[3.0] Skeleton Mage build. 7 aura necromancer can both solo endgame maps and support party play

I using this build right now and I'm somewhat underwhelmed with the damage it does, especially single target damage.

I thought about replacing the Zombies and Guardian with Decoy Totem and a Curse on Hit-Setup.

What are your thoughts about that?
that will make your single target even worse. and you will find any mod with proximity shield to be more annoying

if you only have one curse .. just cast the curse they have ok aoe when leveled if i recall and coh eats gem slots.
I haven't really had any problems with the DPS. However, you must do EVERYTHING in the guide. The dmg you get from the animated guardian is pretty insane. You also have to learn how to place your skeleton mages in order to get them all shooting in one direction.

My biggest problem is trying to figure out how to survive with this build. Getting to 5500 hps is extremely difficult. Even at 5500 hps it will be very rough to survive since you don't have any way to regen health without using potions.
Last edited by Rashaka1 on Jan 1, 2018, 12:17:27 AM
Damage was not really the issue for me. I killed lava lake boss in under a minute with an off-colored 6 link queen's escape. Well the fact that he's huge makes him take the extra projectiles from skeletons.

My main issue was how slow the skeleton projectiles are. This also means you can't use slower projectiles, which is a huge cut in boss DPS unless you like resummonning all 10 to where the bosses are every time.

Another issue is survivability. I used a t1 life ghastly eye along with other minion damage jewels and I got no more than 5.3k life and 2k energy shield (with discipline). Even worse, you have zero defensive layers, and you need to rely on the 1 extra flask slot for it(1 quicksilver, 3 hp pots)

I honestly think CI is a better option for this build. I saw LiftingNerd's skeleton mage+wickerman spectres+zombies build and he has 8.8k ES with CI, and the best part is you have a ton of defensive flasks, plus you can survive bigger hits.

It's not that 5k HP is absolutely terrible for red maps but it's that you're essentially playing VP without leech, to give an abstract example. So you're using 3-4 flask slots on an already squishy build just to sustain your life pool. And the question arises: Why not just play CI instead where sustain is free? Yeah you lose the ability to party play, but for solo play it is better in pretty much all aspects. plus more EHP, chaos immunity, and access to defensive flasks.

The good thing about this build? You can be a below-average aurabot with brightbeak + shield with just a weapon swap, moving a couple gems AND you can also solo play. But I got too frustrated with the fragility of the build (and having 0 hp recovery outside of flasks) and respecced to full aura bot.

Lifting's skeleton mage guide here: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1996394
Last edited by computer_toucher on Jan 3, 2018, 7:53:13 AM
sounds like you weren't using all the useful defenses an aura bot affords you.

i was running 1 seething 1 bubbling and one normal life flask with 1 qs and 1 stibinite flask

then i was running around with both bone offering for 50% block 34% spell block for dangerous bits and flesh for everything else

then you can use vaal grace which under this build gives 53/53 dodge/ spell dodge..

i got to 5600 hp and 1.9k es by the end which felt fine (6000 / 2500 when bright beak and shield)

I can use bone offering but then I'm using bone offering on an already slow build with slow skeletons. I can use vaal grace but then I'll be giving up vaal skeletons for it, which created clutter for the monsters and made certain bosses very very easy to kill, which minimized chance of death. Vaal grace also won't be up all the time during bosses too.

I ran a 3 hp pot 1 granite of warding and 1 quicksilver of adrenaline and I still got twoshot by random white kitava's heralds on a t14 map with granite flask up and molten shell up. The fact that skeletons have a birth animation of around 0.5 second where they do nothing, and then cast their slow projectiles do add up and may cost you a death eventually.

I also got oneshot from:
Haast's glacial cascade in T13 map
abyss teleporter in T15
2 shot by undying evangelists in T13

and a bunch of other burst damage deaths to mention.

After level 92 I exclusively ran t14s and up, rarely t13s and I would just sell t12 and below, so my definition of "safe" might be different from yours.

It's a decent build if you got tired of all the meta builds and wanted to try something new but for casuals who want to try a summoner for the first time, it's going to be brutal. Expect a lot of dying.
seemed fine when i was doing t15s got to 94 with little trouble it is slow on the single target though , that much is certain.

i decided to reroll to a different less aura focused skeleton build that used spectres.
Last edited by Saltychipmunk on Jan 4, 2018, 10:24:41 AM
Yeah, I feel that skeleton mages are just too clunky to be used as a main minion skill. They're pretty good when used as a supplement when you don't want to run SRS, like how lifting uses scorching ray spectres and skeletons.

It's interesting to note that the melee skeletons have a much higher damage output than the mages, according to PoB. I was getting a little over 10k DPS with a skeleton mage, but the regular melee skeleton had 20k dps, that's not even replacing the gems with melee phys and added fire.
Last edited by computer_toucher on Jan 4, 2018, 10:42:31 AM
well the big issue is their lack of synergy with ... well. anything

auras? only 1 of 3 likes wrath and anger is ok i guess
EE? only 1 of 3

the jewels themselves lack damage on them and minimum you want three of them for qol (from dust)

which is a bitter 3 whole jewels you need to drop that hurts especially in abyss god it hurts in abyss. more than people want to admit.

then there is the fact that you need not one but two aoe gems which is usually a massive red flag for other skills since you need both lmp/gmp and pierce to get the clear you want.

going off that though is the fact that unlike skills like say tornado shot or hell fire ball there is no aoe overlap so that gmp is a very very dead damage slot on your skeletons.

their projectiles are also criminally slow and .. dont look that impressive.. very wimpy.

I honestly wish they atleast made it so the dead reckoning jewels summon a skeleton of a specific damage type and sped up the projectile speed a wee bit. that would solve a bunch of problems with them right off of the bat.

I had to work pretty hard to get them presentable and that required projectile weakness AND elemental weakness on blasphemy

Last edited by Saltychipmunk on Jan 4, 2018, 11:11:47 AM
Hi do you think some abyss jewels may be better than to dust?
Last edited by Frankpollard on Jan 12, 2018, 6:39:50 AM

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