'Shadow Knight' - 3 Curse (Cospri's) Max Block Tank Necromancer (REAVE) - "The Scourge"

This is my second build that I'm posting. At this point, the main mechanics of the build are integrated and it's working really well. My inspiration: I've been playing around a lot with the Vortex Necro build by Hojirozame (and LOVING it https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1741266). I wanted to take a mid-range-leveled fail-character from the last league and use the Scourge gloves to resurrect it.


- 1.0: initial post
- 1.1: modified final tree with block nodes near with
- 1.2: updated gear section / bandits
- 1.3: added spoiler tags to post
- 1.4: added video
- 1.5: updated trees
- 2.0: updated tree, gem setup, gear, and defenses


- T11 Underground Sea (47% more monster life / elemental weakness)

What I want to accomplish with this build

* use some unique jewels in combination with the necromancer ascendancy to create a character that has high damage mitigation and does decent damage (chaos)
- max block using a shield and bone offering
- max (or as close as possible) spell block (this build has 75/75 block)
- high amount of armour by using a combination of "Iron Reflexes" and the unique jewel "Energised Armour" (in 3 sockets)
- augment health pool using "Anatomical Knowledge" jewel (1 socket)
- augment damage using the unique claw "The Scourge" and its affinity with the necromancer ascendancy (+/- minion damage affects player)

Damage mechanic

- Reave: scale damage off of minion damage with unique claw / swap to viper strike for boss fights
- Bonus Damage! 40% increased damage & 2% increased attack speed each time we cast Bone Offering
- Bonus Damage! Spectral wolves spread caustic cloud when they die/despawn
- Lvl 21 Vulnerability enemies take 40% increased physical damage and 35% increased damage over time


High amount of leech, max block and spell block (bone offering gives 33% spell block + Lazhwar gives half of physical block), high armour with unique jewels and "Iron Reflexes"
Triggered attacks: Reckoning and Riposte. Arctic Armour - reduced physical and fire damage, chills enemies that hit us. Summoned spectral wolves clean up low-life monsters and distract packs. Over 5000 life. 594 Life gained on Block (Bone Offering lvl 20). Whirling Blades for movement.
* Currently I have 75% block and 75% Spell Block with Bone Offering up.

Current Defensive stats:

- without bone offering 42% phys / 28% spell block
- with bone offering 75% phys / 75% spell block
- 594 Life gained per block (with Bone Offering up)
- 44% armour (16646) + 13% Arctic Armour
- extra 12% less fire damage taken (arctic armour)
- 5348 life at level 89
- Lvl 21 Enfeeble on Blasphemy (48% reduced accuracy, 35% less crit chance, - 31% grit multiplier, 31% less damage)
- Sentari's Answer Shield (25% block applied to spells) 35% block, situational curses: lvl 15 punishment on melee block, lvl 15 temporal chains on projectile block, lvl 15 elemental weakness [doesn't directly help us]

Play Style

Cast Desecrate and Bone Offering (max block), whirling blades into packs, spam attacks, spam Bone Offering on the corpses, whirling blades onto next pack, repeat. You will only need to recast Desecrate if you run out of corpses (eg. water elementals don't leave corpses)


I used a mid-level old character and used 2 X Advancing Fortress Claws until I could wield The Scourge. I was overcapped on block with this setup so I had more Spell Block (74%). I think it could be cool dual wield Fortress Claws and take the dual wield nodes instead of the shield nodes under Duelist. I think I could save 4 points this way.

Passive Tree So Far (now level 89: all main nodes in place, just taking more life nodes from here on)

Planned Passive Tree


Normal: Oak (+40 life)
Cruel: Eramir (point)
Merciless Eramir (point)

Ascendancy: Necromancer

- Mistress of Sacrifice: 30% increased skill duration (for our Bone Offering), Offerings affect player, 15% increased damage to minions (and player)
- Commander of Darkness: 10% damage per aura (40%), +20 to all elemental resists, 5% attack/cast speed per aura (20%), 15% increased minion damage (and player)
- Spirit Eater: 30% increased minion damage (and player), 2 more desecrate corpses, +2% attack/cast speed per consumed corpse (recently)
- Beacon of Corruption: 21% chaos resist, 15% increased minion damage (and player), our wolves will spread caustic cloud on death

Jewels & Placement


3 x "Energised Armour": 1 above witch start and minion damage nodes, 2 between witch and scion in the "Melding" ring, 3 east of the shadow start above the Blood Drinker node(s)

1 x "Anatomical Knowledge" left socket between witch and scion, gives 8% increased maximum and +30 maximum life from the intelligence nodes

Conqueror's Efficiency left branch between Scion & Duelist

Gem Links

- 6-L armour : Reave + Faster Attacks + Multistrike + Poison Support + Void Manipulation + Melee Physical Damage

- 3L weapon: Vaal Reave + Val Summon Skeletons + Increased Duration

- 3L shield: Bone Offering + Desecrate + Increased Duration Support

- 4L gloves: Reckoning + Riposte + Whirling Blades + Faster Attacks

- 2L / 2L boots: lvl 1 Clarity (for 3 x auras) / Arctic Armour + Enlighten (4)

- 4L helmet: Enlithen (4) + Blasphemy + Vulnerability + Enfeeble

Three Auras:

- (Blasphemy) Enfeeble + Vulnerability*
- Clarity*

* Commander of Darkness: 3 x 10% = 30% Increased Damage & 3 x 5% = 15% increased attack speed

- Arctic Armour



Stone of Lazhwar with +1 curse corruption - for 2/3 curses

The Scourge Terror Claw - main damage mechanic

Cospri's Will Assassin's Garb - poison enemies on hit, +1 to max number of curses, can curse hexproof enemies

Lioneye's Remorse Pinnacle Tower Shield - good life, high block chance

Doryani's Invitation (physical version) Heavy Belt - more leech, good resists, increased physical damage - I may swap to a +Life rare belt

This leaves 2 rings, helm, boots and gloves to make up the rest of the resists. To help, we get +20% all elemental resists from necromancer Commander of Darkness ascendancy point and I am thinking of taking a node on the tree to get a bit more.

PS: the summoned wolves from the claw sometimes make it hard to see enemies... I've had up to 20 of them at once...
Last edited by daleyyc on Oct 27, 2016, 4:42:04 PM
Last bumped on Oct 27, 2016, 3:00:30 PM
I am curious as to how itll work out for you once the character is leveld and hope to see some videos since ive wanted to do the same type of build for a while.
andigor666 wrote:
I am curious as to how itll work out for you once the character is leveld and hope to see some videos since ive wanted to do the same type of build for a while.

I'll try to get some videos up soon. I'm up to 75phys/75spell block now. The rest of my points will go towards the 3 mana+life by the witch starting points and the life nodes in the rectangle by the scion. I plan to take the chaos Ascendancy nodes next. I was going to see about the damage mitigation per zombie but the zombies died way too fast for it not to be annoying.

I added Vaal Skeletons for shits-n-giggles.
Last edited by daleyyc on Oct 4, 2016, 8:00:31 PM
Hey there, I like this thing you've got going here. Always been interested in doing an unorthodox Witch build (possibly melee) and I don't think there's anything more unorthodox than going with claws, so I'm thinking about giving this a shot.
Got a few questions though. First of all, even though you didn't start a new character for this, do you have any recommendations on how to level? Also would you say that a 6L is mandatory for the build to be viable or just recommended for end-game play? Obviously 6L's are always a bit problematic, so I'd like to know whether a 5L would suffice or if I'd be forced into using a Tabula until I get a 6L Cherrubims.
Also, have you tried linking Bone Offering and Desecrate to CWDT?

Anyway, looking forward to seeing some videos of the build in action. Really interested in seeing how it functions :)
Kfoolu wrote:
Hey there, I like this thing you've got going here. Always been interested in doing an unorthodox Witch build (possibly melee) and I don't think there's anything more unorthodox than going with claws, so I'm thinking about giving this a shot.
Got a few questions though.


Anyway, looking forward to seeing some videos of the build in action. Really interested in seeing how it functions :)

Hi Kfoolu,

(sorry it took a few days to respond... I've been distracted with a shadow poison lighting arrow build and didn't do anything with this character for a couple days.)

- I think that this character can be leveled with a claw or other melee weapon and shield from the beginning. Many of the key unique jewels I'm using are very close to the Witch starting point. Lacerate would work with a sword and kill more at range. The character that I started this with was in mid 50s when I started working with it. I would take the nodes near the witch start (other than the shield/spell block circle and mana/life unless you have mana problems) and then head over to the shadow side of the tree, then go left and work down to duelist are nodes, then take the mana/life and shield/spell block nodes near witch last. Have the jewels ready for the ES nodes we are converting to armour - these gems are not expensive. Do take Mistress of Sacrifice with the first Ascendancy points as it's key to the tankiness of this build. The other Ascendancy nodes can be done in any order - Spirit Eater and then Commander of Darkness, then Beacon of Corruption makes the most sense to me.

- I don't think a 6L is 100% necessary. I'd remove void manipulation for a 5L. Some DPS loss but you will still be stacking poison.

- I tried linking Desecrate and Bone Offering to CWDT with Increased Duration and it does work but Bone Offering will have less block. There's about 10% block difference between an unleveled Bone Offering and a fully leveled one. It'll affect Spell Block the most here. If you do it with CWDT, then the gems will need to be in the order: CWDT - Desecrate - Bone Offering - Increased Duration (or Increased Duration could go after CWDT) because spells are cast in order they are linked to CWDT. I like having the fully-leveled versions of the skills and casting them manually makes the game play more interesting. I hardly notice that I'm casting them. Most of the time, it's just to start off that I need to use desecrate and then I just kill a pack, hit bone offering and whirl over to the next pack - repeat.

I'm going to see if I can get a video up today. Last time I tried, I had problems on YouTube getting the video to process.

I'm almost level 89 and will post my updated tree at some point today.

* One thing I've been thinking about is map-clears vs. boss fights. Unless I forget, I'm trying to remember to swap to Viper Strike when I do the bosses. I'd like to see GGG allow us to swap a gem with a hotkey - sort-of like a weapon swap so that we can run 2 setups viably without having to open the inventory window... This way with 1H setup and a main attack on a 5/6L chest, we could have 2 attacks available situationally and without it breaking the game. Overall I'm having a lot of fun on this character. It's for solo-play, that's for sure - as are most melee builds but it clears decently fast.
Last edited by daleyyc on Oct 9, 2016, 9:51:52 AM
Video is up. Sound is muted - oops.
Aded a curse that is situational from Sentari's Answer. I tried using Ketava's to auto-cast desecrate and bone offering but it was too unreliable and had to drop too many points to get the mana to refresh fast enough with skill cost > 100.

Changed armour to Cospri's Will to support curse-based setup. This also freed up the poison support gem slot on the Reave setup upped the tooltip damage by quite a lot.

I've been running up to T11 maps and face-tanking the bosses with no problems so far.

Last edited by daleyyc on Oct 27, 2016, 4:00:32 PM

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