[3.0] The Lazy Minion Commander - 6k+ EHP - 400K+ DPS - Budget Friendly - Auto Offering

Gem links have changed slightly and Elemental Equilibrium was added to the build along with Elemental Weakness curse.

This isn't a min/max, high budget, shaper farming build. Although maybe you could do shaper, I don't know. It's just a casual build for a casual player. Yellow maps are done with ease and the one T12 red map I bought just to test the build was done deathless as well. Normal Atziri has also been killed.

I'm just a casual player with a job, wife, and kids so I don't get much time to play. Never tried Uber Atziri, Shaper, Guardians, etc. Before I've played enough to get that far the league has ended and I'm starting over again. If that describes you as well then maybe this build is for you. It's easy to play, cheap to gear, and can be used right from the start.

This is my first build guide and also the first time I've felt successful running my own build. I've always followed other people's build guides or crashed and burned trying to create my own.


1. Minions!
2. Lots of Minions!
3. Can be played with 1 hand
4. Can reach red maps with only 4 links
5. VERY cheap to get started - See "Cost of Build" below
5. Options for upgrades as you level and build currency


1. Unknown end game ability
2. Slow walking speed (Phase run helps when it is triggered)
3. Not the fastest map clearing meta build
4. Minions sometimes think they can walk through walls...they can't

Cost of Build

Cheap. This is my only character this league so I started with all self found gear improving pieces as I got better drops. Only Unique purchased for leveling was this:

Definitely helped with minions survivability at lower levels and only costs 1 Jewelers Orb

Total spent so far at level 80 to purchase gear ~ 12C. About half of that was for the Unset ring.

I've also spent 16C on two Dead Reckoning jewels for mages, but I haven't tried them out yet.

Play Style & Brief Overview

Run around and spawn skeletons. Pop a life flask as needed for bleeds. That's it. Offering skill and Elemental Equilibrium are automatic thanks to a CWDT setup.

This isn't a specialized zombie build, skeleton build, golem build, or even a spectre build. It's a minion build with a focus on a large and fun army instead of only 1 type of overpowered follower. You are the Commander of a minion army.
9 Zombies
9 Skeletons
4 Spectres - I like flame sentinels
2 Golems
1 Animate Guardian

Plus another 34 skellies from Vaal Summon Skeletons is possible.

I don't like things to be any more complicated than they need to be so i like to keep the skill usage to a minimum. This build does that by linking our Flesh Offering and Ice Nova to a level 1 CWDT. While offerings and Elemental Equilibrium both add DPS to most any summoner build that extra damage isn't generally needed during mapping. It's when you get overwhelmed that it's useful. And that's when you make mistakes. So make it automatic!


Starter Gear

Anything with sockets and links!

Look for gear with ES or ES/Armor. Most of our gems are blue with a few red thrown in so that gear is easier to get the right colors on. I used a 4 link ES chest for most of the leveling.

Recommended Unique Items

Additional recommendation is an unset +2 gems ring and a helmet with +2 minions.

NOTE: As the title states, these are recommended, not required. While I did have those items in mind when I created the build, I didn't have them when I started playing the build. They are all cheap uniques that you can easily acquire through trade as you are leveling up.

My Current Gear

Vis Mortis was cheap because I got one without 6 sockets and rolled it myself. I purchased a second one after 4linking the first. I'm using the first one and currently throwing every jewelers orb I get at the second one waiting for the 6 socket. Then I'll do the same with fusings until it's 5 or 6.

Possible End Game Upgrades

Severed in Sleep - sizeable DPS increase of all minions

6 Link Vis Mortis - huge DPS increase for your spectres

If you do get a 5 or 6 link Vis Mortis you'll need to decide if you want to drop the animate guardian from the build or the Vaal Summon Skeletons. There just aren't enough sockets to keep everything in that case.

A bone helmet with +2 to minion gems

This will probably be the most expensive upgrade since you'll need two high resistance rolls on it as well.


Level 80 stats and Path of Building code

Why only level 80? Why give level 100 stats when 90% of players won't make it to level 100?

Stats are using my current gems. Mainly 18/0. As already stated, this is casual build for casual players so no 20/20 calculations.


5.9k EHP and 20% Phys reduction


Numbers are with Elemental Weakness curse and Elemental Equilibrium active. Default attack for zombies and averaged damage of flame sentinels and skeleton mages by added all three attack types and dividing by 3 for each of them.

19,945 per Zombie x 9
26,492 per Spectre x 4
3,774 per Skeleton Mage x 9
2,969 Animate Guardian
2,796 per Stone Golem x 2

328,000 DPS

Calculated DPS is over 400k if using normal skeletons instead of mages according to Path of Building, but after playing this for awhile effective DPS feels much lower since they are slower so they spend more time walking than fighting. DPS looks lower with Skeleton Mages, but it actually feels 10 times better due to the above. The mages just stand in place and fire projectiles.

Vaal Summon Skeletons

9750 per Warrior x 21
3807 per Mage x 4
3079 per Archer x 8

244,610 DPS

NOTE: Calculations are from Path of Building and were done with level 68 Flame Sentinels. Flame Sentinels because I like them and level 68 because that's what's available from the Templar Laboratory. No inflated numbers by giving T16 sentinel stats.

2ND NOTE: PoB doesn't seem to calculate stat boosts provided by the gear we equip our animate guardian with so numbers should be slightly higher.

Path of Building code

SKill Trees and leveling

Current Level 80 - 103 Point Tree
NOTE: Needs to be updated as I decided to include Elemental Equilibrium in the tree. Just grab it when you get to it if you want to use it.

Past level 80 the plan is to head down left side of tree to "Faith and Steel" Keystone for more armor, energy shield, and a little help with resistances.

After that is just picking up the rest of the life nodes around "Consitution" Keystone.

Leveling skill trees and tips along the way

Most summoner build guides you will see recommending that you level with Firestorm in a +1 Fire gems wand or using some other gimic.

That's not my style though. I'm playing a summoner because I WANT to be a summoner, not a fire witch that later decides to summon stuff. Leveling with the minions can be done. It's actually VERY easy now thanks to the changes in 3.0 in regards to getting gems. Quests that give gem rewards still limit the available gems based on your class, but afterwards, you are able to purchase any of them.
You no longer need to trade for gems or play multiple characters to unlock all of them.

To level as a summoner just pick the Raise Zombie gem as your first quest reward. Take Summon Skeletons or Minion damage as your quest reward for killing Brutus a few zones later and then buy the one you didn't choose as a reward. After Brutus you are also able to buy a melee splash gem.

There's your first 3 link. Zombie + Minion Damage + Splash. Same for the skeletons. Melee Physical you can buy after killing the Weaver in Act 2 to make that a 4 link setup.

You're set! That's all you need to level as a summoner. There are some times that you'll wish the bosses would die a little quicker and that's why I also used Dark Pact until I started using Spectres. It deals chaos damage based on the life of your skeletons. This extra damage may be useful. More often then not I didn't use it though. I just ran around and let the zombies and skeletons take their time burning down the mobs. Remember, this is the LAZY Minion Commander.

Step 1 - 21 points Deep wisdom and then straight up to Death Attunement cluster. Get all but the keystone.


Gear: Grab the Sidhebreath Paua Amulet to make your minions faster and stronger. It also has the benefit of giving us mana regen and reducing the mana used to summon our minions which is a huge help in the early levels.

Most important stat on it this early in the game is the mana regen. Max mana roll can be had for 1 Alchemy

As a later upgrade: Only one off max rolls for the 3 minion mods can be found for 1 chaos

Step 2 - 29 points Grab the ES nodes below Death Attunement, then Practical Application, and 3 points in Arcane Focus area.

Gear: You'll be hitting level 22 in this step which means you can buy the recommended unique item Bones of Ullr now for another Zombie.

You can use this POE.trade link to find boots with a minimum 14% movement speed. That's 1 below max for only 1 Alchemy. Is that extra 1% worth spending 2 chaos minimum for? I don't think so.

Step 3 - 46 points Head to top right grabbing Grave Intentions for more minions and then more life/es nodes and es recharge.

Gear: Optional Unique item to help with your leveling is the Skullhead Helm which you can start using at level 36. Level requirement on mine is higher since there is an enchantment on it now.

Max resistance roll (+20%) and at least +60 life can be found for again....1 Alchemy

Step 4 - 55 points Head to Scion area grabbing Melding and stopping at Harrier Keystone

Gear: Recommended unique Clayshaper can be used at level 41.

Max life roll for your minions is +30%. Search for 1 or 2 off that and you'll find them for 1 Alchemy

Step 5 - 65 points Cross tree above Scion start and grab Gravepact cluster except single leech node. If you are having mana regen issues grab Shaper node now instead of in next step.

Step 6 - 71 points South to Constitution. Also grab the Necromantic Aegis Keystone now.

Gear: You can start using the recommended unique Victario's Charity shield at level 50. This is a huge boost for your minions as it gives them Frenzy and Power charges for more speed and damage.

Max life roll is 70, but if you search for 65 or higher you can pick one up for....drum roll please....1 Alchemy again! See what I mean about this build being cheap?

The downside to getting Necromatic Aegis is that all stats from your shield only affect your minions. It's ok though. We can cap our resistances through other gear.

Step 7 - 82 points Up to Herd of the Flock and Puppet Master

Gear: The recommended unique Vis Mortis is available at level 59.

Max ES roll is 220%. If we search for 215% minimum with no socket requirement we can grab one for 1 chaos.

If we added a requirement of 6 sockets to our search the price would jump to 35 chaos! No thanks. This is the cheap build remember?

Here was my strategy: Spend 2 chaos and grab two of them. Use jewelers orbs on one until you get 4 sockets. That should only be a dozen or so. Link them and start using it. Keep the other one in your stash and use jewelers on it as you find them until you hit 6 sockets. Once you've got 6 sockets try linking it. If you hit 4 links then stop. You're now good to go. All yellow maps and Atziri can be done on a 4 link.

If you want, you can now keep that first one in your stash and start throwing jewelers at that one until it is also a 6 socket and then try linking that one. If you're one of us filthy casuals then the league will most likely be over before you get that second one 6 linked, but we need something to aim for, right?

Step 8 - 92 points Purity of Flesh and down to Sanctity

Remaining 11 points in level 80 build

Grab these as needed:

Death Attunement Keystone - This is the the Keystone we skipped in the first step. It doesn't add very much to our minions until we can start using spectres at level 28 which is during step 3. I didn't add the keystone to that step because it is personal preference when you start using spectres. In my leveling I think I was around level 40 before I started using them.

Alacrity - +30 dex node near top right of tree. Get it when needed as your gems level

Jewel sockets:
1 below Melding Keystone
1 straight up from Lord of the dead
1 to the left of witch starting area
Last jewel socket is 5 points down and right from Harrier. We travel 5 points for that last jewel socket instead of getting a closer one because it allows us to grab +40 Dex along the way which will be needed for leveling your GMP gems.

Note on that last jewel socket: You need 111 Dex to use a level 20 GMP gem. If you get enough +Dex on gear you may be ok only grabbing the single +30 Dex node above Mind Over Matter. If that's the case, I would use the remaining 3 points to grab the two 8% increased Mana nodes and the jewel slot to the left of Scion start. For the same number of points you'll get +30 Dex, a jewel, and 16% increased mana instead of +40 Dex and a jewel.

If you don't need any extra Dex because you got super lucky on gear stats then use the points to pick up more of the 5% life nodes around Constitution or the 6% ES nodes. Your choice. I'd go with life since Chaos damages bypasses our energy shield.

Capping resistances

Only unique we have that gives us resistances is our Sidhebreath that gives us 25% cold. However, we take Commander of Darkness as our first Ascendancy point to get +20% to all and also get +5% all Cruel Preparation Keystone in skilltree. So our total is 50% cold resistance and 25% fire and lightning. We need to reach 135% each at a MINIMUM.

85% Cold
110% Fire
110% Lightning

That's a total of 305% we still need to get.

How do we get it?
If you use all of the recommended uniques that leaves you with 4 pieces of gear to get the remaining resistances. Our helmet, gloves, belt, and one ring. Plan on 2 resistance rolls on each. Why two?
Remember the 305% total? Divide that by 4 for the 4 items and then by 2 for the two rolls on each.
305 / 4 = 76.25 / 2 = 38.125.

Two rolls of 39% or higher on each of the 8 resistance rolls (2 rolls on each of 4 items) and we can reach our cap.

Look at the "My Current Gear" section for a visual example of how I did it. If you're doing the math you'll notice I'm actually 2 under the cap for cold. I still need to upgrade my helmet to something with better stats and will squeeze in those last two points then.



Commander of Darkness
Flesh Binder
Spirit Eater

Last one is preference.

DPS = Soul Weaver
Safety = Mistress of Sacrifice


Look for jewels with these stats:
+% Increased Maximum Life
Minions have x% Increased Maximum Life
Minions deal x% Increased Damage

jewels that also have resistances and/or attributes will make getting your other gear easier

Unique Jewel Options

From Dust Cobalt Jewel is nice QoL as it makes you spawn 3 skeletons instead of 1, but it isn't required.

Violent Dead Cobalt Jewel is good because it gives all minions 10% increased damage while also increasing the damage of the Zombie slam attack and reducing it's cooldown so they perform it more often. Can have two of those.

The last option is to get two of the Dead Reckoning Cobalt Jewels. This will make your Summon Skeleton skill summon mages instead. I just got two of these and haven't tested them yet to see how I like the mages.

Gems & Links

3 Link weapon or shield - CWDT + Ice Nova + Flesh Offering

Flesh offering for the added DPS to the minions and Ice Nova to proc Elemental Equilibrium for even more DPS.

3 Link weapon or shield - Shield Charge + Curse on Hit + Elemental Weakness

Replaced the original second cwdt setup here as we need a movement skill to quickly get out of dangerous areas. This is now also used for our curse.

4 Link +2 helmet - Raise Zombie + Minion Damage + Melee Physical, Physical to Lightning

We use Physical to Lightning here as it combines very nicely with our curse and also elemental equilibrium

4 Link Chest - Raise Spectre + Minion Damage + Echo + GMP

Self explanatory. I like revenants, flame sentinals, or the new solar guards. You can use any minion you like, just make sure that it does fire or lightning damage.

4 Link Gloves - Vaal Summon Skeleton + Minion Damage + Generosity + Anger

Vaal Skeletons help a bunch in boss fights and the generosity/anger combo gives all of our minions more dps.

4 Link Boots - Some choices for skeletons.

1. Warriors - Summon Skeleton, Minion Damage, Melee Physical, Physical to Lightning

2. Mages - Summon Skeleton, Minion Damage, Echo, GMP - (Requires 2x Dead Reckoning Jewels)

NOTE: I recommend putting the skeletons in your boot slot because Bones of Ullr are cheap. You can find ones with 14% movement speed (1 off of max) for only 1C. Grab two of them. This way if you decide to try out Skeleton Mages with the Dead Reckoning jewels you don't have to recolor your boots. You can easily swap back and forth between using the warriors or the mages if you want just by swapping your boots. Only problem is that they are a source of +1 Spectre so any time you switch you will lose one of your spectres and need to find and respawn it.

I definitely recommend switching to the mages once you get the Dead Reckoning Jewels. Build plays much smoother with mages.

Unset Ring (+2 preferable) - Discipline

Unset Ring - Desecrate


Animate Guardian Gear


Cost of all below gear is only 1 Alchemy each so 6 Alchemy total

this will apply the Vulnerability curse whenever the guardian blocks. If using this change Offering from Spirit to Bone to increase block chance.

Gives our Guardian life regen and some resistances to improve survivability. Chance to gain endurance charges is there, but it doesn't happen very often. 15% Physical damage reduction and 15% elemental resists per endurance charge.

Makes enemies slower. This is good since skeletons are slow. Also helps us get away faster. Best defense is to just not get hit.

15% Increased damage for all nearby allies.

Used for the 16% max life. If our Guardian dies all of the gear is lost so we want to keep him alive.

10% Increased movement speed for us and minions. This will give us some much needed movement speed since we can only get 15% from Bones of Ullr.

Path of Building shows 24,800 health for our Animate Guardian with the above gear and suggested gems at level 18.



T6 rare map boss kill. Will add videos of higher maps as I get them if there is interest in the build.

T12 Corrupted Plateau Map. This isn't a smooth streamer run for a couple of reasons.
1. I'm not a streamer and don't normally record myself.
2. This was the first time I did the map. Ever. Not just this league.
3. I was a bit nervous because I bought a map 6 tiers higher than I've done before with this build just to see if I could.


Normal Atziri - It ain't pretty, but I got it done. You'll see the achievement at the end of the video. First time killing her. This was the first try as well. First two boss areas were rather quick and easy, but Atziri....WTH. 4 deaths (REALLY close to 5)before killing her.
Lessons learned: need to have a movement skill and need to use ruby flasks next time.
Last edited by stoudtlr on Sep 3, 2017, 10:27:34 AM
Last bumped on Jun 6, 2018, 4:38:42 PM
To do:
Add leveling trees and get more videos
Last edited by stoudtlr on Aug 22, 2017, 6:27:58 PM
I wanted to see how the build would do on harder stuff so I bought a T12 to give it a try. Video at the bottom of the first post. This was my first time doing this map so I didn't realize there was a large loop until after I stopped recording and went back to pick up the loot.
How often do those offerings go off when you need them? Would it help to put desecrate on a cwdt to help with having some corpses around when you really need them?
animalhouse wrote:
How often do those offerings go off when you need them? Would it help to put desecrate on a cwdt to help with having some corpses around when you really need them?

With the T4-6 maps I'm currently at there are almost always corpses laying around when I want them, but there were a couple of times in my T12 attempt that desecrate may have helped. Problem is running out of sockets.

Now that you have me thinking about it I think I'll drop flesh offering and replace it with Desecrate. Can only have one offering active at a time anyway and I have had offerings overwrite each other due to the second one triggering before the first expired. Some extra time on the duration from those extra corpses would be good. Would ensure it doesn't expire while running to the next pack.

Thanks for the idea!
I'm returning to PoE after a long hiatus. Your build is attractive, because I have zero gear and pretty much starting with no resources. I also need to relearn the game.

A detailed leveling guide for builds would certainly be useful. At this point, that's how I have to evaluate all builds. You mentioned you'd create one if people asked for it. Just throwing my 2 cents in on the need for it.

I like your guide and the style it's written in.
cirenzi wrote:
I'm returning to PoE after a long hiatus. Your build is attractive, because I have zero gear and pretty much starting with no resources. I also need to relearn the game.

A detailed leveling guide for builds would certainly be useful. At this point, that's how I have to evaluate all builds. You mentioned you'd create one if people asked for it. Just throwing my 2 cents in on the need for it.

I like your guide and the style it's written in.

Thanks for the complements! Leveling section has been updated.

Also uploaded a video of killing Atziri. This was my first time doing it so it was a little sloppy to say the least. Video starts with going into the map, but I edited most of it out so it's only the 3 boss fights. Those circle fire things whatever they are called are killers!

On another note, I realized that I forgot to summon my flame golems. Their dps is so low I didn't even realize it. That's a good thing I guess, because after that fight I realize I need to free up some slots to get a real movement skill added.

Thanks. Now I really feel obligated to use your guide, so I will. :)
Well put together guide, thanks for the submission. Added to the listing.

Hot Flashes: poeurl.com/bPZT
Balance: poeurl.com/btzp
Shocking EleHit: poeurl.com/bZXo
Well done guide, I'm following it right now. One thing you might add is getting Quality 15-18% on selected gems for your magic price of one alchemy. The extra quality makes leveling a breeze.

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