[2.6] Zombie summoner - 6 Big Zombies

Harakens wrote:
Alright thanks! if i would start with this build in legacy what passive tree would you recommend and what skill would you use while leveling to get at "summoner" level? sorry if this has been asked already >_<

:edit: forgot to add a word :P

I am still updating the OP but I ould probably path towards the lowlife/ci variant while taking all the easily accessible health notes and play hybrid. If I can go lowlife I'll probably try that first

This league I have a feeling zombies will be decent quite early so I'll try to incorporate them as I go, but besides that good leveling skills to go with them are usually something like firestorm and then bladefall.

I'll add a "leveling" section soon
I am still updating the OP but I ould probably path towards the lowlife/ci variant while taking all the easily accessible health notes and play hybrid. If I can go lowlife I'll probably try that first

This league I have a feeling zombies will be decent quite early so I'll try to incorporate them as I go, but besides that good leveling skills to go with them are usually something like firestorm and then bladefall.

I'll add a "leveling" section soon

Thanks for the answers gonna play this build as my starter for legacy and see where it goes :)
Last edited by Harakens on Mar 3, 2017, 4:20:55 AM
Could this be a nice addition with SRS? I feel like there is a happy medium between going full zombie and adding SRS somewhere into the mix, or am I spreading too thin.
zypherman wrote:
Could this be a nice addition with SRS? I feel like there is a happy medium between going full zombie and adding SRS somewhere into the mix, or am I spreading too thin.

You most likely want to cast something to "steer" your zombies with, and a 4L SRS seems pretty good for this, you don't even need to spec into duration nodes with the new SRS cap. (Usually I use The Vertex for 4L SRS, it is perfect with the reduced mana cost and +1 gems).
Yup, srs is perfectly viable on a 4-link to go with 6-linked Zombies. One of my favourite builds from breach was basically a chaos srs / flame golem build where I did exactly that. I linked srs to minion damage, melee splash and added chaos and stuck it in my hat. Helped me clear harder things for sure, such as Chayula's Domain.

I'm sure something similar can be done here, especially with lowlife and lots of auras.
allana wrote:
Note: This is a build very much in progress that I will update constantly up until 2.6 starts and then iterate on it from that point on. Currently it's not any where near complete but it might have some good suggestions for what to be on the lookout for.


As a long-time summoner fan I've decided to start the next league with a Zombie build because of the newly added changes that affect Zombies (biggest change is their range improvement which will improve their AI, ergo clearspeed, significantly).

If Zombies aren't your thing but you still like summons, I recommend my previous 2.5 build thread for all things Golems, which includes discussion and suggestions for league starters as well (I started breach league with a golemancer and it worked well!)

Link can be found here: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1828990

Now, onto the main show. Raise Zombie has traditionally mostly been used as a meatshield because they lack the clearspeed and honestly the AI to kill things effectively. These will both change after friday, the only question is how much - but we will see. It's still not a bad build by any means today (unless you compare clearing speed to the really strong AoE skills) as it can still do most content, albeit more slowly.

There are three variations when it comes to defense that are feasible; Lowlife (most expensive but usually very strong due to natural synergy with Necromancer ascendancy Commander of Darkness), Chaos Innoculation (highest effective health but less auras / blasphemy curses) or Life. With the ES variants you need to invest into anti stun and probably anti freeze or you'll have a bad time. With the life variant you can also use mind over matter and eldritch battery to reserve most, if not all, your mana while keeping ES as a secondary defense.

My personal preference would be to use one of the ES variants as they've proven more successful to me previously, as you don't leech anything yourself I prefer having as large a health pool as possible. However, it's not reasonable to start off a league with CI or lowlife as you'll be starved for gear so from the start I would just go for life until you can afford or craft decent enough ES items to make the switch. For CI that would be a decent regalia, maybe 600+ ES and for lowlife it's a Shavronne's Wrappings.

Skill tree

CI Endgame tree


Note that this tree are missing a few things:

* Necromantic Aegis - it's up to your preference
* Extra ES or Jewel nodes

Aura reservations:

The enlighten is not required but it can allow you to recast Zombies without turning of an aura. With the following links:
Raise Zombie
Minion Damage
Inc AoE/Conc Effect
Melee Physical
Zombie costs 167 mana per cast

More testing on supper gems will be required but having up to 200 mana unreserved would do very good for recastability.

Why those auras? Discipline is just more health for you, a nobrainer. Haste helps them reach their targets faster and gives you a quality of life increase as well. The biggest threat to Zombies has always been high degen damage and the more they can regen each second the better, that's why we use vitality as our third aura. This also works well in conjunction with all the regen we will get for Zealot's Oath.

Zombies will do enough damage with the flasks and the Umbilicus belt.

Low life endgame tree


With this build we will forego Necromantic Aegis entirely as we use Prism Guardian to stack up on Auras.

Aura reservations:

Since we'll use a lot more auras we'll be more starved for gem sockets, so we will have to make due with some compromising optimisations.

The two blasphemy curses will be Temporal Chains and either Enfeeble or Vulnerability, depending on if you want more damage or more survivability. Dealer's choice.

It's also possible to remove the blasphemy and use a Curse on Hit setup instead. This allows us to run one more big aura which would in this case be Hatred.

Life with Mind over Matter endgame tree


With this build I would forego energy shield altogether and instead use 2x of these:

socketed with Haste and probably vitality, leaving the rest of our mana pool open so that it can be used for MoM. We could also squeeze in something cheap like an Arctic Armour if so desired.

Aura reservations:


There are some items that I consider mandatory and some items that you can choose from. Seeing as the upcoming league will contain every unique added to the game aside from drop-restricted items such as Demigod's pieces, the availability of a lot of oddities will increase. Here are my current thougts:

Required uniques

Bones of Ullr should be your first purchase and they're common enough to not cost more than a chaos or two. It's one more zombie and one more spectre, can't beat that even with the lackluster stats. We want to get at least 5 big zombies with mon'treguls so this will be required.

Secondly, mon'tregul's grasp is receiving some huge buffs and it's looking like a great item. A problem with Zombies has been their survivability end-game and this item should help a lot with that, while making sure they pack a damn big punch.

Third we got Umbilicus, one of my favourite summoner items. This allows you to scale the survivability, movement speed, damage or whatever you want of your minions - Substantially. The downside is that you can no longer flask yourself so keep that in mind and don't go bananas with corrupting blood stacks. Luckily as a summoner we hardly attack as it is, and with some ES regen from the tree (and the belt itself) we'll usually have no problems withstanding a few stacks of it. Being frozen is scarier though, but definitely worth the tradeoff.

Now, when it comes to your chest armor there are many good suggestions, depending mainly on your choice of defense type. I'll outline some good ones below

High ES regalia with +1 Zombies mod (or just even higher ES) - this allows you to get the 10th Zombie which gives us the 5 we want from Mon'treguls grasp, while you can use Eye of Chayula to be immune to stun. Great for CI since it will add the highest possible effective health to you.

Shavronne's wrappings - necessary for lowlife. If you want to be a more supportive and aurabased character, there's no better choice

Vis Mortis - solid choice for either life based with MoM or CI. You'll have less ES than with a regalia but after the buff to it you'll be in a decent place. Great about it is that your minions will gain unholy might and another spectre never hurts, even if they aren't our main focus.

Belly of the beast / generic rare chest with life and resist - if you want to go a life-based summoner something like this isn't half bad. Belly is fairly easy to roll the colours needed on as well, since we usually only want 2 blue and the rest red/green


Unset rings rolled with Essence of Fear. With the new + skill mod, trying to get one with +3 would be ideal, so you can get beefy auras to go with your Zombies. Or a good place to put a stone golem.

Gloves: Generic ES gloves with what you're missing - resistances or stats. Can craft minion damage if there's an open prefix


This is where it gets interesting. With a lot of unique shields being buffed in 2.6, there's options for more things with Necromantic aegis if you wish to take this route. I am currently eyeballing this item:

Which are receiving some substantial buffs. With enough block from jewels and the shield itself you'll be able to make the zombies keep up unholy might nonstop, while also getting a flat bonus to their damage.

Other options include
to give your minions charges

If you don't want to use necromantic aegis but rather be more defensive yourself, you can run one of the following:

I would only use the rathpith on a life-based build since the other defenses are so low.


If you're running CI you usually want eye of chayula, unless you get stun immunity/avoidance from other sources. For lowlife presence of chayula is simply the strongest due to the massive survivablity buff you get.

However, if you want to maximise your minions you'll either want to use a talisman with +1 zombie or +1 zombie enchanted on your chest armor so that you get a total of 10 (5 big ones). If you happen to get lucky / rich enough to afford a greatwofl talisman with +2 Zombies you can combine both of these and get a total of 6 big zombies for maximum cool factor. Chicks dig many big zombies.

Gem links

Order of importance
Raise Zombie -> Minion Damage -> Melee Physical Damage are mandatory links. Then we will have to do further testing but Empower 4 is going to be solid, but hard to get early.
Poison should be your 5th link and depending on how the slam works, we will want to use Conc effect / Increased Area of effect. With Mon'tregul's I don't think Melee splash will be needed.

So, suggested links:
Raise Zombie, Minion Damage, Melee Physical Damage, Increased Area of Effect, Poison, Empower

Other mentions: Faster attacks, melee splash, added chaos damage, added fire. Testing after 2.6 will allow me to update this list.

The rest will be dependent on your build choice but there are some in general used across all builds:

Stone golem is our goto golem

We need to decide on offerings to use. Flesh Offering or Spirit Offering are more offensive, while Bone Offering is defensive. I usually run with Flesh but since Zombies deal physical damage, Spirit offering is an alright choice for them. It's extra good if you run lowlife as you'll heal yourself every time you use it as well.

There's some other abilities we always use which include Convocation, Desecrate - general summoner quality of life. If possible to fit in a cast when damage taken / immortal call is helpful.

If you play ES and have a decent amount of aura effectiveness I recommend running vaal haste/disc with increased duration as well.


To be added

While it's a more expensive route I would suggest getting Severed in Sleep early on it might cost around 20c or more but it will free up a link in your zombies (gives poison on hit) AND it will heal your zombies when they kill something that has been poisoned (aka anything they hit) United in Dream is hands down BiS weapon for summoner period. poison on hit + lvl 15 Envy aura (chaos damage aura for more poison damage) and minions leech 5% of the poison damage they do as life per hit. I started league last season with a Necro summoner running 9 zombies (4 linked) and 3 spectres (4 linked) and SRS (only used 2 link but it was to help with zombie AI and targeting) I didn't get Severed in Sleep or United in dream because i changed builds early on but soon as i got to 70 i was able to do T7 yellow maps with any mod and i had crap gear. Was running 9 aura's. The buff from necromancer is just so much that you want as many auras as you can manage. So life ES hybrid and taking low life node for massive increase in damage. Last league the guy who made the build i decided to try was running t15s with his setup and he didnt have anything more than 4 linked. (SRS spectres zombies where all only 4link). Could drop spectres all together (i find them super annoying to summon) and just run zombies and golem and then use SRS for directing. With the new jewel zombies should be pretty strong. In 2.5 the guy calculated that each of his zombies did around 26k damage (pre united in dream) and he had 9 of them and they where only 4 linked.

If you went united in dream for weapon your 6 link could be.... Zombies-melee phys-minion phys- faster attack- minion speed- multistrike/added fire/fortify/minion life/OR if you can find a way to apply bleeds 100% of the time yourself you can slot bloodlust for a pretty hefty boost in damage across the board that will also double dip with your posion from United in dream.
Last edited by KuraiArashi on Mar 3, 2017, 8:28:08 AM
The reason I don't advocate for united in dream are:

1) Envy aura does it best with many smaller hits - it's great for SRS or if you have, as you say, 10 zombies with faster attacks and whatnot. However, we're going for the newly buffed Mon'Tregul's Grasp to try that out and will work the clearspeed via increasing that AoE with the infernal blow and the slam.

2) It comes down to it, the first blessing of chayula we obtain would be best spent on a presence of chayula. United in dream is a great weapon and very possibly something for the endgame, but not necessarily needed. We will see.

3) You are listing a lot of support gems that don't necessarily increase the damage of our minions. Everything I've seen so far hints at GGG wanting to make the zombie's special ability way better, with that in mind it's what I've decided to try scaling first.

envy aura in any combination is NEVER good with zombies . for the same reason why the added chaos gem in any zombie build is NEVER good.

zombies have implicitly high base damage and implicitly low attack speed . this means they are terrible with added damage sources.

you should under no circumstance use flat damage on zombies.

the only way you can use montre and united in dream is in 2 situations

1 you are a life build wtihout umbilicus

2 you are using a high es 6l +1 zombie chest as ci and can use umbilicus . but this will mean your zombies are capped at gem level 24 which imo is a pretty low level for end game zombies.

level is the most important stat for zombies . it is their accuracy , it is their armor , it is their damage , their hit points.

everything works because the base is solid. so i caution anyone rolling zombies .. do not sacrifice gem levels for anything if you can help it.

as for srs or another castable minion .. you can do it .. but i wouldn't because really it goes against the flavor of an actual zombie build

you go zombies most so that you dont have to spend time every pack summoning 20 minions that die 10 seconds later. this means you can open your play style up to casting supporting skills for the zombies to make them on par with other skills

in terms of base damage potential. zombies are technically the lowest dps minion in the game .. yes even skeletons have a higher damage potential

however zombies have the highest buff potential in the game .. you can do a metric butt-ton of things to juice up a zombie that is normally not practical for other builds ..

So while you can do srs and infact i strongly recommend srs while leveling any summoner .. for the sake of really tasting an actual zombie build i strong suggest not using temporary minions.. and simply see how far you can go with making the zombies your total focus
Last edited by Saltychipmunk on Mar 3, 2017, 9:34:38 AM
The SRS is only to steer the zombies and a little extra dmg.

what lvl for CWDT - IC?
Last edited by wsbisev on Mar 3, 2017, 12:12:33 PM

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