[3.3] SUICIDE SQUAD--- minion instability zombie necromancer

The last several characters I made were fairly unoriginal meta-type thing, and frankly, I got tired of it. SO I decided to do something stupid. Almost accidentally, the stupid thing actually ended up working, so I have decided to share its glory with the masses.

The build focuses on purposefully killing your zombies in order to trigger the Minion instability keystone and the Beacon of Corruption ascendancy passive. The Baron helmet and Montreguls grasp are used to pump their life to the absolute max, and Umbilicu immortalis and Coruscating elixer are used to detonate them on command.

I didn’t really intend this build to be effective, but I failed at that so it kinda is. It is currently level 81, and has cleared tier 13 corrupted maps without dying (though it took some doing)

path of building link

Here is a link for PoB updated to 3.3


3.3 update

So since i last update this build necromancer got reworked. HUzzah. Not much else has changed so i have updated the passive tree and added a pastebin. Ill try to hit the changes further in this guide but dont blame me if i miss something

As far as the ascendancy goes, obviousely you want to head towards Flesh binder for those sweet zombie buffs. The degen damage from zombie death is now 5x bigger than it used to be, but no longer can effect the srs. Plus, you get an extra zombie now. hurray. It is really your choice whether you drop bone offering or not, but with the reduced effectiveness of SRS i would probably just stick that in a single slot and set up bone offering in a CWDT setup. Or drop it completely and take puppet master

3.0 update

Zombies got quite a bit of base melee damage in this patch which is nice. Also, energy shield got nuked from orbit. So i decided to utilize my respec and go for a Baron life variant, which i will detail more below. I will stick the energy shield version in its own spoiler for the sake of posterity but i can no longer vouch for its effectiveness. Additionally, map bosses got a LOT more health, which honestly makes them fairly hard for this build, though still doable. taking a full complement of coruscating elixers is recommended.

I added a new video of the updated build clearing a t13 waterways map.


Zombiesplosions are really quite satisfying
Massive burst damage
Gloriously off-meta
not bothered by reflect at all


Requires a league-specific unique to function (though it is a cheap one and available through The Forsaken div cards)
Cannot be directly affected by potions. yeah. That’s inconvenient in a big way
Zombie AI can limit effective clearing. Can still do maps in a few minutes but this isn’t really a powerclearer
Can run out of ammo during big boss fights, taking away most of our damage

So, on to the core mechanics

How do I make zombies explode?

This build depends on being able to reliably kill your own zombies. This presents a problem. Simply resummoning them will trigger the chaos cloud from Beacon of corruption, but will not trigger minion instability. To do this, you have to actually get your minions to low life. This can be achieved through a combination of 2 uniques.

The Umbilicus Immortalis is an interesting belt. It gives max life and max health regen which are great, but it also makes it so that all of your potions affect your zombies instead of you. This is a huge drawback, so basically nobody uses this belt. Which is good for us, because it is a league-specific item, and its unpopularity keeps it cheap. I got mine for all of 5 chaos. It is also available by trading in 7 The forsaken Divination cards.

This potion lowers your health to 1 whenever you chug it. With the belt, this effectively lowers your Zombies life to 1 instead. Which means they explode. Huzzah. This potion can be bought for 1 chaos or lower. You will want at least 2, preferably 3. Most packs will give enough charges to sustain the potion, but tougher monsters will eat through charges, so you will want some backups

Scaling up to the biggest bang

The main source of damage in this build in the minion instability keystone. This causes your minions to explode when they drop below 35% life, dealing a third of their max life as fire damage to surrounding enemies. Once they explode, the Flesh Binder Ascendancy passive from the Necromancer tree will leave behind a caustic cloud dealing 50% of the zombies life per sec. I believe this lasts for 5 seconds. This is good for picking off stragglers. It is important to note that Minion Instability will apply damage for every minion you have, while beacon of corruption will only apply the damage for one minion, as DoT effects do not typically stack.

Both of these effects deal damage based off your minions’ base life. Being minion effects, they are also scaled by anything affecting your minions, most notably minion damage and area. It is important to get these things whenever you can. Though remember that minion damage is not your damage, minion area is not your area. Taking fire damage or area nodes in the tree will do nothing, and neither will bonuses from equipment (unless it is a shield and you take necromantic aegis) So almost all damage is acquired from minion nodes in the tree, or from some equipment. Notably, bone helmets and equipment made from Essences of Fear can be used to scale your damage, though trying to find worthwhile equipment made from these is exceedingly expensive. The Baron version of the build can also output your strength onto your minions, increasing their base health and melee damage significantly.

It is also possible to increase the damage of minion instability by reducing the enemy fire resist. For this reason, we take elemental equilibrium and trigger it with ball lightning totem/shield charge. We also manually cast flammability on tougher enemies.

The big item used for scaling your damage is this thing

Mon'tegruls grasp gives a huge health boost to your zombies, at the cost of only having half as many. This build maxes at 6 zombies using this, 12 without. Though you technically can get higher damage with 12, having 6 actually works better because you save time summoning them. This also gives zombies a boost to their melee damage, and causes them to explode any enemy that they kill in melee. This explosion also scales with minion damage, and is actually fairly useful for clearing out stragglers or trivial enemies such as the baby beetles. The explosion can clear normal white packs, but is more efficient to just detonate the zombies.


Base damage is calculated via this equation

Base damage for instability=.33*(minion base life)*(1+increased minion life)*(1+increased minion damage)*any more multipliers

Base damage per sec for corruption=.1*(minion base life)*(1+increased minion life)*(1+increased minion damage)*any more multipliers

Functionally, scaling minion damage and life achieves the same result damagewise. Minion damage also scales damage better for your SRS, and life keeps your golem alive. It is also important to get as high a level as you can on your minion gems, to maximize their base life. Notably, The Baron unique helm will increase your minions base life by giving them your strength value

outside of explosing, the sombies are still able to put out a fairly decent melee beatdown. Investing in minion damage and the montreguls effects means they can hold their own, but we also pick of this jewel so that they can attack better more frequently, just to help them out a bit. IT isnt necissary but is a decent backup.

gem setup and explanation

Raise Zombie-minion damage-minion life-spell echo-minion speed/increased aoe/concentrated effect

This is fairly straightforward. Summon zombie with the most health and damage you can. Echo just allows you to summon zombies faster, which helps a lot for clear times. If you REALLY need to function in a 4 link you can probably drop echo, though I wouldn’t recommend it. I used to use increased area as it was one of the few ways to increase explosion radius, but I am finding that minion speed basically just lets the zombies spread out to get greater coverage. Conc effect may still be swapped in for boss fights.

Basically, blow up zombies, summon more zombies, rinse, repeat. If you really want to devote a 6 link to this, fire penetration or empower are probably the best choices.

Getting a high quality in the zombie gem will increase their maximum life and movement speed, so is very useful. Quality is also very useful in the minion life and damage gems, and useful in the area/conc effect. not really useful on echo though.

SRS (BBBR The Baron)
Summon raging spirits-minion damage-spell echo-multistrike

These serve a couple purposes. They are a satisfactory secondary damage source, especially important if you manage to run out of potions. They deal a lot of fire damage so triggering EE will help their damage significantly. Their other primary purpose is to manipulate zombie AI. Zombies are programmed defensively, meaning they will really only target things if they get close or are in active combat with an ally. Raging spirits count as an ally and will actually cause your zombies to spread out and attack people, promoting much better coverage. Just having a few spirits running around will seriously increase your clearspeed. They will also spread caustic clouds when they time out, which can clear white packs decently. The baron gives +2 minion levels so they should ideally go there, but the colors are kinda unfriendly. A high level added chaos is supposedly comparable to multistrike, but it doesn’t scale off of elemental equilibrium, and I don’t want to buy one.

Quality in SRS will give them movespeed, which is very helpful. Multistrike quality gives melee damage, quality minion damage gives damage to both melee hits and caustic cloud. Don’t bother with quality on echo.

3.3 update- These guys are generally less important now that Flesh binder gives significant boost to zombies, and they can no longer trigger the degen. you should still have it socketed somewhere just to manipulate the ai, but it can be reasonably swapped out. CWDT for bone offering may be a decent replacement, but i will leave it to your creativity

Shield charge (RRG Mon'tregul's grasp/shield)
Shield charge-faster attacks-fortify
This is used to get around quickly. A common play pattern for this build is to shield charge into the largest pack around, convocate to summon minions, then detonate. If you have a bit of (non-fire) elemental damage from equipment, than it can also be used to trigger elemental equilibrium, which is really only relevant when facediving rares. Fortify is used to increase durability, though honestly your accuracy is so godawful it doesn’t always trigger.

Ball lightning totem (BGGR glove/boot)
Ball lightning-spell totem-GMP-blind
This thing is used to proc elemental equilibrium and provides a hell of a defensive boost. Blind is ridiculously effective, providing most of the effect of an evasion build without any actual investment in evasion. Ball lightning was chosen because it hits enough that you can reliably blind most opponents even with the small chance per hit. The colors are not particularly friendly on this one, so if you don’t feel like hucking the chromes at it than an increased area gem instead of GMP still provides decent coverage.

Curses (BB/G)
This is used to boost your defense or offense as you see fit. Enfeeble reduces a huge chunk of incoming damage. Flammability is a huge offensive boost, giving fire pen for minion instability and giving it a significant chance to ignite. Unfortunately, zombies have a really high mana cost so blaspheming both curses isnt very practical. Typically i blasphemy enfeeble and manually cast flammability on tougher opponents. the flammability can be socketed anywhere not attached to the blasphemy

[I]The rest of these aren’t linked to anything so can just go wherever there is room[/I]

This skill is pretty critical. It will summon your zombies to your location. This can be used to dogpile them on top of a tougher enemy, or simple bring them to your location if they are lagging behind. As I said before, the general play pattern is to charge into a group, summon zombies with this and then detonate. There is a small cast time on this, so if you time it right you can split your detonation so that some zombies will be where you are and some will be spread around.

This is a chaos inoculation build. It basically just really wants discipline. This gives about 1300 ES, just use it.

this really isnt needed on baron version

This is used to regen mana fast enough to repeatedly summon zombies. I have mine sitting at level 13 which seems to be working fine. It is also important for triggering commander of darkness

Stone/chaos golem
These are strong minions used for a defensive boost. With life now being important, stone golem is probably a bit better than the chaos

Bone offering
With the death of energy shield, something was needed to bolster your defence. The mistress of sacrifice ascendancy allows you to be effected by bone offering, giving you a huge boost to block chance. Using this and a decent shield alone gets you to 64% block as well as 34% block chance. Ideally i would link this to increased duration, but honestly i was out of slots.

it may be possable to scapre some of these slots out of the less-useful now SRS setup. i leave it to your discrescion.

gearing and defense

The life version of this build depends prettymuch entirely on this thing

The Baron is a REALLY nice hat. it gives half of your strength to your zombies, which increases their base health as well as their melee damage. Additionally, it gives additional zombies per 300 strength. with this thing and the +1 zombies body armor mod from cat you can get up to 6 zombies at a time. In addition to THAT, your zombies will leech 2% of their damage to you if you have over 1k strength. This is important, as it is basically the only form of sustain you will have. And it is a lot of sustain, as your zombies do some pretty good damage, and it applies to the minion instability explosion. Basically, the rest of the equiptment and passive tree just go towards stacking as much strength as you can get. Towards that end, this can be pretty helpful.

Astramentis is essentially the most pure strength you can get out of an amulet. Although honestly i think it is a bit overrated. AStrementis can be very expensive, and it is possable to buy a rare amulet that gives over 100 strength for a fraction of the cost, and it may even have some health or resists on it. But i had an astramentis lying around so may as well use it. another big boost to strength is these boots

These give you increased strength. Thats prettymuch it, they entirely exist just to boost you up to 1k strength.

These two jewels are also of use, though i will explain them better in the tree section

Other than that, you generally want to get as much strength on your equiptment as possable. IT is also important to get a shield with high block chance. Lioneyes remorse is excellent for this, also giving a huge chunk of health and armor. Daressos courage is another decent option if you just need some resists(as sadly, i did), and also gives some additional block chance in certain circumstances. As well as strength, try to get health and resists wherever you can.

my current gear

Im going to be honest, my gear isnt very good. The reason for that is that it is 100% scavanged from stuff just lying around my stash in order to prove that this build simply works. The resists arent balanced well and i had to jump through some hoops and use my second choice shield in order to get everything maxed. If you actually buy gear with this build in mind you can do far better than I.

Note that the armor has the +1 zombies mod from cat. This will allow you to get a max of 6 zombies.

In terms of defense, most of what actually keeps you alive is active effects. Try and keep fortify and bone offering up as much as possable. Your zombie leech should do a fairly good job keeping you alive, but do not hesitate to retreat if you are getting low. If things are getting dicey, keep your zombies alive for meatshields and try to output some damage with SRS. This build works best with hit and run tactics.

passive tree

This is my ideal endgame tree. It is possable at level 85, so any more levels should just go towards
health or other defenses.


The tree has two primary focuses. Getting literally every source of minion health and damage, and getting as much strength as possable. What is left goes towards getting a decent health pool.

Discussed most of the important passives elsewhere, so will go through a quick summary of some of the more important passives.

Minion instability- Your primary damage source and the point of this build

Elemental equilibrium- this is a huge damage boost for minion instability

-This jewel is socketed between the witch and scion in order to turn all that int into strength.

-this is socketed into the templar jewel node to give zombies a melee boost. Not striclty necissary but helpful.

- I am currently using two of these, at the marauder and maruader-scion jewel nodes. They are used to get the final push to 1k strength. In theory with diferent equiptment you may be able to drop one or both.

The mana cost nodes near templar are very helpful for taking the edge off the high mana cost of zombies

Whispers of doom allows for an additional curse


This class goes necromancer, as it offers a lot of damage and a bit of utility.

Invoker- this gives a big boost to minion life and damage and makes convocation aeaier to use. Most importantly it is necissary to get to the next one.

Flesh binder- This is zombie build, the pasive. It gives a huge secondary damage sourse from the degen, a bit f survivability for you, an extra zombie and makes zombies way better at beating the crap out of people.

Mistress of Sacrifice- This enables you to be effected by Bone Offering, which is a massive boon to your defenses.

Commander of darkness- Simply having clarity on will give a 30% damage boost to your zombies, as well as giving you an extra 20% to all resists.


Numbers and stuff

3.3 update-- most of these numbers are massively wrong. For better data, please consult the PoB link at the top.

This section is basically just a place to dump actual numerical stuff out of the build. These are my current numbers, as I am too lazy to go look up the maximum values for all the gems I don’t actually have.

Defensively, at time of writing I have 5494 HP, with 61% block and 30% spell block. Resist are maxed but only barely, though my gear is not ideal so there is some wiggle room.

It is possable to have 6 zombies max with this build, though at the moment of testing i only have 5. EAch zombie has 28729 max health. According to path of building the minion instability damage to regular mooks is 56433 per zombie (total detonate damage 56433*6=338,598. The causetic cloud will do 11955 DPS. Ageinst bosses the instability damage drops to 34333 (*6=205,998) and the caustic cloud deals 10162.5 dps. The actual zombie melee attacks do 8151 dps, and the area attacks do 9759dps.(both vs bosses). SRS do 6313 dps vs mooks and 4858 vs bosses. with all 20 that is 97160 vs bosses.


This is a video of the baron life version clearing a T13 waterways map. I managed it deathless but there were a couple close calls. Though the map had a life recovery penalty that was really screwing with my leech.


this is the first video i ever made bout anything, so is what it is

old build, Basically just did a zana mission


old build one shotting old voll

my OTHER minion instability build

I have created another build in the same line as this, except using skeletons this time

[3.3] Explode-a-bone minion instability skeleton/dark pact necro

energy shield version

This build used to use pure ES so that it had the health pool to deal with most incoming damage, and decent sustain options to deal with lack of being able to use potions. I am dumping the ES version here in case anybody still wants to try it, but i have not used it since the 3.0 ES nerf.

defensive strategy

This build has some defensive limitations. The biggest of which was it has no decent way to regain health. It does no direct damage, so cannot leech. You cannot use potions to regain health as it would just heal the zombies. So the best option left was to simply invest solely in energy shield, and retreat to recharge if your health gets low. In order to get the highest amount of energy shield possible, we take chaos inoculation. We also take Zealots oath, which helps to prevent any ignites or bleeds from just draining our ES, as we cannot cleanse them with flask mods. The regen passives near scion, as well as the unique effect from our belt give enough to deal with the occasional puncture or ignite.

Also, just because we cannot benefit directly from flasks does not mean we cannot indirectly benefit from them. A Sulphur flask creates consecrated ground around your zombies, granting an additional 4% regen for zealot’s oath. Similarly, an aquamarine flask creates chilled ground which you can use to slow tougher enemies. A stibnite flask may also be used to spread smoke clouds, though the ball lightning totem already applies blind so it is a bit redundant.

As mentioned before, linking fortify to your shield slam and running a blasphemy enfeeble gives a fairly large chunk of damage reduction, which does a decent job at keeping you alive. With the large health pool provided by chaos inoculation, you rarely get bursted so you can simply retreat and regenerate for a few seconds if things get dicey.

However, the energy shield defense does have another flaw. IF you simply dive into a group of enemies, you can easily find yourself completely stunlocked, unable to convocate your zombies or properly escape. This problem is solved with this ring

Valyrium makes it so stuns are calculated off of your ES instead of life. It does reduce your cold resist by a large chunk but that can be dealt with. Basically problem solved.

With 9.5k ES, overmaxed resists, damage reduction from enfeeble fortify and golem, blinding totem, and some distraction from zombies and golem, this build can actually be pretty hard to put down. The only thing that has really given issue is occasional lucky stuns can interrupt convocation, meaning you are stuck in the middle of a pack with no real ability to sustain or clear it.

gear and equipment

Most of the gear I am using is stuff I just had lying around. Generally, the main thing you need is as much energy shield as possible. OF course, as in all builds, you need to max out your resists and get enough stats to function properly

current gear:

Passive tree

level 80ish passive tree

for bandits, just kill them all.

The main goal of the tree is to get literally every single point of minion damage and minion life. This also serves to get you enough zombies to have 4 after the reduction from Mon'treguls grasp. The rest in spent between getting mana, energy shield, and some jewel slots.

Discussed most of the important passives elsewhere, so will go through a quick summary of some of the more important passives.

Minion instability- Your primary damage source and the point of this build

Elemental equilibrium- this is a huge damage boost for minion instability

Zealots oath-This is used to provide a slight amount of in combat sustain, particularly useful for helping you survive random DoTs.

Essence surge-these passives go a long ways towards actually getting your ES recharged in a reasonable amount of time.

Chaos Inoculation- This makes it so you can invest in pure energy shield without having to worry about dying to random chaos damage. The cluster behind it also helps to generate a massive ES pool

agility, alacrity, might- +30 attribute nodes. These help a lot for getting the stats to run the build properly, but can be replaced by getting the stats on equipment.

The jewel slot near the Melding nodes is used for energy from within. This will give an additional 15% ES, along with whatever the jewel itself gives you.

For the rest of the jewels, look for some combination of minion damage, minion life, energy shield, energy shield recharge rate/recharge delay, and any attributes or resists you need.


This class goes necromancer, as it offers a lot of damage and a bit of utility.

beacon of Corruption- The second largest source of damage for this build. This one is pretty important.

Spirit eater-This provides more corpses per desecrate, which is very useful in boss fights. Also gives a large boost to minion damage.

Flesh binder-eh, 4% damage reduction aint THAT huge, but it’s not the worst. The little node on the way is actually more worth it.

Commander of darkness- This gives a little bit of minion damage and attack speed from your two auras, but is mostly there for the +20% to all resists. IF you have really good equipment, you can get more from just grabbing the two little minion nodes, or trying to find room for an offering skill and taking mistress off sacrifice.

If I am being perfectly honest, i have no idea how to level this character. I respected it out of an old witch i was keeping around for sentimental reasons (the first character i ever got through merciless). If i had to guess, i would say level it as summon raging spirits, then transfer over to zombiesplosions once you have enough energy shield to serve as a proper health pool.

Last edited by sagiterios on Jun 22, 2018, 11:02:05 PM
Last bumped on Jun 22, 2018, 11:02:52 PM
Would love to see a video showing the mechanics at work, and also possibly what map mods are problematic for this build.

+1 for the combo of Belt + Flask though.
Hot Flashes: poeurl.com/bPZT
Balance: poeurl.com/btzp
Shocking EleHit: poeurl.com/bZXo
added a video

Last edited by sagiterios on Dec 14, 2016, 10:43:39 PM
Can you please try using 20 SRS with this build and post a video?

I know that your zombies have 6.6k base life and the srs only have 3.3k base life but there are only 4 zombies and there are 20 raging spirits.

So the srs would do 5 times the damage outdamaging the zombies in numbers by 250% more damage.

Also the srs wont require corpses, can be casted faster and have super good pathing (basically homing bombs). Please post if it's any good.
Also is there any way to refill your potions on bosses? Like using worms or something?
PayneK wrote:
Can you please try using 20 SRS with this build and post a video?

I know that your zombies have 6.6k base life and the srs only have 3.3k base life but there are only 4 zombies and there are 20 raging spirits.

So the srs would do 5 times the damage outdamaging the zombies in numbers by 250% more damage.

Also the srs wont require corpses, can be casted faster and have super good pathing (basically homing bombs). Please post if it's any good.
Also is there any way to refill your potions on bosses? Like using worms or something?

Couple corrections here. The zombies have 6.6k base damage, 20k base life. Spirits have i think about 6.4k life with passive increases (it doesnt actually say in game). So each zombie is still worth a bit over 3 spitits in damage. While exploding 20 SRS would do serious damage, the belt effect only applies to zombies and spectres, meaning you cant detonate them at will. They only explode if something actually damages them enough to do so. They still do some decent damage through normal attacks and the degen cloud, but if i had to guess i would say that the SRS deal somewhere less than half of detonating zombies. They can still put out some damage, but it is far more effective to focus on keeping zombies up as long as potions last.

Unfortunately most ways of regaining potion charges during bossfights involve uniques that are expensive and not otherwise useful and doing a lot of crits. That just really not worth it as far as this goes. Every boss i have done so far can be killed in 6 potion uses or less, but i havnt done any of the guardians or atziri yet. Though most of the bigger fights have some mooks running around to gain potions off of, so they may be vaguely possable. If you run out, you can still refill potions by wasting a portal to go back to town, but that may not be worth it on some fights.
immortalis is no more that "unpopular" belt, its worth several chaos this league....
The Idea of this build is increadible!! Really like this! How to increased your zombies aoe?
I think you can do more ignite points, bones of ulr and get more dps.
What do you think about the Maligaro's lens shield ? with the aegis keystone it will give +20% hp to zombie and a +10% area radius.
the minus resis and the life given when an allie die are irrelevant but well, it seem good enough.
Chaipak wrote:
What do you think about the Maligaro's lens shield ? with the aegis keystone it will give +20% hp to zombie and a +10% area radius.
the minus resis and the life given when an allie die are irrelevant but well, it seem good enough.

I actually did try that, and a s far as i could tell it was bugged. At least the tooltip simply would not register the increased zombie life, so it really didnt seem to do much besides add area. Also, for CI the shield is usually the second largest ES source so it was a fairly large sacrifice for not a lot of gain.

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