[3.2] SRS/Zombies Necromancer

3.2 Update

+ Minions get 20% extra movement speed
+ 30% increased minion duration
+ 12 increased minion attack and cast speed if you/they have killed recently
+ 30% minion life
+ 2 extra zombies
+ Zombies' Slam has 100% increased AoE + Cooldown recovery speed
+ 30% increased minion damage if you've used a minion skill recently
+ 50% increased convocation cooldown recovery speed

- we lose 15% attack and cast speed with flesh offering(now 50% effect)
- 15% chaos resistance
- 30% skill effect duration
- 10% minion damage
- 4% cast speed

What does this mean for the build?
We don't need to change anything gear wise. We drop mistress of sacrifice as the 15% attack and cast speed we get from flesh offering isn't really that great, the skill effect duration loss is also made up by the fact we get minion duration from puppet master instead, this is a decent trade off because we will be casting offering/convocation more often now to keep up the 30% minion damage buff (every 4 seconds) and it won't effect our SRS duration.

We get +2 zombies which is another big zombie, couple that with the increased AoE + cd recovery speed, 20% minion movement speed, convocation cd buff and our clear speed should be much better. The convocation is a nice quality of life change and it will let us play more agressive and get our zombies out of danger a lot more often.(I was hoping convocation had 80%+ cd reduction as then I think shaper would be viable). The downside to this update for zombies is that these improvements mainly benefit mapping and the problem of poor zombie defenses are still present(but you can use convocation more)

This patch brings quite a decent QoL, damage and clear speed buff for the build. If you enjoy mainly mapping and doing challenges I would say the build is a lot better in 3.2.

The build links will be updated as the new skill tree goes live, I have added Path of Building links with the updated changes. As always I will be answering any questions you guys have and will be fine tuning the build during the league if changes or improvements are found.

Hi there, the guide has been updated for 3.2. The build is ideal for people looking for a traditional summoner that is cheap, good at clearing, beginner friendly, easy to level and a great league starter. It offers a really smooth experience throughout the game until ~t15 maps, guardians are doable but require good mechanics and gear on your part, the build is perfect for farming currency early and swapping to a high budget summoner later in the league if you want to farm bosses.

The build focuses on using zombies as meat shields and summon raging spirits to compliment the zombies to clear maps fast and easily. I try to avoid using expensive items and potential items/abilities that will most likely be nerfed(err The Baron?) so that the build will remain intact and be consistently updated for each patch.

+ Excellent for mapping
+ Cheap to get going, perfect league starter
+ Beginner friendly
+ Labyrinth is very easy to run
+ Fast movement speed
+ HC viable
+ Life based with life leech
+ Good in groups and solo.

- Not suited for super end game bosses
- Strength can be a bit annoying to get over 1k, optional though
- Resists can be a bit annoying to cap but see FAQ.

Please read the FAQ section to clear up some questions, feel free to PM me on the forums or post in the guide. I ask that you don't message me in game please because it can get overwhelming and difficult to help.


Note:Ignore the socket colours in this section, follow the "gem and links" for the correct ones.

Below you will find an explanation on each piece for the finished build, my gear example below has over 1k strength and is what you want to aim for.

Note:The only required item is the covenant, the rest can all be rares and upgraded as you gain currency. Just substitute each item for a rare with strength + resists + life until you can afford each upgrade.

My gear

Ignore socket colours
This is the gear you want to aim for, this gear puts me on 1024 strength.

The Covenant

With the changes to the covenant in 2.6, only linked gems have blood magic. This means we can get a free blood magic link and also added chaos damage, basically 2 free links. Being life based and scaling life regeneration + life leech the blood magic cost is easily regenerated.

The Baron

Amazing helmet, huge damage boost. Our minions now benefit from our strength which means a lot of damage + life for minions. With 1k strength we gain life leech from this helmet, couple that with our high life regen we regenerate a lot of life a second when our zombies are attacking. Check for the strength roll on this helmet as you want 35+ strength.

EDIT: The nerf to baron doesn't matter too much, still an excellent item.

Mon'tregul's Grasp

We use this to provide us with big zombies to tank, this halves the amount of zombies you can have but gives them a lot more damage, life and some resists. We use this to make it easier to recast zombies as its a pain to recast 10. We get 10 zombies in total, 3 base + 4 from tree + 3 from baron(1 per 300 strength). Mon'tregul's will halve this amount and round the number of zombies down if you have an odd amount of zombies (7/2 = 3.5 will become 3). This is totally fine and worth it as they have much more life, resists and damage.


We have a high dexterity requirement for auras and we want as much strength as possible, this just makes it much easier to achieve high strength and the dex.

Ahn's Heritage + Fragility jewels

Great shield, we get +3% to maximum resists, life and permanent onslaught with this. Onslaught gives us 20% attack, cast and movement speed. To always have maximum endurance charges we use 2 fragility jewels, these + the shield put us on 0/0 endurance charges which counts as always maximum charges.

Alberon's Warpath

These are used to push us over the 1k strength requirement, other than that they are quite underwhelming but we need them. Make sure you buy a pair with at least 17% increased strength roll.


Try to get double resistance + strength on the gloves, if you can try to get one with an open prefix to craft minion damage with catarina level 4. Life rolls are not necessary and are luxury.


At least 30 strength on each ring, you also want to use resist rings(topaz, sapphire, ruby, prismatic) as we need as much resists as possible on our rares to cap resistance (at 1k strength we use a lot of uniques). Life rolls doesn't matter too much, just get strength and resists covered on rings.


Heavy belt only, we want as much strength as possible on this. Get double resist, high life rolls are luxury.


2x efficient training jewels for strength, place these by the 2 sockets near the witch starting zone that we grab. 2x Fragility jewels for permanent onslaught effect from shield. Lastly you want to get Violent Dead jewels for the minion damage + zombie slam, these are the lowest priority jewels and are added as you get your last two jewel socket nodes in tree.

Where to place jewels


This is my flask preference, just make sure you have staunching + heat etc.

Useful Enchants

Flesh Offering grants an additional % increased Attack Speed
Raging Spirits have % increased Damage
Summon Raging Spirit has % chance to summon an extra Minion
% increased Summon Raging Spirit Duration
Zombies have % increased Attack Speed
+% to Raised Zombie Elemental Resistances
Zombies deal % increased Damage
% increased Flesh Offering Duration
% increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Stone Golems
% reduced Hatred Mana Reservation, saves you 2 skill points(only need one 4% aura reduction node).
% reduced Haste Mana Reservation, saves you 2 skill points.
% increased Elemental Weakness Curse Effect
% increased Elemental Weakness Duration

Cast of the Reflection when hit
Cast of the Light when you take a critical strike
Cast of the Grave when hit

Regenerate % of Life and Mana per second if you were Hit Recently
% increased Movement Speed if you haven't been Hit Recently
% Chance to Dodge if you've taken a Critical Strike Recently
% chance to Dodge Spell Damage if you've taken Spell Damage Recently

Gems and Links

Summon Raging Spirits (Body):
(1L)Summon Raging Spirit
(2L)Melee Physical Damage
(3L)Minion Damage
(4L)Elemental Damage with Attacks(Single) / Melee Splash(AoE)
(5L)Additional Accuracy
(6L)Elemental Focus/Minion Speed/Spell Echo

Raise Zombie (Helmet for +2):
(1L)Raise Zombie
(2L)Minion Damage
(3L)Melee Physical Damage

Don't link Haste/Purity to generosity.
Haste or Purity of Elements

Cast When Damage Taken:
(1L)Immortal Call(level 1)
(2L)Cast when Damage Taken(level 1)

Ball lightning to apply Elemental Equilibrium for a nice damage boost
(1L)Ball Lightning
(2L)Curse on Hit
(3L)Elemental Weakness
(4L)Greater Multiple Projectiles

Flame Dash
Flesh Offering
Vaal Haste
Optional: Summon Stone Golem, Desecrate, Decoy Totem, Vaal Lightning Trap(boss)

Skill Tree/Bandits/Ascendancy

Skill Tree
21 points

41 points

69 points

82 points

97 points

118 points

Path of Building Build Import: https://pastebin.com/2PA6D66S

Jewel Placement

Kill all for 2 passive points.

Normal: Puppet Master
Cruel: Invoker
Merciless: Flesh Binder
Uber: Commander of Darkness

These are personal preference, pick which ones you like.

Major God:
Soul of Lunaris, great for mapping.
Soul of Solaris, swap for hard bosses if needed.
Soul of the Brine King, HC choice if I don't have unwavering stance.

Minor God:
Soul of Ryslatha, great for life builds.

Necromantic Aegis variant

If you want a lot more damage at the cost of defense then this is a great budget option. We replace ahn's heritage with a Victario's Charity or Lycosidae and grab the necromantic aegis node. All links and items are the same besides 2 jewels and the shield, the tree is also a little bit different.

Necromantic Aegis

The way the shield works with this keystone is that we no longer get any bonuses from our shield(which is why you lose defense) but instead it applies to our minions. With Victario's each time our minions hit they have a 5% chance to grant a frenzy charge to nearby allies and also a 10% chance to grant a power charge to allies on kill. It is quite a nice damage boost especially if you play in groups.

If you play solo then this is probably the best dps option, it allows you to drop additional accuracy for empower or another strong 6th link.

My gear with Necromantic Aegis

This is my damage setup, best suited for non-hardcore players.

Path of building import: https://pastebin.com/cJDUY2JG

Passive Tree
Very similar but with a few nodes changed around and more emphasis on jewels slots for strength.
117 points

We get rid of fragility jewels

Jewel Placement

Hardcore + block variant

Note: The current version of the build works perfectly fine for HC, spec into whispers of doom and dual curse with enfeeble+temporal chains, grab unwavering stance instead of the 3 point jewel node by the scion start. If you want endurance charges, swap out ahn's + fragility for lioneye's remorse and use bone offering + spirit offering depending on situation. Adjusted skill tree below
Finished build for HC adjustment

Block variant
The block variant has 70%+ block, 70%+ spell block, 60%+ physical reduction with 5 endurance charges and 7 zombies, unwavering stance. Damage is roughly 50% of the SC variant but it is much safer and has a more relaxing play style.

We use bone offering + mistress of sacrifice so our offering also affects us. This means when bone offering is level 20 we get 35% block chance + 34% spell block, and 594 life each time we block. At 7k+ life, 75% block/72% spell block, 650+ life regen + 594 life on block, enfeeble + temp chains we are quite tanky.


The Covenant

With the changes to the covenant in 2.6, only linked gems have blood magic. This means we can get a free blood magic link and also added chaos damage, basically 2 free links. Being life based and scaling life regeneration + life leech the blood magic cost is easily regenerated.

Bone helmet

Use a +2 bone helmet with life + resists until you feel comfortable with your defence and you have 500+ strength, then you can switch to the baron if you want slightly more damage.

The Baron

Amazing helmet, nice damage boost. Our minions now benefit from half of our strength which means some damage + life for minions. Also has +2 to minion gems which is nice for zombies. This item was nerfed in 3.1 and should only be used with a good enchant and if you have over 500 strength.

Stone of Lazhwar

Coupled with bone offering and our max block chance this brings us to 72% spell block, and it is easy to get with minion damage corruption.

Lioneye's Remorse

Buffed with much higher base life, high armour and good block chance. Great shield.

Advancing Fortress

Life + block chance + free fortify, what more do you want in a weapon.

The Scourge

Alternative to advancing fortress for more damage, take the 3 block nodes(solidity) that link to the path on the way to unwavering stance. You spend 3 extra skill points and lose roughly 4% to max block but gain damage. Make sure to link fortify to your movement setup if you replace advancing fortress.


Swap to this for speed clearing easy content.


Get as much strength as possible, much needed resists and life.

Bisco's Leash as an alternative for mapping. Nice damage and movement speed buff with some item rarity.


Each ring needs as much dex as possible, you need at least 98 dex for gem requirements. If you can, get an unset ring as we need it for stone golem. Get your resists capped and get as much life as possible.


Life and resists are priority, get as much armour as possible. If there's a spare prefix craft minion damage from catarina level 4.


Life, movement, resists and as much armour as possible.


You want 1 or 2 reckless defence to maximise your block chance at the risk of getting hit harder, this trade off is worth it as you want to block as much as possible to generate life. For rares, life and minion damage for all of them is your goal, otherwise mix and match life and minion damage jewels. Get resists on jewels to over cap for elemental weakness.
edit: The new abyss jewel are very powerful and are quite cheap.


This is my flask preference, just make sure you have staunching + heat etc.

Gems and Links

Summon Raging Spirits (Body):
(1L)Summon Raging Spirit
(2L)Melee Physical Damage
(3L)Minion Damage
(4L)Elemental Damage with Attacks / Melee Splash
(5L)Elemental Focus / Minion Speed / Spell Echo
(6L)Additional Accuracy / Empower

Raise Zombie (Helmet for +2):
(1L)Raise Zombie
(2L)Minion Damage
(3L)Melee Physical Damage


equip in advancing fortress for free fortify
(1L)Whirling Blades
(2L)Faster Attacks

Ball lightning/Arc to apply Elemental Equilibrium for a nice damage boost
(1L)Ball Lightning/Arc
(2L)Curse on Hit
(4L)Temporal Chains

Enduring Cry
Bone Offering
Vaal Haste(level according to your dex)
Summon Stone Golem
Immortal Call(optional)

Skill Tree/Bandits/Ascendancy

21 points

41 points

69 points

101 points

119 points

Path of Building Build Import + Gear: https://pastebin.com/jvymQ6zA

Kill all for 2 passive points.

Normal: Mistress of Sacrifice
Cruel: Commander of Darkness
Merciless: Puppet Master
Uber: Invoker

These are personal preference, pick which ones you like.

Major God:
Soul of Lunaris, great for mapping.
Soul of Solaris, swap for hard bosses if needed.

Minor God:
Soul of Ryslatha, great for life builds.


Use SRS and zombies, it's a bit slow at first but it picks up quite early on and it's easy to level with. Get into the habit of keeping your offering and zombies up and using convocation to position your zombies out of danger.

lvl 1: Take Raise Zombie reward from enemy at the gate.
lvl 4: Take Summon Raging Spirit reward from Breaking Some Eggs.
lvl 8: Take Minion damage reward from the caged brute.
lvl 8: Buy another Minion damage reward after the caged brute.
lvl 8: Buy melee splash from vendor after the caged brute.
lvl 8: Buy flame dash after the caged brute.
lvl 10: Buy clarity aura after the caged brute.
lvl 12: Take Flesh offering reward from the siren's cadence in act 2.
lvl 16: Take desecrate as reward from intruders in black act 2.
lvl 18: Buy 2x melee physical damage after completing sharp and cruel in act 2.
lvl 24: Take convocation as reward for lost in love in act 3.
lvl 24: Buy hatred after completing lost in love.
lvl 31: Buy generosity from act 2 and link it with hatred.
lvl 38: Take spell echo reward for completing eternal nightmare in act 4 if you don't have a reverberation rod.

Gem links
(4L)SRS - Minion Damage - Melee Splash/Melee Physical(boss swap) - Spell Echo
(4L)Raise Zombie - Minion Damage - Melee Physical Damage - Maim
(3L)Desecrate - Flesh Offering - Faster Casting
(2L)Hatred - Generosity
Clarity OR Purity of Elements with mana flask
Flame Dash

Useful uniques for leveling


New videos added for patch 3.1 using Necromantic Aegis and Spell Echo.

Pit of the Chimera


Note: Convocation wasn't used in the videos because I was too lazy to recolor and slot it in, my zombies died a few times which was a bit annoying. You need to use convocation properly to get your zombies out of slams on hard content so they don't die as easily.

I recorded these in patch 2.6 as I won't have time to make videos when 3.0 is released. It will give you an idea on how it performs but bare in mind the 3.0 version is stronger.




Pure SRS videos
As requested, removed zombies to show what it's like without having to manage them on hard content, damage is quite a bit lower but good enough. I swapped to a 6l cheap crafted staff with blood magic, kaom's heart and swapped some jewels, everything else is pretty much the same. A lot of room for improvement, video is below.




Q:I can't cap my resistance
A:Do not buy all of the uniques at the start, you want to use rares and cap your resistance first and worry about strength and the items after. Only once you have enough resists to keep yourself capped do you want to start upgrading one piece at a time while maintaining cap. The items you want first are the covenant, astramentis, mon'tregul's and the baron, only after the baron do you want to start stacking strength and upgrade each other unique one at a time.

Q:I am dying a lot.
A:Make sure your resistances are capped and you are not running into packs, you want to stand back and direct your zombies ahead with ball lightning and then cast SRS while standing back safely. If you feel like you are too fragile then replace elemental weakness for enfeeble, and do not face tank.

Q:Why is my tooltip dps so low?
A:The tooltip is misleading and it doesn't represent our actual damage, ignore this value.

Q:What is the point of a build that doesn't kill end game bosses?
A:The build is perfect for people wanting to get into mapping and general summoners as it is quite easy to get into and has a moderate budget. You can get the build going and clear mid tier maps on SSF or for a couple chaos, and you have the option of taking it further as you gain currency. The build progresses nicely on a fresh league or first character and is very easy to level with, and is quite decent at clearing maps. I would say this build is a great introduction to summoners and their mechanics and you can respec into any summoner build late game.

Q:Why do you use additional accuracy gem?
A:Minions don't have 100% chance to hit, with additional accuracy they are hitting way more often so its actually a big dps boost. I have personally tested add. accuracy vs empower 4 on uber atziri standard and I didn't notice any difference.

Q:Why don't you use empower?
A:Additional accuracy is a good alternative to empower for us, and it's much cheaper. This doesn't apply for builds that use a level 25+ SRS setup, empower is still good there. Feel free to use empower if you don't like additional accuracy or you disagree with it.

Q:Why are you not using clarity?
A:We replace clarity with generosity in 3.0 as mistress of sacrifice got slightly nerfed for each additional aura. If you have an unset ring feel free to use clarity but it is not worth the hassle as it will make capping resists more difficult.

Q:Can I do guardians + shaper + uber atziri?
A:With the current setup it's not made for end game bosses but it is possible, zombies are too unreliable for end game bosses so it makes it difficult for us. Guardians should not be a problem with the right gear and mechanics and quite easy with united in dream to keep zombies alive. Uber Atziri is very difficult but with clever use of vaal gems and mechanics it's doable. You always have the option of switching to Golemancer/High budget SRS when you accumulate enough currency to farm end game content. Spectres are also very effective at all content, they make the end game really easy I would probably recommend spectre for end game bosses as it's the cheapest of the end game options.

Q:Why zombies and Mon'tregul's
A:Kind of a waste not using them with the baron if they are beneficial to us, besides they tank for you and do decent damage when they actually attack, and some life leech. Mon'tegul's because it sucks summoning 10 zombies, zombies don't die as easily and it's dirt cheap.

Q:Zombies suck, why not pure SRS?
A:You can swap a few items around and play pure SRS no problems, I am personally bored of playing the generic SRS 2-hand weapon setup and I prefer a more traditional summoner build.

Q:I have ahn's heritage and 2x fragility but no onslaught?
A:The buff is hidden, check your stats and look at movement and cast/attack speed.

Q:Severed in sleep?
A:Stick with Mon'tegul's, the poison damage got a massive nerf.

Q:Can I use Mind over Matter?
A:You will need to use an essence worm, drop haste and then worry about getting enough mana + sustain that mana to gain the full benefit of MoM. Makes getting strength and resists much harder too. So yes you can use MoM, but I wouldn't bother.

Q:Why don't you use the ruthless support gem?
A:On paper the damage is equal or slightly better than some of our supported gems but for clearing maps it's a nerf, when a mob dies within a hit or 2 it may not even proc.

Q:Can I go vaal pact?
A:Sure, but we get a lot of life per second thanks to zombie leech + very high life regen. We will then lose the life regen and will rely on zombies to leech to sustain life for SRS, think I will pass on that.

Q:Skeletons instead of SRS?
A:How to build with skeles:
1. Get 1 From Dust and 2 Dead Reckoning jewels for skeleton mages.
2. Replace haste with anger and link it with generosity.
3. Drop Ahn's Heritage shield and fragility jewels and replace with victario's charity and get necromantic aegis keystone to help with minion speed.
4. Replace SRS gems in body with this: Summon Skeleton - Minion Damage - Controlled Destruction - LMP/GMP - Spell Echo - Pierce
5. Adjust skill tree slightly : 117 points
Note:Skeletal mages don't scale off strength, so I think they are worse than SRS for our setup, but the option is there.

Last edited by dupie on Mar 16, 2018, 11:24:21 PM
Last bumped on Dec 8, 2018, 1:41:30 PM
Increased maximum Life and minion damage on each jewel if you can. With life on each jewel it is quite easy to reach 7k life when you have 115 points in tree.
Cool, minion damage + life jewels are expensive tho. What about flasks?
Yeah it is quite expensive, I normally buy out minion damage jewels and augment and regal to try get life myself.

For flasks you want 2 seething life flasks for instant healing, a basalt for extra physical reduction and a quicksilver for movement. Last flask can be whatever you like, just make sure you have remove bleed, freeze and curse in 3 of your flasks.
Hey I have my 6 linked covenant and the severed in sleep setup now at 87 and all is going well.

I am at 6k life and 3k ES.

Would you say to upgrade the severed in sleep as my next big upgrade or get the big empower rolling.

Also what would you take out for empower?

Arx wrote:
Hey I have my 6 linked covenant and the severed in sleep setup now at 87 and all is going well.

I am at 6k life and 3k ES.

Would you say to upgrade the severed in sleep as my next big upgrade or get the big empower rolling.

Also what would you take out for empower?

Hey, if you have the 6 link and severed in sleep I would definitely work towards a 21 SRS and an empower 3+ first. Until you get an empower you can use added fire damage or culling strike. Your ideal link setup would be SRS(21) - Minion Damage - Melee Splash(Clearing)/Added fire(single target) - Melee Physical Damage - Void Manipulation - Empower 3+. Quality gems makes a big difference too, the scaling of the empower with SRS and void manipulation is huge.

After that I would work toward getting your life higher, grabbing minion damage and %life jewels. You can also try out grip of the council gloves and the reworked immortal flesh belt if you can fit them in.
Last edited by dupie on Mar 18, 2017, 10:33:25 PM

I played with elemental focus instead of spell echo but it did not seem worth it as I enjoy being able to move more often than casting but maybe I just spoiled myself too much by leaving it in so long.

I also split some links and fit a wither totem in which really crushes.

Lastly I rolled a 40% bone helmet as well.

Going really well I just need to get my last uber lab trial but it never shows up.

Arx wrote:

I played with elemental focus instead of spell echo but it did not seem worth it as I enjoy being able to move more often than casting but maybe I just spoiled myself too much by leaving it in so long.

For mapping if you want faster cast speed, swap out Wither-Spell Totem with Raise Spectre-Blood Magic and head to The Old Fields in Act 2, raise Carnage Chieftain's. These grant frenzy charges which is quite noticeable for clearing maps. They will die occasionally but for easier content they are fine.
Last edited by dupie on Mar 20, 2017, 10:25:41 AM
Hey Sorry to bother you could you please reupload the skilltree or make your character profile public so i can look at the skill tree again? the old links stoped working for some reason. Great build btw

Report Forum Post

Report Account:

Report Type

Additional Info