[3.6] Zombiemancer - High Survivability - End Game Viable
Table of Contents:
1. Intro and Videos
4. Zombie Links
5. Gear and Other Links
6. Passive Tree
8. Support Spectres
9. Animate Guardian Gear
13. Map Mods
15. Clear Speed Setup
16. End Game Bosses
1. Intro and Videos:
The goal of this build was to make a pure Zombie build that feels as smooth as possible to map with while at the same time is able to do all content in the game.
You dont have to cast any spells with this build, everything is automated, the only thing you have to do is Shield Charge right into everything, you have enough survivability to tank almost everything.
Video Guide by Navandis
T16 Maze of the Minotaur Map Gameplay
I'm going to list all the defensive layers here that keep you alive
First 'Cast when Damage Taken' setup:
Level 2 CwDT
Level 8 Spirit Offering
This triggers whenever you take 583 damage, means you will recover energy shield every time Spirit Offering is cast and gain extra elemental resistances, the most important defensive layer of the build. You will rarely even drop down to your Life pool while standing right inside every mob.
Second 'Cast when Damage Taken' setup:
Level 1 CwDT
Level 1 Desecrate
Level 1 Convocation (20% Quality)
This triggers whenever you take 528 damage, this means it will be casted before the Spirit Offering.
Desecrate provides you with corpses for the Offering.
Convocation makes your Zombies keep up with you faster, increasing the clear speed.
(Note that these gems dont need any levels to be useful for this build, so you can keep them at level 1)
To keep you alive through chaos damage, your Zombies will leech Life for you by using "The Baron".
Linked with Shield Charge to keep it up all the time.
Energy Shield Regen:
The Energy Shield pool of this build is not that big (around 4000), so the regeneration through Zealot's Oath is initially not that high, but the Spirit Offering boosts it up to 6000. Plus using a Stone Golem (with the buff helmet enchant, if you can get your hands on one) and Holy Relic will give you a significant amount of ES regen.
I'm going to list all the offensive layers here that make your Zombies strong
Two Carnage Chieftain spectres grant your Zombies frenzy charges. Those are way more powerful on minions than they are on players. I explain how to set them up in the "Support Spectres" section below.
You use Hatred linked with Generosity and Haste linked with Enlighten to have enough mana left for Shield Charge.
Zombies gain extra Chaos damage.
You proc EE by hitting enemies with your Shield Charge using lightning damage on one of the rings. This boosts the cold damage of Hatred and the fire damage of "Mon'tregul's Grasp".
Your Animate Guardian boosts the damage of the Zombies by wearing "Leer Cast" or Jagged fossil crafted helmet and "Kingmaker" or "Dying Breath".
The mod "Enemies killed by Zombies explode dealing Fire Damage" of "Mon'tregul's Grasp" and their slam is enough for clearing maps so you dont have to use a Melee Splash gem, this makes room for another damage support gem.
4. Zombie Links:
The three core supports for your Zombies are Empower, Minion Damage and Melee Physical Damage.
Minion Speed as your fourth support if you want the fastest map clear.
The last one can be Maim, Ruthless or Multistrike. These add about the same amount of dps, so it comes down to what you prefer to use here.
If you have a 6-link, you have enough damage to be able to use an Item Rarity Support for normal mapping.
5. Gear and Other Links:
These give you a huge amount of Energy Shield without investing in it at all
Makes your Zombies almost unkillable and helps with the map clear
Makes it possible to get 7 Zombies who leech life for you
Helps to get high enough Strength
Helps to get high enough Strength and takes care of your Dex requirements
The rare items
The rares need to have enough strength to get you to at least 1000 for the Zombie leech to work (1200 for a seventh Zombie), enough elemental resistances to get them to at least 75% and as much Life and Energy Shield as you can get on top of that.
One ring needs to have added lightning damage, to apply Elemental Equilibrium with your Shield Charge.
It is not the end of the world to have added fire damage somewhere, because your Zombies dont deal fire damage against bosses.
If you can get a good shield with the Shaper mod "Socketed Gems have #% reduced Mana Reservation", you can drop the Enlighten and socket the three aura gems in the shield.
Having a 15% roll on that mod allows you to use "War Banner", which is about 10% more extra damage. This does not work with a 10% roll, because this would put you exactly at 0 mana.
6. Passive Tree:
Can be found here:Level 95
PoB link: https://pastebin.com/Zqc6mK06
To get 7 Zombies you need at least 1200 strength, so most jewel sockets are filled with unique strength jewels.
If you are not high enough level to get to 1200, try to get 1000 strength first for the zombie life leech and use 6 zombies until you have enough passive points to go for 1200.
Three of these socketed north (gives 60 strength), west (gives 90 strength) and east (gives 70 strength) of the Witch starting area.
Rest is filled with these.
Depending on how good the strength on your gear is and what level you are, you can use these in the socket north of "Devotion" and in the socket south of "Potency of Will" (You do NOT need to have the Int nodes allocated for it to work).
You can try to get the mana reserve corruption on them, this way you dont have to use an Enlighten support gem and can use something like Flame Dash instead for example.
Kill all of them.
8. Support Spectres:
To increase the damage of your Zombies, you run two Carnage Chieftain spectres. These spectres cast a spell that provides your Zombies and you with frenzy charges.
By linking the Spectre gem with a Blood Magic Support they are able to spam that spell, this is very important.
To get high level versions of them you have to add them to your Desecrate corpse pool by reviving one Carnage Chieftain in "The Old Fields" in Act 2. Then you go to the highest level area you have access to and cast Desecrate there until Carnage Chieftain corpses show up. This can take several Desecrate casts until one of their corpses show up. You temporarely need a Desecrate gem with a high enough gem level to allow you to create corpses that match the area level (Remember to switch back to your low level Desecrate gem after this). The "Enable corpse targeting" keybind will help you revive the right corpse.
You only have to do this procedure everytime you progress into a higher area level and therefore want to have your spectres match that area level to make them tankier because your current spectres stay summoned after logouts.
9. Animate Guardian Gear:
He is almost unkillable with these items. I only ever lost one to Uber Atziri double Flameblast so far, so you might want to unsummon him for this one fight.
Get corrupted "Meginord's Vise" to get a free level 10-12 Vulnerability curse for bosses.
The Delve offers a better offensive helmet option than "Leer Cast", one crafted with a jagged fossil.
The mod you want is the only delve mod you can get on a helmet when you craft with a jagged fossil, so it should be very easy to craft such a helmet.
Use a high armour or evasion base for this.
No particular flasks are necessary for this build, but I recommend some of these:
Faster Shield Charge
Faster Shield Charge
"Sapping" prefix for desecrated ground and other chaos degen
Consecrated ground is really good for you and your Zombies
These can also be useful
There are a some really good and useful options here.
The best one in my opinion is the Stone Golem buff one, it gives you an extra 200 Energy Shield regen per second.
Both Desecrate enchants also add a nice defensive boost for the Cast when Damage Taken setups.
Zombie attack speed and damage enchants are good of course, but they are expensive and i actually prefer the defensive ones above over some damage that's not really needed.
Same goes with the Spirit Offering extra damage.
Then there are enchantments that add some utility to this build, like Convocation cooldown recovery, Haste mana reservation, Hatred mana reservation, Shield Charge attack speed and Spirit Offering duration.
Not a lot of good options here.
Most useful one would be "of Light", that creates consecrated ground for you and your Zombies when you take a crit.
The minion ones "of the Grave", "of War" and "of Reflection" are at least better than no enchantment at all.
What you dont want to have here are enchantments that deal fire or cold damage, so it wont proc Elemental Equilibrium.
Some useful ones here.
Best defensive one is the extra Life regen enchantment when hit.
Best utility one is the extra movement speed when not hit.
The added lightning damage enchant can be useful if you cant get lightning damage on your rings to proc Elemental Equilibrium.
Soul of Lunaris:
The phys reduction when shield charging into enemies and the chain immunity make this the best one.
Soul of Shakari:
Chaos damage reduction and poison immunity is really good for this build, since it uses Zealot's Oath.
13. Map mods:
You can run all map tiers with almost all map mods without a problem.
There are only two mods to avoid:
Monsters reflect 18% of Physical Damage:
Your Zombies will kill themselves.
Players cannot Regenerate Life, Mana or Energy Shield:
Can't Shield Charge, so no Fortify and Elemental Equilibrium.
I dont recommend doing the "Hall of the Grandmasters" unique map with this build, you can lose your Animate Guardian there.
This Tree gives you all of the damage, all of the extra zombies and enough life to start off. The rest of the final tree adds nothing but life and strength nodes.
This leveling tree includes cast speed nodes at the Witch starting area for SRS, respec these nodes once you stop using SRS for the Int nodes shown in the final tree.
Get "Invoker" first, then "Commander of Darkness" and "Flesh Binder".
Keep "Mistress of Sacrifice" as your last choice.
SRS + Minion Damage + Melee Splash + Melee Physical Damage + Spell Echo + Maim
This is your main skill until your Zombies start to get strong enough later when they have enough survivability. Use them in a Tabula if you have one.
Zombie + Minion Damage + Melee Physical Damage + Minion Speed
Extra damage and meat shield for leveling. Use them in The Baron or in a "+X to Minion Gems" helmet.
Hatred + Generosity
Best aura for SRS and Zombies.
Helps out with mana regen for SRS.
Ball Lightning + Faster Casting + Greater Multiple Projectiles
Increases damage by applying Elemental Equilibrium.
Focus on life and elemental resists on your rares.
You can use "Meginord's Vise" to help you get to 1000 strength for the Zombie leech before you do uber lab for the last Ascendancy nodes.
Only use the body armor and the gloves once you have "Mistress of Sacrifice", so you can use the auto Spirit Offering setup. If you have less than 1000 strength when do you so, you only have life flasks to get your health back.
15. Clear Speed Setup:
I want to list some ways here how you can optimize this build for general mapping without giving up too much damage and survivability.
Use an Item Rarity insted of a Multistrike/Maim/Ruthless to increase your chances for better loot.
Give up the Life and ES nodes at "Melding" and/or "Written in Blood" to be able to get the flask nodes at "Alchemy".
"Experimenter's" prefix on both Quicksilver and Silver flasks and "Adrenaline" suffix on the Quicksilver in combination with "The Overflowing Chalice" will grant you almost 100% flask uptime and fast shield charging.
Get the Shield Charge attack speed helmet enchant and the movement speed boots enchant.
16. End Game Bosses:
The damage of the Zombies is not the problem here, but their survivability.
This is the best setup for this:
Zombie + Empower + Minion Damage + Phys Damage + Maim + Minion Life
If the Zombies are still dying, you can temporarily respec out of some health nodes and get the reduced mana reservation nodes north west on the tree so you have enough mana to resummon them.
You can also drop the Haste aura for Vitality, this way you have enough mana to resummon them and also add a nice boost of health regen to you and your Zombies. You can use a damage support instead of the Minion Life Support this way.
To have corpses to summon them, use a high level Desecrate gem instead of the low level one, so you can cast it yourself and it wont get triggered by the Cast when Damage Taken.
A high level Convocation gem is also helpful to manually get them out of the Shaper beam for example.
-Split the CWDT setup into two again so the Spirit Offering and Desecrate trigger can "desync".
-Added an Immortal Call to one of these setups for extra defense.
-Recommended a rare shield instead of the unique one, this makes it more flexible to get the required strength and to cap the resistances.
-Added a spectre section to explain how to set them up.
-Added the idea of using a shaped shield with the "Socketed Gems have #% reduced Mana Reservation", to be able to drop the Enlighten. Shoutout to kashelldaj for this suggestion.
-Added a 'Clear Speed Setup' section with tips for a faster mapping experience with this build.
-Now recommending 'Vulnerability on hit' corruption on the "Meginord's Vise" for the animated guardian.
-Updated the mapping video, the old one didnt use spectres for frenzy charge generation.
I updated the skill tree for the Delve league.
The minion nodes between the Witch and the Templar got changed, this means we gained
18% increased minion damage
7% increased minion attack speed
23% increased attack speed
0.5% life regeneration
1% minion life regeneration
and we only lost
16% increased minion life
I also got rid of the four life nodes at "Tireless", that gave 20% life, for the four nodes at "Shaper", to get 1.7% life regen and an extra jewel socket for a "Violent Dead" jewel.
-Changed the body armour for the Animate Guardian from "Ambu's Charge" to "Bloodbond". The increase to max life + 1% life regen is better than the 2% life regen when hit.
-Added a better helmet option for the Animate Guardian than "Leer Cast" for this league. Jagged fossil crafted helmets outclass "Leer Cast".
-Passive Tree changes pushed some Int nodes out of the radius of Efficient Training in the socket on right side, so we need to take the left path at the Witch start instead of the right one to gain some of the lost strength back.
-Minor passive tree pathing optimization to get an extra free 20 Int (shoutout to owowl for this).
-Recommending Holy Relic now instead of Immortal Call.
-Updated the videos.
-Phantasm on Kill Support now works on bosses and can be an alternative Zombie link now.
-"Kingmaker" is now a really good defensive option for the Animated Guardian.
Feel free to give feedback!
And make sure to check out my other build guide:
[3.6] HoA Champion Summoner - Enfeeble & Temp Chains - Uber Elder Viable
[3.6] Zombiemancer - High Survivability - End Game Viable
Last edited by Clooney_is_best_Batman on Apr 10, 2019, 3:29:48 PM
Last bumped on Feb 10, 2020, 12:33:06 AM
on Oct 12, 2017, 3:02:41 AM
How did you level the build?
on Oct 12, 2017, 4:59:24 AM
to make shaper kills less messy , find a way to cast your zombies during the fight. makes it a shitload easier, other than that .. they need to be durable enough to tank for a short while.
as for phoenix and Minotaur .. you are using aegis yes? why not see what happens when you slot in a rise of the phoenix
for Minotaur .. bone offering and stibinite flasks will shaprly cut down on all his cluttery bullshit
strictly speaking spirit offering is the weakest of the offerings when it comes to helping minion due to how inconsistent its defensive side is and how you cant scale it on minions well.
also keep in mind the fragility of your zombies can also be attributed to your passive choices , your jewel choices and your aura choices.
Speaking frankly zombies only get durable when you stack regeneration and life on them.
they are pretty much the only minion.. that doesn't have an easy out for this kind of thing.
, oh btw if you could i would screen cap your misc tab of your zombie skill . this will tell us a bunch about your over all investment int your minions
otherwise this looks similar to the 2.6 build allana put together ... do you use minion speed during map clear while having a switch gem for bosses?
Last edited by Saltychipmunk on Oct 12, 2017, 7:56:21 AM
on Oct 12, 2017, 7:53:56 AM
It was just SRS like i do with all my necro builds
Yea, seems to be almost impossible to keep them alive, even with a life leech gem and i dont wanna switch up too much and use United in Dream. Once i get a level 4 Enlighten, i have enough mana to recast them, then shaper should be way smoother.
Spirit Offering is the biggest defensive layer of this build, so i dont want to use other offerings. I tried some guardian runs again and i think the best way to do them is link them with the highest dps supports (kind of annoying since i would have to switch a blue minion speed for a red maim everytime) to nuke them as fast as possible and tp out to regen/recast them once they get low or die. I personally dont have a problem surviving, it's just the zombies dying, so guardians seem to work out well this way.
They are pretty much as tanky as they can get. Level 21 gem + level 4 Empower, all regen/leech nodes, 1250 strength added to them, Mon'tregul's and 6% phys from Ascendancy. Not gonna gimp the damage too much by using a Life gem or Vitality/Purity auras. I just think minion leech and regen is just too weak for melee minions to deal with endgame bosses that easy.
Yes, i use minion speed but there is no need to switch gems for normal map bosses
[3.6] Zombiemancer - High Survivability - End Game Viable
on Oct 12, 2017, 9:07:47 AM
Well.... about that, judging by your tree you have about 30% reduced minion life from the tree than my zombie build
and about 30 - 60% reduced minion life than my zombie build from your jewel choice (strength is a drop in the bucket for zombie hp)
when you think about it every 10% minion life you dont take is around 1176 less hp on your zombies.
you also only have 2.5% minion life regen and .8% minion leech. which to be perfectly honest ... is a drop in the bucket no matter how you look at it even for minions. after all most regen based builds try to get close to 15 - 20% life regen for their 8 - 15k hp characters
in most cases i tend to build my zombie builds to have multiple sources of regen (which i will admit is not practical) i actually make use of vitality and consecrated ground. sounds silly on paper . but 9% life regen on a 33k hp minion is a pretty chunky amount of sustain
combine this with the fact that you are shackled to spirit offering due to the admittedly very good interactions it has with your personal defense.. it is not surprising they have survival issues.
it is the trade off you make for making yourself so durable. I wont make the claim that making them tank is worth losing that personal durability.
So will stand by my suggestion of focusing more on being able to recast them easier
Last edited by Saltychipmunk on Oct 12, 2017, 9:45:32 AM
on Oct 12, 2017, 9:20:58 AM
Yea, i dont wanna give up points and jewels to do that, other stuff is more important. After all they pretty much only die versus shaper and maybe guardians.
Where do you get that regen from?
Yea, i use consecrated ground from a flask, it's really nice. Probably give the Animated Guardian a Zahndethus', i just added one to this build so i'm still testing out his survivability versus the endgame.
You are probably right. Thanks for all your feedback, really appreciate it!
[3.6] Zombiemancer - High Survivability - End Game Viable
on Oct 12, 2017, 9:39:03 AM
Hey dude, loved the build, and it was well thought out and put together.
I do have some thoughts for you though, which may help.
Since the build only needs to hit 1200 Strength, with your current gear, you achieve this without a brawn jewel in socket #5 (The Melding wheel socket). This means you can place either a Conqueror's Efficiency or Healthy Mind in this socket to have enough mana to recast your zombies at will.
Here's the PoB link I made to test and confirm this, using your character.
If that solution is not to your liking, there's other options as well albeit less interesting (more point expense).
Additionally, I like your use of spirit offering, however you use the term 'constantly' when i think you meant to use the word 'often' or to imply with great frequency. it's the smallest of complaints though, and minor enough that it is easy to overlook.
All in all very solid looking, and I thank you for submitting it.
Hot Flashes: poeurl.com/bPZT
Shocking EleHit: poeurl.com/bZXo
on Oct 12, 2017, 7:48:56 PM
Thanks mate, it's the safest build i played so far by long shot. The Spirit Offering+CwDT combo is so strong that you can shield charge into everything and basically never die, so i thought i share this build. Plus no SRS/Spectre carry summoner build.
Yea, you are right. I just found this beauty of a belt a few days ago that would make it possible to drop one Brawn, so i have not played around with that extra strength yet. I personally will go for a level 4 Enlighten to be able to recast Zombies, so i dont have to drop the bonus strength, since it gives me so many stats.
And it would basically only help for shaper because otherwise the Zombies dont die.
I wrote "constantly triggers when you take damage" and i think that's what it does, taking 500-600 damage is not much while shield charging into every enemy. I can change it to make it more clear.
Last edited by Clooney_is_best_Batman on Oct 13, 2017, 6:10:38 AM
on Oct 13, 2017, 12:19:51 AM
what's the full loadout of the Animate Guardian?
on Oct 13, 2017, 11:39:37 AM
I put the AG gear into the guide, thanks for pointing it out.
on Oct 14, 2017, 2:21:18 AM