. It's really that simple. High-five for minions!
Endgame Mods to Avoid
At the end of the game, the levels (maps) you try and clear will have random modifiers (mods) allocated to them. There are A LOT of mods that can go on a map.

This build should only avoid maps that roll Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield. We need mana to animate our minion weapons. You could do mana flasks to get around this but I don't like the risk of having my mana flask(s) empty in a boss battle.

Some other map mods might be inconvenient, but they won't be impossible to run.


You'll learn your personal preferences the more you play. If you hate dying, pay attention to map mods. They can modify your playstyle slightly no matter the build.
My Filters
Oh my goodness! A link! You should click on it. Definitely. WOW! Look at all those pretty green FOLLOW buttons. You should press them all ;).
https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/Wrecker_of_Days/item-filters

I LOVE FILTERS! So, I make my own filters! THEY ARE AMAZING ;). For me, making filters is just as fun as playing Path of Exile. If you're looking to cut down on the amount of garbage on your screen but don't actually want to miss anything, my filters are right up your alley. They only filter equippable items. Everything else will show. I've made two types of filters:

1 - A filter that only shows gear relevant to my guides.
2 - A filter for everyone that's relevant for all builds.


Each of the above filters has 4 tiers of strictness you'll want to Follow:

1. Starting Off (Used for levelling until you're mapping comfortably.)
2. Tops-84s-Fancies-Atlas (Used when you are only looking for the top bases of each class.)
3. 84s-Fancies-Atlas (Used when you only care about gear item level 84+.)
4. Fancies-Atlas (Used when you only want Fancy gear like Atlas Drops, Influenced gear, etc.)


The descriptions of each are on the filter page, with all the details you want, explained within.

(Because I have two filters (2), each with four tiers(2*4=8), posted for all 3 platforms (2*4*3=24), my filter list is quite large. So just be sure you're Following the filters you want for the platform you want. It's easy to mix it up with a list that large.)

Please let me know if you have any feedback or see any errors you may find within the filters...otherwise, I hope they enhance your PoE experience!

If my filters interest you, once you've clicked on the provided link, click "Follow" next to the filter(s) that you want. It'll automatically load to your filter list in-game when you login AND it automatically updates upon each login as well!
Forever Exiled - A Path of Exile Podcast
https://www.foreverexiled.com/

If you're looking for a Podcast that's 100% Path of Exile, my buddy Tagz and I have exactly that! A podcast that is 100% about Path of Exile! We put out an episode once a week and talk about all things Path of Exile 100% of the time.

Tagz started playing Path of Exile 100% of the time in Beta (April 2012) and I started playing Path of Exile 100% of the time in 2014. We play Path of Exile completely different, 100%. (His ways suck 100%, mine don't...100%. (In other words, he crushes Path of Exile 100% and I hate him for it...100% true.))

If you check out the podcast, let us know what you think. We've grown like crazy! 100% Serious. It's insane. So the more feedback we get the better.

Thanks 100% for the listens!
Awesome. So if you have any questions let me know and I'll respond the best I can. Don't feel embarrassed. Ask anything you like. It's easy to miss/overlook details in the guide or on the wiki. Likely someone else wants to know the answer too :). (I likely won't have time to evaluate characters (sorry!) but I've listed in general what mods to look for on your items so you know what to look for and improve upon. Don't forget to check my One Stop Shop for tips if you're new too.)

Replies: Feel free to respond to other players' posts! The more that's out there, the more we learn. Please be kind, respectful, and theoretical (not a Know-It-All) when helping others out. I will happily respond to questions but please note that I have multiple guides and I'd like to respond to each equally. I’ll do my best to get back to you as quickly as possible but set your expectations that I'll respond to each guide once a week. (Too much time responding to guides makes an unhappy spouse...an unhappy spouse means less time for guide replies...less time for guide replies makes an unhappy me...Unhappy spouse + unhappy me = an epic hockey fight with sweet uppercuts which I would obviously lose...a lost hockey fight against my spouse = busted hands that I can't type with, no teeth to voice type with, and black eyes that I can't read with. So one build a day, m'kay? K.)

Here's a list of my OTHER GUIDES if you're interested :).

OH! Don't forget, to support GGG by buying a skin for all your favourite skills you use. They last forever, you look rad, and it keeps PoE going too :).

Double OH! I make a new thread every league for every guide I do. So all the comments, questions, and answers you read are all relevant for this current expansion. (At the end of a league I post links in the previous guide to guide players to the newest rendition of the build.)

Tripple Oh! Please let me know if you see any errors. I'll fix them as soon as possible!

Change Log (for returning players)
Well...This is kind of a mesh between my long-standing Slow-Mo Zombies and my old Curse Happy guides. This version is minion based and maximizes both the offensive and defensive aspects of my favourite skill, Temporal Chains.
Build History
This is the first rendition of the build. It's kind of a mesh between my long-standing Slow-Mo Zombies and my old Curse Happy guides. This version is minion based and maximizes both the offensive and defensive aspects of my favourite skill, Temporal Chains. Echo, echo, echo, echo, echo...
K. Done. Happy gaming :).
- Forever Exiled, A Path of Exile Podcast: https://foreverexiled.com

- Stress-Free PoE Guides: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606288 (for all experience levels)
Last edited by Wrecker_of_Days on Oct 2, 2020, 12:20:24 AM
Mine
- Forever Exiled, A Path of Exile Podcast: https://foreverexiled.com

- Stress-Free PoE Guides: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606288 (for all experience levels)
Last edited by Wrecker_of_Days on Oct 2, 2020, 12:20:45 AM
Wow! When you said this build was changing, you meant it!

So the theme is now Red, Green or Blue minions?

It's going to take me some time to wrap my head around this. Seems like an impressive change from the same ol' thing, though.
Fun fact: The experience penalty in Path of Exile is four times the penalty in Diablo 2 with corpse recovery.
"
CelticHound wrote:
Spoiler
Wow! When you said this build was changing, you meant it!

So the theme is now Red, Green or Blue minions?

It's going to take me some time to wrap my head around this. Seems like an impressive change from the same ol' thing, though.
Crazy hey CelticHound?

The biggest draw for me was that Temporal Chains benefits offence with this build. So I needed a minion build that made sense with poison.

Yes, this is the "green minion gem" guide ;).

Thanks for your kind words! Nice to see you.
- Forever Exiled, A Path of Exile Podcast: https://foreverexiled.com

- Stress-Free PoE Guides: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606288 (for all experience levels)
I just had a look at the new skill-tree. It lost the + 1 zu curses thing on the top... how can we get three curses now at the same time? Please don't tell me we have to wear Doedre's ring now :o
Overwhelmed by Path of Exile? You might want to have a look at Wrecker_of_Days' beginner-friendly guides. One-click-wonders that do not require any specific items to conquer the campaign and the Atlas: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606288/page/1
"
I just had a look at the new skill-tree. It lost the + 1 zu curses thing on the top... how can we get three curses now at the same time? Please don't tell me we have to wear Doedre's ring now :o

If you're talking about Whispers of Doom, that's been moved from the top left of the tree to the top right, next to Chaos Inoculation.
"
Dragei wrote:
"
I just had a look at the new skill-tree. It lost the + 1 zu curses thing on the top... how can we get three curses now at the same time? Please don't tell me we have to wear Doedre's ring now :o

If you're talking about Whispers of Doom, that's been moved from the top left of the tree to the top right, next to Chaos Inoculation.


Be praised, you are right, there it is! Thank you very much. No Doedre's ring \o/
Overwhelmed by Path of Exile? You might want to have a look at Wrecker_of_Days' beginner-friendly guides. One-click-wonders that do not require any specific items to conquer the campaign and the Atlas: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606288/page/1
Might be a dumb question, but which option by the bandits should I go?

Never mind, I overlooked it on the picture.
Last edited by Xarnon on Sep 19, 2020, 11:31:36 AM
"
Spoiler
"
Dragei wrote:
"
I just had a look at the new skill-tree. It lost the + 1 zu curses thing on the top... how can we get three curses now at the same time? Please don't tell me we have to wear Doedre's ring now :o

If you're talking about Whispers of Doom, that's been moved from the top left of the tree to the top right, next to Chaos Inoculation.


Be praised, you are right, there it is! Thank you very much. No Doedre's ring \o/
Good question Caligula_Exile! And good answer Dragei!

Thanks! K...Sweet! Good talk! ;)
- Forever Exiled, A Path of Exile Podcast: https://foreverexiled.com

- Stress-Free PoE Guides: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2606288 (for all experience levels)
Last edited by Wrecker_of_Days on Sep 19, 2020, 12:28:26 PM

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