[3.0] Dark Pact Necromancer with Self cast Skeletons

Hey everyone. This is my first time submitting a build to the forums, so forgive me if it's not formatted the best or the fanciest looking thread, but I'll do my best. I am open to advice as well.

So I recently put together a Dark Pact zerker, and while it cleared well and was fun to play, I really liked the way it interacted with skeletons when I used them for bosses before I could sustain leech. As a result, I decided to try throwing this build together. I'll spare you a lot of talk and just jump right into it.

I'll start with some pictures of numbers for the build

DPS without offering, arcane surge, or flasks up:

DPS with afore mentioned buffs:

A lot of people question if it feels clunky casting two skills, but it really doesn't at all because I cast so fast.

My order of passive tree priority was as follows:
1) Maximum life
2) Minion life
3) Spell damage
4) Cast speed
5) A bit of life regeneration to sustain blood magic with The Covenant

And then I just grabbed some AOE and flask nodes to really fine tune a few things. If you would like, this build is absolutely viable if you drop the cast speed nodes by elemental overload and would like to go dual curse instead. A CWDT set up with enfeeble could definitely work very well. You can even drop the life regen if you feel like you leech enough with just warlord's mark, but I just kind of like the extra layer of defense. Either way, if dual curse is important enough to you, you can definitely make it work.

Passive Tree


Recommended Uniques
Body Armour: I went with The Covenant. Using it gives you a nice 10% life, blood magic, and a level 15 added chaos damage. If you can get the colors for it or if you decide to use Pledge of Hands, you can absolutely consider using Cherrubim's as well. I just feel the Covenant is a cheaper option and nets you a 6l easily, and possibly a 7l later on. The blood magic is very nice as well because of the weapons:

Apep's Rage. Dual wielding. These are STRONG. And they are very cheap. They add a ton of chaos damage. They increase the mana cost as well, but two things: We're gonna have blood magic because of The Covenant, so that's easily sustainable, and the increased mana cost means that we can use a higher level arcane surge on summon skeletons as well, so the increased mana cost strangely enough works in our favor. If you want, you can make this work with a Pledge of Hands as well, but I think Apep's is cheaper and a bit stronger.

Other than that, I'm just running around with some rares. Try and get strength and dexterity on your jewellery and cap your res and aim for high life and you're set.

As for my flasks, I'm currently running around with two life flasks, a quicksilver, a stibnite, and a silver flask for a bit more cast speed.

Gem Links

Covenant: Dark Pact - Controlled Destruction - Spell Echo - Void Manipulation - Increased Area of Effect. My Lightning Golem is in my unlinked 6th socket just so I can cast him when my auras are up.

More Dark Pact gem set up explanation
I've been toying around with a last link. I've got increased area of effect in, but added lightning, added cold, decay, lesser poison are all options. Added lightning and added cold each surprisingly add about 3k worth of damage. I've used added lightning and with it attacking frequently, I can actually occasionally get shocks on enemies that ups my damage too, which was a nice surprise. I'd recommend against using conc effect. It adds a ton of damage, but the way that dark pact works is it hits a skeleton and procs an aoe, then chains to another and procs an aoe again. With conc effect, you hit harder, but the area being bigger and overlapping makes it overall much more reliable.

Blasphemy - Warlord's mark - *insert whatever; will be my golem when I get a 6l*
Arcane Surge (level 8) - Summon Skeletons - Minion Life - Spell Echo
Flame Dash - Desecrate - Faster Casting
Anger - Increased duration - Flesh offering
Vaal Summon Skeletons - Vaal Summon Skeletons - Spell Echo - Minion Life

I am still fine tuning a few gem set ups as well. I've been debating using blood rage, but I do still have a minor degen right now with it on, so I've not been using it. As I said when I started, I'm open to some suggestions!

So that's my build so far. I appreciate any feed back I can get on it. I will say I've only made it to yellow maps with it thus far, but it's been progressing pretty well. As I carry it further, I'll update this thread. Let me know what you think!
Last edited by JeroyStillRollin on Aug 19, 2017, 11:27:13 PM
Last bumped on Jan 26, 2018, 10:13:25 AM
Anyone got any feed back?
I started a similar build recently (I'm still in the leveling phase), but I went non-crit Occultist instead of Necromancer for extra survivability and for not having to use offerings. Because of this I am obviously aiming for a few different passives, notably Hex Master (synergizes with Profane Blood from the Occultist tree, still unsure if it's needed or not), but apart from that it's fairly similar.

Have you considered Added Chaos Damage in your Dark Pact link?
Last edited by bm01 on Aug 20, 2017, 1:12:16 AM
Have you considered Added Chaos Damage in your Dark Pact link

My body armour has level 15 added chaos in it. It's one of the mods on The Covenant.

And yeah, I also went non-crit. I specced a good amount of life on the tree, so I went with Necromancer for the ability to use the offerings, as it's a pretty nice cast speed boost and they last quite a while . I can definitely see the advantage of occultist, especially with the - chaos res
Last edited by JeroyStillRollin on Aug 20, 2017, 2:04:35 AM
Have you tried kitaba's thirst? You can reach 100 cost easily in dark pact.

The main problem is, you can't use covenant, but it's a great option if you want to use dark pact with skellies. I tried it and works fine but my problem was the AI of the skeletons, maybe with minion speed works better
I did honestly consider it, but I don't know if I like it only being 30%. I like being able to do self cast with really high cast speed because casting the skeletons is essentially aiming where you want to cast dark pact, and if you spread them out, aiming where you want it to chain to next. It's more about being in control of where I'm shooting and not ending up self casting dark pact with no skellies up and draining my life crazy fast.
Here's a link to my character sheet. I believe it's set to public now.

"Spend at least 100 Mana: Mana must be spent in order to qualify. Utilizing Blood Magic does not trigger the spells. Spending energy shield via Eldritch Battery does not trigger the spells. Aura reservation cost can activate socketed spells, as limited in usefulness as this is. Using Soul Taker to avoid actually spending mana does not work."

No kitava's thirst procs for you.
Last edited by Dreschau on Aug 31, 2017, 11:23:00 AM
Could you tell me which skill gem is activated by which button press?

What you list above in Gems is confusing to me. Looks like you have 10 active skills. I only have 8.

I'm in Act 6 now. Having an easy time running two Auras, with Commander of Darkness, on my zombies and a chaos golem. They can kill everything along with my Fireball Spell Totem support.

Dark Pact + skeletons are available to speed up the killing. Don't have to use it all of the time. At some point I may focus more on Dark Pact killing. I group with one or two other people when playing .
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