💀 Skeleton Archers Necromancer 💀 [update for 3.24]





Welcome to the guide.

I fed an old idea with some fresh meat,
and spiced it up a little bit...

What was long lost has now been found
To the master their souls are forever bound.



Overall Performance (1 to 10):
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Endurance: 6 (mediocre)
Map clear efficiency: 9 (very high)
Single Target damage: 9 (very high)
Budget: 6 (mediocre)



Ascendancy: Necromancer
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1. Mistress of Sacrifice.
2. Commander of Darkness.
3. Mindless Aggression.
4. Plaguebringer.


Pantheon:

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Major: the Brine King

Minor: Ryslatha

Both of them fully upgraded.


Bandits:
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Kill them all.



Gear and Sockets:
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Jewels:
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Unique Jewels:
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Watcher's Eye - Not necessary. If you decide to get one, the additional block/armour with Determination or Phasing with Haste are probably the most useful.

Grand Spectrum (10% minion critical strike multiplier) - We use 3 of them for their maximum effect of a +90% total crit multiplier. Try to get all with Reservation efficiency corruption of possible.

Fortress Covenant - for reasonable reasons.





Cluster Jewels:
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We're using two Large with Renewal, Rotten Claws, Vicious Bite on each. We aim to get the skeletons' impale chance to 100%.

We're also using one Medium with Renewal and Blessed Rebirth. The Blessed Rebirth notable is what changes the build from "maybe" to "greatly viable". Since the skeletons won't be damaged for 4 seconds after summoned which perfectly aligns with the Fresh Meat buff that they get for 4~5 seconds. Also, you will keep them on full life all the time, so their chance to deal double damage from Renewal will always be active.



Other Jewels:
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We use some Ghastly Eye abyss jewels with added damage, life and other goodies.




Flasks (old):
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Make sure you choose useful mods for anti- bleed/poison/ignite.



Detailed build description:

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Our Skeleton Archers do all the work and they are most efficient for up to 4 seconds after summoned. The summoning takes around 0.30s which feels great and definitely not burdening your gameplay. With the Fresh Meat support, the Skeletons have become really viable and comfortable to play with. Since this build is crit-based, the Fresh Meat support fits even better.

Damage scaling:
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Damage scales most of all with Critical hits which inflict very effective Impales on the enemy targets. Of course, as all minion builds, additional damage comes from good support spectres and the Feeding Frenzy support gem.
Additionally, we're using the Leash of Oblation belt which allows us to use all offerings at the same time. This helps us with a lot of versatility for both the minions and the character itself.



Defenses:
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The defense on this build seems average if we take the character's defense only. But all minion builds are extra defensive due to the fact that the minions take the majority of the damage on the screen - especially if you have invested a tiny amount of Taunt on an abyss jewel or two.

The main defenses come from the Determination aura and block.



Uniques:
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We're using 3 unique gear pieces:


-Skin of the Lords: this body armour is by far in the top 3 most efficient uniques for Minion builds since it helps a lot with raising the level of the minion skill gem;
-Leash of Oblation: It would be a shame if we could use just 1 offering. We have a lot of Skill effect duration as Necromancers, so the 50% reduction can barely make any change. It may seem to be a little clunky to keep up with all three offerings and Summoning skeletons but it is all you do anyway. It feels great of having the speed, crit and block bonuses. Too good not to get it;
-Replica Dragonfang's Flight: The perfect choice for this build. It fits perfectly for any minion build for all its mods.



Rares:
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As usual, rare pieces are only to add up generic mods. Most of them should provide as much life and resistances as possible.
The rings should be Bone with additional minion damage and attack speed if possible.
The wand and the Shield should provide as much minion damage, minion critical strike chance and level of minion skill gems as possible.



The Skill:
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Skeleton Archers are more versatile than the melee warriors simply because they are ranged. Another good thing about them is the fact that their block chance is reset because they no longer wield a shield, respectively taking 0% of any blocked damage - compared to the Skeleton Warriors which take 10% of the blocked damage by default.
Also, as a ranged entity, the archers would benefit from support gems like Vicious Projectiles, Chain, Pierce, Fork, etc..


Links explanation:
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Helmet, Boots and Gloves: We use one of them for our 3 offerings + Increased Duration. The second 4L is for the auras. The third 4L is for the standard support spectre setup: Raise Spectre + Animate Guardian + Feeding Frenzy + Meat Shield.

Body Armour: It is used to 6L the Skeletons. The 4 permanent supports are Brutality, Fresh Meat, Minion Damage and Vicious Projectiles. The 5th support gem is something that we switch depending on what we're doing - Impale Support for boss fights and Chain support for map clear.
Note that all socketed gems should be corrupted because Skin of the Lords has this requirement.

Weapon and Shield: Molten Shell + Vulnerability + Assassin's Mark go in one of the items, and in the other we put Dread Banner + Desecrate + Flame Dash.



Keystones:
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We do not use any Keystones.



Masteries:
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20% increased effect of Offerings

Minions Attacks Overwhelm 20% Physical Damage Reduction

12% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills

Auras from your Skills have 10% increased Effect on you

+50 to maximum Life

15% increased maximum Life if there are no Life Modifiers on Equipped Body Armour.



Spectres and Animate Guardian:
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3.24 edit: Most probably the Seraphim and Demon Harpy will be 2 of them but the other 2 will depend on what spectres await in Necropolis...

-Demon Harpy: affects targets with a debuff that increases physical damage taken;
-Pale Seraph: affects a target with a debuff that increases all damage taken.

My animate Guardian uses:

-Leer cast (helmet): Provides 50% increased damage to all nearby allies;
-Dying Breath (2h weapon): Provides 18% increased damage to all nearby allies as well as 18% increased effect of curses on nearby enemies;
-The Doppelganger's Disguise (Body armour): This is the best body armour for an Animate Guardian for the purpose of keeping it alive. Your AG is always considered 'Sane', therefore regenerating 10% life on hit, and 40% less phys and chaos damage taken at all times;
-Southbound (gloves): Provides 16% increased life to the AG;
-Rare boots with chaos res.




Gameplay:

Leveling:
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Leveling with Raging Spirits and/or Zombies is easy.

Mapping:
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We aim to summon/position the Skeletons at places where the enemy monsters are more likely to engage them instead of us. The skeletons will attack almost instantly after summoned (unlike totems which need approximately 1+ second to get active). We use their 4 second invulnerability to also protect us from incoming directional harm such as projectiles. Chain support greatly helps with clear efficiency.


Budget (as of 3.22 Ancestors league):
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Weapon: A rare wand with +1 All/Minion Skills, 75%+ minion dmg, 75%+ minion crit can be around 3-4 divines depending on the rolls. Unfortunately these wands may scale prices really high if you want more;

Shield: Same as weapon - can go from 1d to 3d for something useful. Way more expensive if you want something special;

Body Armour: 1d to 10d. Depends on the keystone it provides. One with Eldritch Battery should be around 7~10d.

Belt: Around 1d for one with a useful corruption;

Boots, gloves and helm: between 2d and 6d for each piece. Make sure you have +2 to all Minion skill gems on the helmet;

Amulet: Around 1d to 3d for one like mine;

Rings: Should be between 3d and 5d for each. Try to find ones with increased minion damage and increased minion attack speed (Bone base).

Jewels:

-A good-rolled Fortress Covenant is around 4~5d. You can find one for 100-150c with just any roll;

-Grand Spectrums are generally cheap (20-30c per piece) but can get to 1~3d if you search for ones with reservation efficiency implicit;

-Forbidden Jewels: We do not use any forbidden jewels.

-Abyss jewels: 1d each by average.

-The Large cluster jewels are around 2~3 divine orbs each. The Medium cluster jewel is between 50c ~ 1d.

Skill and Support Gems: By average all gems should be around 2d~5d. Min-maxing on the gems is very effective - I recommend getting a 21/20 Summon Skeletons of Archers and Awakened Brutality + Awakened Vicious Projectiles.
Maximizing the gem efficiency will be approximately 10 additional divines.

OVERALL AVERAGE BUDGET (as of 3.22 Ancestors league): between 30 and 70 divine orbs.




Pros and Cons:
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Good:
-Relatively simple gameplay;
-Really good clear speed;
-Really good single target damage;
-Maps with Reflect don't matter;
-Maps with no regen don't matter;
-Unique.

Bad:

-Can get very expensive if you seek to maximize the performance.



Videos, Screenshots and Links:

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Videos:


Screenshots:

Links: <- updated PoB
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PoB: https://pobb.in/fdWjmD6ByqA7 (full build at level 100)




Ideas and Alternative options:

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-Supporting the offerings with Enhance will increase the total damage and block but will be annoying to cast the offerings more often;

-If you use normal Summon Skeletons with Multistrike/Splash instead of Vicious Projectiles, the build will transform into a powerful Melee skeleton build. Clear speed will be worse but the single target damage is double. Apparently the skill as whole still kinda needs balancing (or PoB needs fix).




P.S. This post may be updated every now and then.


Last edited by fostaa on Mar 30, 2024, 5:04:09 AM
Last bumped on Apr 14, 2024, 9:05:34 AM
Fostaa makes some badass builds!
Very interesting build.

Could you league start with this or you have to swap to this from another build?

Also would be good to get some cheaper options if the idea is that you could league start with this.

Thanks a lot for the build!
The build is ok for a league starter. It performs well. You just switch from your skill of choice for leveling to the Phantasmal Summon Skeletons then boost phys-only + impales. Obviously the alt quality gems aren't something you can find in the first days of the league but at least it's just a regular minion build so it can start cheap, perform well with low-to-medium budget and can scale very high along with its price.
Last edited by fostaa on Jan 9, 2024, 8:53:31 AM
I hate to 'necro' (no pun intended) but will be updating this build for 3.24 ?

Have you updated to arche ver 3.24?
"
DSMITH5392 wrote:
I hate to 'necro' (no pun intended) but will be updating this build for 3.24 ?


Hope so since archers got a buff.
Updated for 3.24

Despite of the content update a few days ago, I am currently unsure of which tattoos exactly will continue to exist in Necropolis so I only left a few with block for the moment, some can be added later to the build but won't make a big change anyway.
Also, please note that 2 of the spectres are not taken into account since we still don't know the full list of possibilities...
Last edited by fostaa on Mar 28, 2024, 7:04:38 AM
I love your build. Since nobody play archers and archer got buff this league. Im going to league start and bring archer to heaven.
Apparently PoB shows half of the actual DPS of skeleton archers, I'll give this a try
IGN: HarroHarbinger

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