[3.18] Holy Flicker Strike Necro [League start | All content] Gauntlet done. Get on the hype train.


Introduction
Hello everyone! Inspired by a great guide of
"
Moosseolini wrote:
I decided to try it out and path more towards the Necromancer. The build I ended up with, I'm having lot of fun for several leagues already. So I decided to share it with you.

Compared to Guardian, it is a little bit more demanding on starting items but can provide you with a little bit more damage on a long run, due to Necro ascendancy, while still keeping that survivability high.

Also on a side note, excuse me for any grammar mistakes in advance, english is not my native language. Feel free to point them out so I would fix those at once.


Build concept

The build core concept is activating Holy Relic minion triggerable spell Holy Nova with an attack.

Holy Nova activates every time your character hits something with any ability that counts as an 'attack'

Triggering Holy Nova results in a Physical Damage AOE Explosion coming from your Relic minions.

For the purposes of triggering the Holy Nova we gonna be using Flicker Strike, as it provides a lot of utility in a form of fast teleports, move speed buff, and frenzy charge generation for even more speed.

Flicker Strike is a strike skill that also can't miss because the enemy moves 2 pixels away from you. That makes it one of the safest sctivators for Holy Relics, as you only need to hit once for everything around you to die, and then you can teleport to the next pack.

The downside comes from a high cooldown that can, however, be overridden by consuming a Frenzy Charge. How do we generate frenzy charges? We don't. All frenzy charge generation will come fully from Flicker Strike alone, supported by Multistrike and Ancestral Call.

Multistrike and Ancestral Call makes it so when you teleport into a pack of mobs and hit something, you also hit 2 enemies next to it, and multihit for a total of 6-9 hits before your Holy Nova even procs. Each of those hits has 15% to generate frenzy charge for the next pack.

This, however, will not work on solo bosses, that why we use Static Strike as a supplementary attack for the single target. Every time Static Strike beam hits an enemy it counts as an 'attack' hit.


Pros and Cons

Pros
✔ Durable. Max Attacks and Spell Block (No Glancing Blows), Endurance Charges, Recover Life and Energy Shiled on Block, 5-6k life + 1.5k ES, Fortify, can cap Chaos resist if you really want to optimize your gear.
✔ Decent damage. Can scale up to 5M+ boss DPS. 20-30M if you wish to go crtis at cost of some survivability.
✔ Easy to play. Easy to league start.
✔ Great feeling of progression once you start getting those core items.
✔ Gear is relatively cheap
✔ Decent at killing bosses
✔ Clear speed is pretty fast
✔ Well rounded biuld, can do any content


Cons
✘ Vulnerable to Phys Reflect/No Regen
✘ Can feel cluncky at the begining. Can't level with relics, need a trigger weapon for smoother gameplay.
✘ Playstyle if different from your typical afk minion builds. Check videos in Gameplay.


PoB

Updated with discoveries of 3.18
https://pastebin.com/LKuUQtWv


Skill gems

Here is my curent set up for gems. All of the listed active gems will be marked with #, while supports will be mrked with +.
Gems hilighted by yellow text are optional and can be used at the start of the game, but should be swapped out later on.
Gems listed below are listed in priority. If you lack gem slots, use gems in the listed order.

Main Setup (Chest)

# Summon Holy Relic
+ Brutality
+ Controlled Destruction
+ Meat Shield Support
+ Cruelty
+ Increased Area of Effect
+ Minion Damage
+ Empower
+ Increased Critical Damage

Simple as that - more damage = more fun. Use Area of Effect support for extra clear, swap for Meat Shield for bossing.

Use Controled Destruction till you find boots with Brittle Ground.

Use Cruelty Support before you can get Empower.


Activation Setup (Boots)



# Static Strike
+ Ancestral Call
+ Multistrike
# Flicker Strike

I highly recomend you using Flicker Strike. It will speed up your clear, reduce the chance of you dying to map packs and give you extra move speed and attack speed after you kill enemies. Use Static Strike to kill bosses.

However, if you really hate Flicker Strike there are alternatives that you would have to explore yourself. Such as:
Alternatives

Full Static Strike setup

# Static Strike
+ Increased Duration Support
+ Maim Support
+ Ancestral Call

Gives you extra DPS, more beams uptime, but you will have to walk around with slowly.


Shield Charge

# Shield Charge
+ Faster Attacks Support
# Static Strike
+ Ancestral Call

Similar to Flicker Strike - but its a shield charge.


And of coruse there is Cyclone, but I never used it in deapth so can't say anything about it, other than its slows you down and hard to get attack rate right.


Utility Setup (Gloves)

# Steelskin
# Summon Chaos Golem
+ Feeding Frenzy

And a utility skill of your choice
# Reckoning
OR
# Decoy Totem
AND
# Assassin's Mark

Reckoning will fit more for Basic Static Strike setup.
Decoy totem will fit more for Flicker Strike setup.
Assassin's Mark is used for bossing.

Don't bother too much about keeping golem alive. Having it alive give you ~20% more DPS and extra physical damage reduction. I usually summon it on bosses if it dies a lot.


Utility Setup (Weapon)

# Bone Offering
# Desecrate
# Tempest Shield

Nothing to add here. This skill will trigger your bone offering, giving you block.


Aura Setup (Shield)

# Pride
# Summon Skitterbots
# Zealotry
# Flame Dash

Use Level 1 Skitterbots up to the point till you get 'Shock nearby enemies when you focus' craft on one of your rings.

Make sure to have enough mana to summon relics when they die and Trigger the Bone offering. Note that using activation attack consumes mana too. You need to have a bit more mana than cost of your triggered skills for them to trigger.


Animate Guardian/Specters Setup (Helmet)

# Raise Spectre
+ Meat Shield
+ Minion Life
# Animate Guardian

Use specters early game before you get equimpent for your Animate Guardian. Make sure your specters no longer die before starting to use Animate Guardian.
What specteres to use?

Hairy Bonecruncher
Spoiler
A surprise to no one - its already in the guide. The first specter you might consider summoning. Its durable, it taunts, it has self healing.

His taunt is on 8 second cooldown with a 4 second duration, making enemy deal 10% less damage.

You can get him super early - from act 2.

Overal - not that useaful of a specter, but can give you a good help at the league start.


Carnage Chieftain
Spoiler
AKA Frenzy charge monkey.

Gives Frenzy charge every 6 seconds. Thats 4% more DPS per charge, as well as smoother Flickering.

You can get them early - in act 2.

Surprisingly this monkeys are rather tanky. But to feel their value you need to have at least 2 of them if not 3.



Host Chieftain
Spoiler
AKA Power Charge monkey.

Gives Power Charge every 6 seconds. Those are useless unless you are scaling Relic damage with crits (Assassin Mark/Brittle ground) - and its way after your build is set up. Then its only reliable source of Power Charge generation for your relics.

You can get them later in act 6

Surprisingly this monkeys are rather tanky. But to feel their value you need to have at least 2 of them if not 3.


Ruins Hellion
Spoiler
The forever bugged specter.

Has a massive debuff. Every 8 seconds it performs a warcry. It buffs everyone damage a little bit (about 2%, not too relevant). And taunts enemies. While enemy is taunted it deals 10% less damage. On top of that, his skill line states "Enemies Taunted by you deal 30% less Damage with Hits and
Ailments against other targets"

Effectively causing enemies to deal 40% less damage with hits against you. That is insane. Its like having 2 unnerfed fortify effects.

You can get him early! It should be really good for leveling and white maps. Comes from act 8.

However this specter comes with heavy downsides.
1) This specter can not be desecrated in zones. That means to get it, you have to first find this enemy, kill it and summon the specter of it.
2) The specter have very little HP. Twice less than a monkey. And while I didn't see it die during maps, I'm pretty sure it wont survive in simulacrum.
3) Taunt. Default taunt duration is 3 seconds. So its not clear if you get 40% damage reduction for 3 seconds, or for a full duration of the buff (8seconds)


Now to the monsters that are harder to get.

They of Tul
Spoiler
AKA rip FPS.

Has insane ability - creates a big stationary safety zone. While in it, you take 15% reduced damage and have 20% to not take damage from hits.
Also spawns up to 2 totems that can act as a meat shield as well.

Can only be obtained from map breach event, or from Tul Breachstone.
You must find, kill and swiftly summon him from the dead body, as those corpses dissapear very fast.

This specters are rather squishy. Even squishier than Hellion, but the damage reduction makes up for it.
The spell the use has 100% uptime, but its stationary. Move way from it - and all effect is lost. You can have full value from just 1 specter! But its nice to have 2 or even 3 to move between safety zones.


Blackguard Chaplain
Spoiler
AKA - im paranoid and don't want my AG to die!

Has ability to fully heal damaged minions and totems on a 4 second cooldown.
That's it. Is just a heal spammer. Anything (including specter itself) will be healed to full on taking damage. Heals % of max HP, so its doesn't matter who it heals. The heal also stay up for 2 seconds.

Can only be obtained from sextant mod "Areas contain 4 additional packs of Monsters that Heal". You need to find the mob in the map, kill it and summon it.

The problem with this one, is that it wastes the healing on ANY damage. Your 80000HP AG takes 50 damage? Time to put heal on 4 second cooldown. It can only heal 1 target. So once it waste a couple of heals for nothing, it might just die.


Demon Harpy
Spoiler
AKA the most damage there is.

Has ability that makes enemies take up to 40% more physical damage for ~8 seconds. Has 9 second cooldown. It has massive AOE, so its perfect for map clear and solo bosses at the same time.

You can get full value from just one specter (needs confirmation)

There are 2 problems with this specter.
1) You can't obtain it unless you (or someone else) has Phantasmal Desecrate. It comes from heist. The enemy you want to make specter of is no longer in the game, but Phantasmal Desecrate can create the desired corpse in your hideout. Once you summoned it, the regular Desecrate will make corpses of it too.
2) AI. The specter has a lot of life, but its rather slow moving and uses dash ability agressively, putting itself in danger. It doesn't die in maps, but easy target for bosses.



What items to use on Animate Guardian?

Garb of the Ephemeral - For slow and crit immunity.
Kingmaker - For culling strike and 10% fortify.
Elder helm with this mod - for enemies to take more damage from relics.
Gloves and Boots - rare items with bunch of resists and chaos resists.



Unset Ring 1 and 2 setup

# Punishment

# Discipline

Get second Unset ring for Discipline after you get enough mana reservation to use it. Before that - stick to w/e ring you find fit.

Gear

Leveling Gear

For leveling you can use pretty much what you can find. Its not very important what gear you have up to the point of ~lvl 68 where you can start using some core items.


Mid Game and Early Mapping Gear

There are few core items that will make this build feel much better once you get them
Mid Game and Early Mapping Gear

Shield






Helm


Adds extra relic to your summon limit. Double relics - double damage!


Body Armour


Any 6-link will do. But if you manage to get your hand on Dialla's and give it as many red stockets as you can, you pretty much will have your end game chest.



Gloves


The best you can get is gloves with Rampage. It will double if not tripple your clear speed, provie you with massive healing and won't cost you an arm and a leg. Aim to get one of those as soon as possible.


Weapon


Any one handed you can get with Trigger Socketed Spells. This should be your main priority even over getting a second relic from your helm.

Getting this craft means you will no longer have to cast Bone Offering and Punishment manualy.

Bonus points if you can get Alva mod with minion damage.

Important: Never aim on getting weapon with slow attack speed. Anything below 1.5 feels unaplayable. Only get it if you are out of other options, because you will have to replace it.


Boots


Your regular rare boots with moves speed, life and resist.

Bonus points if you can hit that life regen enchant.

Tip: Aim on getting boots with high armour as it will not only contribute to your damage mitigation, but also will make your gem sockets red for that Static Strike setup.


Amulet




Rings and Belt


Your regular Life and Resist items.




Cluster Jewels and Jewels

About between Mid and End game you will be able to have enough passive points to slot in some cluster jewels.

Here is what you looking for.

Feasting Fiends on a large cluster jewel. This one is high priority as it will boost your relic survivability by a ton, as well as help keep things like Renewal active.


Fortress Covenant gives a fair bit of damage and when slotted in medium cluster jewel slot - doesn't have downside effects.


Rote Reinforcement - on a small cluster jewel gives you much needed attack block AND generates endurance charges.



Glorious Vanity with Corrupted Soul - exepensive jewel, but it gives ~2000 energy shield, boosting your survivability even further beyond. Important to notice that it also consumes ALL you intelligence/stregnth nodes in radius. It can render you unable to cast your abilities due to lack of stats. Use with caution.



End Game Gear and Crafting Tips.

Mid game gear is enough to push you to red maps. But if you really wanna go further and feel comfortable farming t16+ your next upgrades will be (listed in order of getting them):
End Game Gear and Crafting Tips

Body Armour


Skin of the Loyal by itself will provide you with extra layer of protection. You can push it even further getting that sweet sweet +1 to socketed gems by upgrading it to the Skin of the Lords. Be careful though, as Skin of the Lords can only use corrupted gems in it.

You can upgrade Skin of the Loyal into Skin of the Lords by using Blessing of Chayula on the item. This will result in you getting +2 to levels chest with random keystone.

There are total of 41 keystone. 16 are harmful, 21 neutral and 4 are really good.

So if you would make Skin of the Lords yourself by gambling Skin of the Loyal and a blessing, you have ~60% chance of hitting a usable one, 40% to brick the item (can still sell it to someone), and a 9% chance to win big.

Value of keystones
Blood Magic ---- Harmful keystone
Eldritch Battery ---- Harmful keystone
Eternal Youth ---- Can be interesting, but for the most part harmful.
Ghost Dance ---- Harmful keystone
Ghost Reaver ---- Harmful keystone
Glancing Blows ---- Harmful keystone
Mind Over Matter ---- Harmful keystone
Mortal Conviction ---- Harmful keystone
Runebinder ---- Harmful keystone
Solipsism ---- Harmful keystone
Supreme Ego ---- Harmful keystone
The Agnostic ---- Harmful keystone
Vaal Pact ---- Harmful keystone
Versatile Combatant ---- Harmful keystone
Wind Dancer ---- Harmful keystone
Zealot's Oath ---- Can be interesting, but for the most part harmful.
Acrobatics ---- No harm no benefit. Maybe a tiny bit of harm in case you somehow got a spell supression on your gear.
Ancestral bound ---- No harm very slight benefit if you are using taunt totem. It lets you spawn 2 of them.
Arrow dancing ---- No harm no benefit.
Avatar of fire ---- No harm no benefit.
Call to Arms ---- No harm, somewhat beneficial. Can put enduring cry on left click.
Conduit ---- No harm no benefit.
Crimson Dance ---- No harm no benefit.
Doomsday ---- No harm, very slight benefit. Lets you charge doom of the hex faster.
Elemental Equilibrium ---- No harm no benefit.
Elemental Overload ---- No harm no benefit.
Iron Grip ---- No harm no benefit.
Iron Reflexes ---- No harm, very slight benefit. A tiny bit of extra armor
Iron Will ---- No harm no benefit.
Lethe Shade ---- No harm, decent benefit
Magebane ---- No harm, very slight benefit. A tiny bit of extra spell supression
Minion Instability ---- Little harm no benefit. Can cause your Animate Guardian to die.
Pain Attunement ---- No harm no benefit.
Perfect Agony ---- No harm no benefit.
Point Blank ---- No harm no benefit.
The Impaler ---- No harm no benefit.
Unwavering Stance ---- No harm no benefit.
Divine Shield ---- No harm, good benefit. Grants 1-2 passive points in value.
Imbalanced Guard ---- Prolly the best one to have
Resolute Technique ---- No harm, great benefit. Grants 1-5 passive points in value.
Wicked Ward ---- Second best to have


Shield


Best shild there is. You can't even craft anything remotly close to it. high block, ES on block, high ES and Armor. Just great and cheap.


Gloves


Null and Void is a good upgrade that will provide you with a good chunk of life as well as phys damage imunity.

But whats better than Rampage, giving you speed, blowing up corpses and exploding your enemies?

Something that does it constantly. A heavy price for a maximum clear speed

And naturally you gonna need a boss killing gloves on swap.

Vixens activate your Assassin's mark when you cast Punishment giving you a button click. Bonus points if you find Vulnerability corruption - adds 10% more damage to your bossing.


Weapon


Its nearly impossible to get, but...
+1 to all spell skill gems
Alva mod with minion damage
Trigger socketed gems craft.


Amulet


Try looking for one with Extra Curse corruption, or corrut it yourself. The amulet is rather common.

As for anoint - you can go with Juggernaut or Vampirism for low cost, or with Prismatic Skin if you are swimming in money.

I recommend Vampirism above all. Recoup feels very nice the more you have it.


Boots and Rings


You want boots with some resits, moves speed, life, and most important - Drops Brittle ground mod.

Having this mod lets you swap to crit build, doubling or even tripling your damage.


If you wanna do reflect maps - you can look for a ring with 50% reflect reduction. Another 50% will come from swapping Pantheons.

Making your Relics somewhat immune to reflect.

Another ring can be just life and resists, but it would be nice to have extra curse reduction if you can afford it.





Flasks
Spoiler

Slot 1. Flasks to restore your HP.
Spoiler

At the league start - any life flask will do.

Look for a Seething flask or the Bubbling for instant healing

Later on you can grab

It will heal you twice and helps dealing with early DoT damage you might encounter.

As you max out your Chaos resist you might wanna grab

Instantly heals you to full HP. Be careful with things that reduce your chaos resist (for example altars) as you will take massive damage from this flask if your are not Chaos res capped.


Slot 2. Defence utility flask.
Spoiler

Extra armor helps a lot during early game, and you can look for bleed removal too, as you need a way to deal with Corrupted Blood before you get immunity to it. Gain charges when you are hit is also a good way to make sure flask is always ready to be used.


Slot 3. Flexible slot. More defence and utility.
Spoiler

Early league you can grab Basalt flask as one of your quest rewards.

You can use that for a bit of extra armour till you replace it.


This one is a great addition to the protections as it will help dealing with Physical and cold damage. Great for big hits against bosses, good synergy with Elemental Aegis (if you ever grab one)


This one will provide you with effect similar to permanent Guard Skill. Massively reduced damage during mapping. Not that great against bosses. The price of it may vary. Last 2 leagues I had it for 10 c. Now its worth exalts. If its cheap - grab it.


Slot 4. Attack speed flask for smooth Flickering.
Spoiler

A recent addition to the build

Grab one of those as your quest reward, try looking for attack speed mods. It will make you zoom zoom faster, miss your static strike less, and even deal with slow attack speed weapons if you have to grab one due to the lack of what you want on the market.


Slot 5. Speed flask. For zoomies.
Spoiler

Nothing special. Just a peed flask. You might wanna look for reduced effect of curses mod (helps a bunch with tempo chains, ele weakness, vuln). Its nice to have. But you might also fill it up with w/e you feel like. Maybe remove ignite? Or poison bother you? Maybe you want more moove speed?




Uber Endgame items
Ends game items are normally enough to do any content you want. But if you wanna push the build to absolute limit...
Spoiler

Body Armour


Lithe Shade is prolly the best keystone you can get for uberbosses and mapping.
Imbalaced Guard is okay all around granting you extra ~8 phys reduction against HITS.

I vote for Lithe Shade as degens of any kind is one of the only things that are dangerous for this build.


Helm


Lab enchant for 40% increased damage of relics. Hope to buy one, or be a real man(or a woman) and go farm it yourself in labyrinth. You poor unfortunate soul...


Shield
Surprise! This cheap shield is insanely powerful for mitigating physical damage and even some of the elemental damage. But it does require a right setup of endgame items. At very least - you need a ruby flask.


Amulet


Ashes gives you about 60% more damage AND unlocks you some mana to include third aura gem. It also increases your clear speed, giving you more frenzy charges from your flicker. Anoint it with extra curse so you don't lose DPS when swapping from the Anvil.


Weapon


If by some ungodly chance you manage to isolate +1 all gems and alva mod on a weapon, you wanna slap multicraft with trigger and hits can't be evaded on tops of it, then slam hunter exalted orb and hope to roll 'unnerve'

The last part is not terribly important - for you can get unnerve from other sources. But it is nice to have that on a weapon.






My current gear


Current AG gear



Current PoB - PoB https://pastebin.com/2vuX4mnx

Passives


Ascendancy

Necromancer. It will provide you with high block chance, massive healing on block and a massive damage boost in form of +2 to minion gems. Very similar to guardian bonuses with a bit less defence and more offense.

The order would be:
- Mistress of Sacrifice - to get your block and healing going.

- Then path down to Unnatural Strength - +2 to level of Holy relic is a damage boost that you gonna need to progress over to red maps.

- Commander of Darkness - to get bunch of resist for you and your minions and start working on capping chaos resist.




Pantheon

Soul of the Brine King - just because it saves you 3 passive points on a tree letting you not take Unwavering Stance. You need stun immunity or you can just get chain stunned. Upgraded vesrion will gives you pseudo Chill immunity.

Soul of Abberath - helps a lot. Burning grounds are VERY common, and upgrading the soul gives you ignite reduction. As it no longer can provide you igine immunity, you will want to swap it later for...

Soul of Yugul- helps dealing with reflect and reduces curses effect on you. This potentially can be big.


Bandits

Just kill all. You have no need in extra protection bandits provide, and having 2 passive points means 10% extra life, that combines with your protections so well.

FAQ/Important little things


Spiritual Aid
on a passive tree is an important node to take, because it amplifies damage done by effects caused by your gloves. Be it rampage corpse explosion, or Asenath's explode on kill effect, the damage scales massively from that node.

Inexorable
node on passive tree provides you with a great layer of protection. You are considered hit even if you block the hit, so you will ALWAYS have maximum endurance charges. You can travel down to it and refund it later if you want to.

No regen/Phys reflect maps.
You can potentially do them. It would require you to have "damage taken gained as mana" craft on ring - for no regen maps. I personally find it too bothersome to care and just reroll the map. Later on, you can also craft rings with reduced reflected damage taken and solve the problem once and for all.

Minion Instability
great keystone to carry you through acts. Using Holly relic from lvl 1 may not be the best idea, especially since you don't have access to Static Strike. Summon Raging Spirits with Infernal Legion and Minion Instability can push you through first few acts till you get to better gems.

Minion Life Leech
a good ay to keep your relics alive. If you can't find cluster jewel with it - grab it on a passive skill tree or on Abyss jewel. It really helps with keeping relics alive and fully healed.

Weapons with slow attack speed
avoid at all costs. 1.5 attacks per second (or more) is what you want. Take Dexerity nodes on the tree if you have to, but don't go below 1.4. Unless there is legit no other options.

Animate Guardian
If you never played with Animate Guardian before - don't do it. The build doesn't need it too much. And if you don't know how it functions - best not go all in on it. Read up what it does, check out gear, make sure your specters stay alive before using it for the first time.

How to activate Holy Nova faster/How to maximize DPS
This depends on your gear and your Holy Relic gem. Use this Spreadsheet to pick the right Static Strike setup for your current build state.

How to sustain frenzy charges
You don't. If something stay alive after few novas causes by your initial Flicker, you finish it off with Static Strike, then flicker to a new pack. You can also use frenzy monkeys to make it smoother early on.


Interaction with league mechanics for plannig your Atlas Passive Tree
League mechanics

Legion
Spoiler
4/10
Prolly the worst mechanic there is to do. Its resonably hard for this build to clear the map encounter (especialy at the start of a league/build), and its almost impossible to do reasonable amount of kills in 4-5 way.


Blight
Spoiler
4/10
Becomes doable after you invest into Athenas. Before that? Hardly. Even encounters is hard to do without explody gloves.


Hardbringers
Spoiler
8/10
You gonna need burning ground immunity and its pretty free. The Proximity Shields that often spawn are annoying but nothing special. The Beachhead map is annoying to do because of too much open space. The boss fight itself is easy though.


Breach
Spoiler
8/10
Prolly thee best mechanic you can do. No downsides. Can do it both encounters, breachstones, and The Hidden with very little investments. On any breach lord. And not only that, but you also can get some good drops while doing it. So its useful more than just for profit. The bad part is, there is very little for breach farming in atlas tree. Almost no impact. Hopefully it gets some love from devs.


Abyss
Spoiler
9/10
Both encounters and Abyssal Depth are easy to do. But you barely need anything from that for yourself. It’s a good way to make a lot of Stygains and craft them for selling/using yourself tho. The ecounters can take a while, but atlas passives are very fun. More pack size concentrated in one spot for relics? Yes please!


Bestiary
Spoiler
8/10
Easy to do, the more enemies spawn in a tight place, the better for this build. Again, big crafts are not needed or used to progress the build, so its just for profit.I personaly dislike the mechanics, could never go trading stuff. And don't use craft myself for anything.


Incursion
Spoiler
8/10
Both encounters and the Temple is super easy to do. And on top of that almost every room that temple gives is valuable to progress this build. Takes too much time tho.


Delve
Spoiler
9/10
Delve feels pretty damn nice. I hate the mechanic personally, because its easy to do but also easy to die to the darkness. The amount of bosses they let you fight is huge. And this build can handle all the bosses very well. Even with spooky mods. Huge profit, but no items are needed for the build.


Betrayal
Spoiler
8/10
Betrayal recently fallen out of favour because there are more rewarding mechanics. Still, its easy to do, and there is a lot of stuff you need from it. Trigger craft, white sockets, gem xp, breachstones upgrades, crafting unlocks. All the good stuff. You can simply take passive points from atlas tree to passively accumulate Mastermind encounter and do it once in a while.


Synthesis
Spoiler
9/10
I was going to give it an 8, because of how rare the maps are. But its just very fun to do, every time. And some of the fractured/synthesis bases can be very valuable to the build or for selling. Big gamba.


Metamorph
Spoiler
7/10
Again, this build can handle bosses pretty well, and you can get some value from early catalysts, but nothing is needed from the drop pool, and rewards from metamorfs are pretty weak as a farming strategy.


Delirium.
Spoiler
9/10
This one is a tricky one.
Mirror of delirium – can be pretty hard to get full value out of it. Its very much depends on layout of the map, and generally too random. You can do it fairly well, but you are not blowing up 4 screens ahead and need to run from pack to pack wasting time.
Delirium orbs – super free. Up to 100% delirium, no problem at all with a full build. Maximum juice for massive amount of splinters.
Simulacrum – you can reliably farm it to the wave 30, but only if you invest into your Animate Guardian to get rid of critical hits. Before that? Wave 25 easy.


Harvest.
Spoiler
7/10
Its pretty hard to do map encounters if you are undergeared. You rarely even need anything from those. Bosses are easy though, but might take a while to kill them. And even with full gear some random oneshots still happen because of aurastacking. Its rare – but it happens.


Heist
Spoiler
7/10
Heist is really good. You are safe from dying, you can run through traps, you can even xp farm enemies there, but some HH bow character would do that 10 times faster. The rewards are great. The problmes is - its not maps. You don't get to boss dusring heists, you don't get to progress atlas. You don't get all the juice of random league machanics maps have.


Ritual
Spoiler
6/10
Tight space, lots of mobs. Nothing of value. If you like farming those, you can put as much juice as you want, including the hardest bosses. Ice beams are tedious to do, so be careful.


Expedition
Spoiler
9/10
Perfect for relic build. Ward gets removed by static/flicker strike, then relics deal full damage. Bosses are fun and manageable. One point taken because you can’t just mindlessly pick every mod. There are some dangerous ones including phys imunity that bricks the build.


Bossing
Spoiler
9/10. You gonna need some gear first, after a certain point you can do any boss, including feared, pretty much free.
Guardians, Elder Slayers, Breachlords, Maven, Uber elder. New bosses. Anything can be done. There are, however, some mods that can make encounters very unfun to do. Mainly extra Energy shield.


Kirac farming
Spoiler
8/10. This is a new addition to from the atlas skill tree. You can reroll his maps, get insane value of reports, get super juicy rewarding maps to farm. And you can do it for pretty much free, there are very few mods that can stop you. I've been doing some repot farming this entire league. Feels great.



Leveling

Now here is a weak part of the guide. I'm terrible at making leveling guides.
So instead here is a list of PoB of my character progression through the previous league + skills and items I was using.

It should give you a proper representation on how I do it.
Spoiler
Level 30 - https://pastebin.com/8gsqX605

Level 60 - https://pastebin.com/XX76rtXY

69 - https://pastebin.com/LLafjqxx
Half way transition to relics.
Nearly capped block
All ress cap
Endu charges
2400 life.

From lvl 66 I was mapping, but I would not recomend making a transition unless you have 4L in every possible slot with right colors.

Level 74 - https://pastebin.com/CMbNuFws - full transition to relics. Build is set in stone and ready.

Although I would still keep SRS for at least yellow maps. Just for clear speed.

https://youtu.be/AA75fKRqKqY - Level 68 character with almost no gear, ready for mapping. Should give you idea how would it be at league start.

https://youtu.be/kJNy4fCw9Yk - Playthrough of speed leveling Absolution Witch character. The tree is very similar and won't require a lot of regrets to respec to Holy Relics. Its something I might try at league start instead of SRS that I usually do. Even though I hate Absolution mechanic of having to spawn it on bosses.


NEW!

Current news post
Oh boy! Isn't its time to get on board of the hype train? Let's get right into it!

(also my drawing tablet is fixed, lets goooo)



There are few things I wanna share in this info post.
1) Adventures in Gauntlet.
2) Nerf predictions and counteractions.
3) Future plans for the main post.

Gauntlet.
Spoiler
Finally I was able to not die to random DC and actually finish leveling and try out this build in SSF HC (I was curious how will it perform) and not just that but with gauntlet mods too.

For those of you who doesn't know, once you finish the acts, you get about 30% monster damage and 30% monster damage reduction. At least that's what is important in this experiment.

First thing I want to mention - maybe I miss something important and advanced, but leveling with SRS felt like... far superior than Absolution. All you need to have is a 4 link SRS-Unleash-Infernal Legion-Minion Life. And Minion Instability on a passive tree. That's it. It will carry through acts regardless of your gear. Carried me in a gauntlet with me picking up most life and block nodes to not die.

By the time I finished acts I was (almost) fully block capped, fully res capped including chaos resist, with a decent chunk of life. And still was able to kill stuff with SRS on a 4 link.
Character


I hesitated to switch to relics for a while because I was not lucky to drop a Trigger weapon. That was a big mistake. Once I put relics with flicker strike on… Oh man. Lets just say game got a lot more fun. Even with me having to hand cast Desecrate AND Bone Offering, it still felt really good.

Conclusion to make: don’t hesitate to fully swap to relics once you get a 5-6 link.

Another thing to notice – you can outright start with crit version of the build. There is no reason to even wait for brittle boots. It’s a bit meh, because you will only have about 30% crit that way, but its still a bit more damage than non-crit on average. Host Chieftains are very tanky and you need 2 of them. Those monkeys were tanking it all in a gauntlet on a 3 link.

I managed to push the build into red maps in SSF gear. And it was a smooth ride. Nothing more to say about it. And then I got bored of playing it safe, rolled beyond and blew myself up on beyond boss corpse explosion. After tanking the previous two of those.

Reached level 88. Finished Uber Lab without any real issues.

Now to conclusions. I DO NOT play SSF or HC or even any OTHER BUILDS so its hard for me to compare. So take anything I say with grain of salt.

1) Is this build HC viable. It feels ALMOST viable. If I felt pretty safe in a gauntlet of all place, it must be good. That being said a lot of tackiness comes from block. One unlucky hit and you might die. It is fixed by extra layers of protection, however, you need to get to obtaining those first.

2) Is this build SSF viable. ALMOST viable. Up to t11 – no problem. Pushing it further may be difficult because you would need specific uniques like Skin of the Lords, Glorious Vanity, etc. I don’t know how people play SSF in that regard, I guess you would have to just grind a lot of breaches and Legions. But if that’s the challenge you wanna put on yourself – you can try this build. It takes very little and fairly obtainable gear to start it rolling. Again – farmed a little bit of Heist for Geofry’s Crest. A little bit of Betrayal for Trigger craft, and a little bit of Vaal side areas for a 6 link. Easy as that.

3) Is this build HC SSF viable? Prolly not. Would be too hard to stay alive in t16 without big gear upgrades.


Nerf predictions
Spoiler
The nerfs I expect in relation to the build.
1) Aegis Aurora. It is speculated to get nerfed nearly by everyone. Armor stacking made it too good. Melding made it too good. I fully expect GGG to double nerf both the listed mechanics and the shield itself.
That being said – we moved past it. It’s a good shield to have mid game, but Dawnbreaker proven to be so strong AND common, you might not even need Aurora. That will cause you to miss out on ES regen, but Dawnbreaker has massive Synergy with Divine Shield. All the physical damage you won’ take because of the conversion counts as ‘prevented’

2) Brittle ground.
Hard to say if it will get blasted. And if it will – will it be just boots mods or overall nerf to the mechanic.
Brittle ground as is now – gives us about 20% damage boost. More importantly it makes us reach 100% crit.
If the effect of Brittle will be nerfed – it still would be best thing to use.
If the mod will be fully removed from boots – there is another source of it – Heist shield base. This means we won’t be able to use Dawnbreaker, but rare shields have a bunch of defensive mods to possibly compensate for it. Would require some crafting though.

3) Ashe of the Stars. I think it might get another nerf. Its still too good and still used by majority of the builds. That would be really sad. No replacement for it. That’s 60% more damage down the drain.

4) Necromancer Ascendancy might receive a hit. Most popular nodes – we don’t use. They might nerf Bone Offering/Mistress of Sacrifice. I don’t expect it to be too bad, even if it gets hit we have somewhat of a buffer, some block passives, some extra block on shields to still be capped.

5) Fortress covenant might receive a hit, maybe get down to 30% - won’t be a big deal.
Can’t really think of anything else. Maybe you can throw some ideas.


Future plans for the main post.
Spoiler
Not much here to say. Back to my previous conversations I decided to reserve 3 oldest posts I have after the main one and maybe move some of the info down there. Like league mechanics and other non-directly related stuff. Info posts will also go down there.
PoB recently received a big update – letting me list in gem sets for leveling, early mapping, endgame. I will try to get to filling that gap up, but maybe after the patchnotes.


Last edited by Fire_Archer on Jul 30, 2022, 12:39:12 AM
Last bumped on Aug 11, 2022, 6:21:21 PM
Changelog

3.12 - Heist
20.12.20

-Updated current gear for Flashback event


3.14 - Ultimatum
16.05.21
-Build update

09.06.21
-Spell errors fix, updated current gear.

04.12.21
Updated pob to the lates version of the tree
Updated guide with fresh info and removed old confusing stuff

3.17
03.02.22
Updated pob for better pathing when leveling
Added section for league mechanics for atlas tree planning.

18.03.22
Updated PoB, videos and league mechanics.
Last edited by Fire_Archer on Mar 18, 2022, 10:30:04 AM
3.13.0 - Path of Exile: Echoes of the Atlas

The wave of impactful changes has passed, so lets counts the losses and gains.

Losses

Spoiler
1) Necromancer ascendancy got nerfed a little bit.

-5% increased damage from every small passive node, resulting total -20% increased damage.

Not a big deal. On this build it reflects as ~4% DPS loss.
Considering how hard other summoner builds got hit its nothing, but its still a nerf.




2) Renewal passive from medium and Large cluster jewels - power got cut in half, now granting 5% for minions to do double damage (previously 10%)

That hurts, especially since this build was using 3 Renewals. Each 5% loss reflects in this build as a 4% DPS loss, for a total 12% DPS loss.

12% is a lot. For a comparison 12% DPS is value of having War Banner or Vulnerability.

But there is a way to mitigate that damage loss, replacing Renewal with other cluster passives that I will talk about down below.



Gains

Spoiler

1) Change to the Mistress of Sacrifice ascendancy notable

Gives up 10% more skill effect duration at cost of reducing minions duration by 30%

A tiny bit of a buff for our build. We don't summon minions that are non-permanent. So nerf to a minion duration does nothing, 10% extra duration makes Static Strike and Bone Offering a bit better.



2) Static Strike duration buffed.

Static Strike now has +1 second to its base duration.

Another little buff to QoL for this build. 1 second is not much but with all the extra duration from gems and tree you get a total of ~6 seconds uptime (previously ~4 seconds) to move from pack to pack before you would need to activate it again. Making mapping that much smoother.



Changes to the build

Spoiler
The build stays unchanged for the most part.
The only thing to conciser is swapping some cluster jewels around.

1) Large cluster jewel.
It stays unchanged. Renewal is STILL the best DPS option from a minion cluster jewel. And you want to have minion cluster jewel as Large, because of the small passives that give +10% increased damage to minions.


2) Medium cluster jewel.
With Renewal nerfed that are lots of valid (or even better) options for cluster passives.

Such as:

-Effect of non-curse aurar medium cluster jewel with Master of Command


You will be using this one for a while anyway. Might as well keep it as it now provides similar DPS as Renewal.


-Curse effect medium cluster jewel with Master of Fear and Wish for Death


Master of Fear makes enemies take 10% more damage if they are cursed.
Wish for Death gives you culling strike against cursed enemies, effectively reducing enemy HP by 10%
Both notables are great for a boss farm, and having them on just one jewel might save you some points.

Just to be clear each of this notables is BETTER than nerfed Renewal. The downside is - unlike Renewal, same notables does not stack with itself. So you can't have 2xMaster of Fear or 2xWish for Death.



Conclusion.

From the looks of it 3.13 is going to be a great league of relics. Not only we managed to dodge the nerf waves aimed at summoner, but also the league itself looks like a perfect time to play relics.

Both new boss fight AND league mechanics from ritual will lock you up in a tight circular arena. From the looks of it both arenas will be just about the size (or slightly bigger) of Relic Nova explosion, letting us over it fully with damage;. Build also provides a massive survivability against boss encounters.

Some tweaks should be done to cluseters, I will try to update PoB shortly.
Last edited by Fire_Archer on Jan 13, 2021, 2:10:55 AM
Hey there! I promised to take a look at the PoB a long time ago and never got around to it, so I thought I would share my thoughts here. The build is looking really good in my opinion. Capped block without Rumi's Concoction active is really quite an achievement. The build all around looks like a great take of Summon Holy Relic Necromancer. The relics are also really tanky in this version which is very nice.

Here's a couple of tips to make it even better:

1) Spiritual Aid is not doing anything for your relics. I think it is a wasted point
2) You have a lot of over-capped elemental resistances. You can probably find a way to pick up more chaos resistance on your gear.
3) Following from the previous point, a higher chaos resistance will allow you to use Forbidden Taste instead of Blood of the Karui for instant full life recovery with minimal downside.
4) Divergent Bone Offering and Tempest Shield can give you a little bit more block chance.
5) Since there are only a few good flask choices, I would recommend re-optimising the build to be at full block chance only while Rumi's Concoction is active. This could open up some more options.

Hope this helps!

Here's a PoB with a few changes: https://pastebin.com/a1nkFXu8
Last edited by Moosseolini on Jan 13, 2021, 5:30:33 PM
Looking good. I did Moosseolini's guardian version in Harvest and I was eyeing it for this league also, but I think I'll try this for a change.

Thanks!
"
Moosseolini wrote:
Hey there! I promised to take a look at the PoB a long time ago and never got around to it, so I thought I would share my thoughts here. The build is looking really good in my opinion. Capped block without Rumi's Concoction active is really quite an achievement. The build all around looks like a great take of Summon Holy Relic Necromancer. The relics are also really tanky in this version which is very nice.

Here's a couple of tips to make it even better:

1) Spiritual Aid is not doing anything for your relics. I think it is a wasted point
2) You have a lot of over-capped elemental resistances. You can probably find a way to pick up more chaos resistance on your gear.
3) Following from the previous point, a higher chaos resistance will allow you to use Forbidden Taste instead of Blood of the Karui for instant full life recovery with minimal downside.
4) Divergent Bone Offering and Tempest Shield can give you a little bit more block chance.
5) Since there are only a few good flask choices, I would recommend re-optimising the build to be at full block chance only while Rumi's Concoction is active. This could open up some more options.

Hope this helps!

Here's a PoB with a few changes: https://pastebin.com/a1nkFXu8



Thank you so much for spending your time reviewing the build. It means a lot to me since you were the one who game me inspiration to try and modify relics as well as stea- errr borrow the carcass of the guide.

Now to the tips

1) Spiritual Aid is actually a HUGE deal, since I am using rampage effects/Asenath explosion from gloves. Spiritual Aid makes your OWN damage scale globally from any minion damage node you take. And you take a lot of those. And all the effects coming from your gloves are scaled as well. Massive difference between blowing up packs of mobs offscreen vs doing nothing but 1% of their hp as damage. The clear speed becomes that much faster with it.

2) Absolutely true, you can cap chaos resist, but its not as easy to do, especially since you don't take resist notable in ascendancy AND you have to fit Thread of Hope that lowers your resist.

On top of that, resists shown in PoB also boosted by the fact that you have 3 endurance charges, and that is not always the case. Also its very nice to have overcap resist in case you get ele weakness cursed.

That being said, capping chaos res is doable, I just used gear I could find during the game, and it was not enough.

3) I have mixed feeling about Forbidden Taste. Its more of a personal preference but, I see it like that. You have high block and essentially if you take a big hit, the chances are you gonna get hit again is low (famous last words). That means that by the time you get hit again, the regen from the BoK will heal you up and IF you get hit again, you gonna get fully healed with BoK special effect.

So its kinda like healing twice for one flask use. On top of that, most things that hurt me is degen effects, and having heal over time is what I use to negate them.

That being said, Forbidden Taste is a valid option and if you prefer having instant panic heal, use it instead.

I will add it to the guide, as it also provides phasing and dodge, both being good defensive layers that will add up to the survivability.


4) Never thought about those ones, its seems like a great area to explore. I will add them to the guide. Also Anomalous Reckoning - reducing enemy damage by 10% is super nice to have.

5) This is also a personal preference, but I feel like relying on the flask is not something I should do. You should be pretty much immortal against regular enemies even if you don't have block capped, but what it comes down to for me is bossing. If you have to relly on the flask to have your block up in a boss fight, you prolly run out of it and die.

But if you feel like you can go on with using flasks you absolutely can drop some block and put more points in life or minion damage. For me, who plays with 5 fps and 300 ping, I try to make a build as much idiot proof as possible xD
A little update on how build doing this league - I'm having fun.
Took down Sirus, Shaper, Elder and chilling in T16 maps.

Not gonna lie, I do feel the damage nerf. So far its manageable, but it will certainly be a problem when Maven spawns in Cortex or something.

Current gear
Spoiler



Current PoB

https://pastebin.com/rP2vCvdR



With insane scepter like that I would be around 6M dps in previous league. Here I'm just at 2M.

I might have to drop the amulet and get +1 to skills amulet at cost of not having spell block capped.
Last edited by Fire_Archer on Jan 21, 2021, 7:56:28 AM
Hi, mate!

You posted very interesing build setup. I was impressed with some ideas that you use and copied couple of them to my build.

I was playing Holy Relics from the Heist League, you can still find my character and it's tree in chars list, but it was cost me a fortune to fully optimize it. Block/Spellblock 75/75, all res, chaos res 75, Armor 15k w/ Flasks, defense from Corrupted blood and very nice ES and HP regen. I was capable to do everything in Heist but the build was expensive.

Usually I don't have a lot of currency to invest and looking for a build that is cheap, has good defense and damage. This league I 'm playing Holy Relics as well and was able to achieve almost same layer of defenses, spending around 300x in total. The only thing is left for me, to replace Empower lvl3 to lvl4 to get damage boost necessary for Tier 16+ maps. Now I'm playing most of the time T13-T14 and it feels very comfortable. Besides that, I'm using 5link body ATM) which I can also upgrade in the future to get even more damage.

You can compare trees of both builds to see what's the difference and may be you can find interesting ideas to copy to make your Holy Relics even better.

Thank you very much for your post.
Last edited by Helmsman527 on Jan 27, 2021, 2:17:22 AM
Oh boy, here we go again.

Let me start with showing off how my Ritual league went with this build.
(Its literally just a show off, feel free to skip that part)

Spoiler

Road so far

The build itself https://pastebin.com/cqYmt2nT and all the items I got.

Challenges - 36 - all solo.
Atlas - fully cleared.
Maven - very much doable.
Witnessed bosses - all.
Oshabi - easiest fight.

The only thing that I was not able to do was The Feared invitation. Reason being - Atziri. Atziri is already the hardest boss in the game for this build due to reflect and one-shot skills that demolish relics. She kills them faster than you can summon them.

And as a bonus



The tweaks I made to the build during Ritual league.
Spoiler

1)
added this little guy to my flasks. Not only it helps mitigating cold degen zones (one of the only things that does damage to us with this build) but it helps with phys damage EVEN further. Great flask to have.

2)

As reminded me by
"
Helmsman527 wrote:
may be you can find interesting ideas to copy to make your Holy Relics even better.
this gem exists. You don't really need it, but later on you can grab it instead of Arcane Guarding cluster, getting extra elemental resists, that in turn lets you cap your Chaos res better.

3)
Megalomaniac is an interesting one. Basically, since we only need 1 notable from our usual cluster jewels, why not use Megalomaniac that has one node from each and save some points?

And because notable we need are not rare or too desired, you can find one for pretty cheap.

Here is another version of what you can get.


4)
Frost bomb socketed in weapon instead of Vulnerability were doing lot of work reducing Maven's healing.

5)
Jewel with onslaught on kill boosts clearing speed even more. NOTE that you don't get the kill if relic kills the enemy. So it really only works if you have Athenas.



What to expect during Ultimatum league.
Spoiler

Well the wave of nerfs was not too harsh for us. There are only 3 things that affected the build.
1) Trigger craft nerf - cooldown boosted to 8 seconds. This is not a problem because base duration of abilities we trigger is more than 8 seconds. In fact, maybe it will be cheaper to get this craft early league now.
2) Renewal nerfed by 1 %. We lost some damage. Not a big chunk like last time, but still feels bad man.
3) Corrupted Soul nerf. The 5% reduction converts into loss of 400+ energy shield. This hurts. Now Divine Flesh might be a better option as before they were pretty much even.

Overall things are looking bright, especially with enchants being more accessible, we surely can make up for all the damage lost from before.

The legue mechanic itself looking to be a perfect fit for this build, just like Ritual was before.


Plans for the future.
Spoiler
Build didn't really change at all since two leagues ago. I'll try to update it for the new tree EVENTUALLY...

Also planning to add two new sections.
Boss Kill Difficulty - where I will list the bosses this build struggle with
List of Priorities - where I will list items you want to grab the most as soon as possible.

Hope everyone will have fun next league despite the salty taste of blood it seems to be providing.
Last edited by Fire_Archer on Apr 15, 2021, 9:44:53 AM
I'll be league starting this in ultimatum, looking forward to see how it performs! Thanks for putting the build together, it's very comprehensive.

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