This particular build utilizes BoR Zombies to lay waste to endless hordes of baddies. I use Burning Miscreants and Frenzy Apes for spectres.
Basic Build Direction
->Take passive nodes to maximize number and strength of minions.
->Utilize Unique Boots and Amulet to further bolster minion numbers and strength.
->Armour/Evasion Life Tank dictated by BoR and lack of chest piece. Also, location of minion passives somewhat pushes you to life tank.
->Loads of mana to support Auras for Minions
Required Gear - Can't Do the Build Without It!
Optional Gear - Whatever you can find to patch resists and max tank
Passive Skill Tree
In this tree I aim to take ALL minion passives and pass next to Necromantic Aegis, in case I want to try it later. I've chosen to armor/life tank. Since I have no chest piece, I'm prioritizing the templar shield wheel of nodes over the templar start. As the levels progress, I'll decide whether I need more tank, and if so, take the templar starting nodes.
I take eldridge battery for more mana for auras.
I take the leadership passives to increase aura range making it easier to keep minions in aura range. I wasn't sure if this was really worthwhile till I tried it, and it makes a noticeable difference.
The current tree with my gear gives ~2.6k health and 1700 mana. This seems to be sufficient, for me, to run level 69/70 content.
Da Skills to Pay the Bills
Three obvious skills needed for this build are Raise Zombie, Raise Skeleton, and Raise Spectre.
Zombies are the primary attack and are placed into the Bringer of Rain. I was finally able to link my BoR without a green link and got RRRB. Linked supports are as follows, with the 3 support gems from the BoR included.
Q20 Raise Zombie - Q20 Stun - Melee Splash - Multistrike - Melee Phys Damage - Faster Attacks - Blind
These zombies do a tremendous amount of damage and have pretty decent survivability from the combined effects of blind/stun/multistrike/melee splash. The biggest killer of zombies is going to be things that have large alpha strikes (kohl, brutus) or loads of ele damage.
The minions shine best against white blue and yellow mobs, but do poorly against unique mobs as you will likely run out of bodies to raise.
These days, I only really use skeletons to deal with vaal totems. I found it to be really difficult to get zombies to attack the totem when it was surrounded by invincible mobs. Since skeletons can be cast right on the totem, they don't suffer from this.
Skeletons are used unlinked.
Spectres are the final component of a minion build. I used to use the titty bitches from lunaris 3, but I've recently switched 2 Burning Minions and 1 Frenzy Ape. The Frenzy Ape is available in Act 2 Old Fields and gives frenzy charges to nearby friendlies. The only thing better than BoR Zombies is Frenzied BoR Zombies!
The Burning Minions are cast using:
Raise Spectre + Minion Life + Increased AOE + Increased Burning Damage
There are lots of BM guides floating around the forums, so I won't delve into the reasons for using these supports very much; suffice it to say, they all give a damage bonus.
The Frenzy Ape is cast using:
Raise Spectre + Minion Life + Minion Ele Resist + Blood Magic
The blood magic is a must. If you do not cast the ape off bloodmagic, he will only create frenzy charges once in a while. I don't know if he runs out of mana or what, but it doesn't work very well. Casting off bloodmagic causes him to cast CONSTANTLY. Literally, he'll sit there casting fenzy charges till he kills himself. That said, vitality aura is a must and is discussed below.
Auras are used heavily to support the minions. The leadership passive node increases aura range to encompass nearly the entire screen.
The auras used are:
Reduced mana - Discipline, Determination, Purity, Vitality
I used to dismiss vitality as unimpressive for minion builds. I sort of assumed it would be used as an active defense to take incoming damage. Lately I've realized the real value comes from the reduced maintenance. Less having to cast animation potions is a good thing!
That said, vitality is a must for the Frenzy ape. He uses blood magic for his skills and will cast them constantly, whether there are mobs around you or not. Without vitality or animation potions, he'll cast till he dies.
The only support skills I use are Arctic Breath and Vulnerability.
Arctic Breath - GMP
Arctic Breath is great for it's ability to mass chill huge areas. Chilled enemies are SUBSTANTIALLY easier for minions to kill. The only real downside is the amount of FPS drop this skill can cause for some people.
Vulnerability works very as it amplifies damage from both the zombies AND the burning miscreants.
Try to keep the animation flasks half full. This constant use of flasks will help support your zombies and spectres.
Gameplay with this character is straightforward. A typical mapping session is as follows:
-> Go to lunaris two and obtain 2 burning miscreants. Use skeletons to kill mobs. Raise leftover bodies as zombies.
-> Go to Old Fields and raise a Frenzy ape using bloodmagic.
-> Start Map
-> Run around casting GMP-Arctic Breath in the general direction of the baddies. It will slow them and cause the minions to attack.
-> Zombies will more than suffice for taking care of anything. Recast zombies as necessary.
-> Vaal Totems are best dealt with using skeletons. Make sure you have the totem targeted and then hold down your "Cast Skeletons" button (ie. use Raise Skeleton like and attack and directly target the totem). This will cause the skeletons to be created directly on the totem and kill it. It also causes your other minions to attack this target, though they will usually get hung up on the mobs between them and the totem.
-> Spam Animation potions to attempt to keep them half empty.
I'd call this play style a ranged minion build. The objective is to keep a field of zombies and skeletons between you and the tentacle miscreations and any mobs
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