3.1 Viable Skeleton Mage Summoner (8.4k+ Life, High Minion Damage Mod) Guardian, Shaper Kill




NOTICE: Will edit this post to reflect 3.1 Patch. Just some good news, Skeletons got a huge damage buff (80%) :)


Your Minion's Job is to Kill, your Role is to Live!

Hence the GOAL is to increase minion base damage as much as possible while you are kept deathless through high flat life build and capped resistances.

Hit max level with this build, level 100! Life is now at 8.4k+



PROS
*For those still discovering the mechanics, or those who loves to experiment in the game and boss fights, the build poses high life and support auras such as Haste and Arctic Armour. This provides a room for mistakes, trial and error, even during the actual fight
*Minion Damage Modifier goes up to 362% which is an excellent base damage upgrade. Whilst minions have low life, Skeletons are easy to summon
*Straight forward build, focused on Character Life and Minion Damage
*Double curse to give way for higher damage
*Good survivability due to high life
*Fast clear of mobs
*Skeletons are easy to summon, and you can do so anywhere within your range. They can also act as your shields for ranged mobs who don't have pierce abilities, or to melee mobs for attack diversion
*Skeleton Mage number of projectiles can also be adjusted depending on the situation, e.g. Lesser or Greater Multiple Projectile for mob clear then Faster Projectile for Boss fights. Either way, you can use which projectile gem suits a certain map or boss
*Safe game play, no need to go near the boss, you can spawn skeleton mage to perform their job to kill while yours is to re-summon and survive. Your high life poses as an additional insurance for a deathless run.

CONS
*in order to gain high life, you need to sacrifice your chest links for Kaom’s Heart. However, during clearing you can still use 6L armours for Zombie Gems which you will see on my Gear below
*This is a flat life build, so armour and evasion are lower
*It doesn’t have a lot of auras available and no mana reserved nodes. However, you can still use Animate Guardian for additional auras.
*the jewels required in this build could be expensive, but can be crafted. (i.e. 7% Max Life and 16% Minion Damage). However, there are still good jewels as an alternative
*not a starting build, some of the items that you need for this build requires for you to be at least level 72

STATS

Minion Modifier



Resistances


PASSIVE TREE
Prioritise getting at least 3 Jewel slots first in order to use x2 Dead Reckoning and From Dust Jewel, at Level 100 this is what it will look like https://goo.gl/5jWvBN

BANDITS
Kill All.



VIDEO GAMEPLAY - GUARDIAN AND SHAPER KILL

Again, safe game play. Summon your Skeletons few steps from the boss for higher chance of minion survival. The more times they throw their projectiles the better. However, even if the minions do die or expire, you can always re-summon them

Full Run: Shaper Deathless Kill:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVGV-v_3VXc

Full Run: All Guardian Kills, T16 with Mods
https://youtu.be/ylP_DD0Gp5E

100th Normal Atziri Challenge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5QriQbomAE

Pale Council Challenge
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbGfypXckrE

T15 Beachhead (although was wearing a headhunter)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCH8Dgk78Ao



GEMS,WEAPON,ARMORS
Current Gear

Chest (Kaom’s Heart) Or if you don’t have one yet, any 6L Body Armour or Belly of the Beast with Zombie as Meat Shields. Gems: Summon Zombies>Minion Speed>Minion Elemental Resistance>Minion life>Minion Damage>Fortify or Swap 1 Red with Empower/if green Enhance, and another Red with Guardian (you can find on POE forums tons of equipment you can use for an optimized guardian)



Instead of putting 6L Zombies on my Body Armour for their meat shield purpose, I traded this for Kaom's Heart mainly because Zombies get wiped out during boss fights and re-summoning them requires for me to use desecrate first just for them to get wiped out again. I thought having flat life for body armour would be better for survivability and gameplay.

For Pledge of Hands (gives level 30 Spell Echo): Summon Skeleton>Minion Damage>Controlled Destruction>Elemental Focus>GMP/LMP/FP>Pierce



Having Pledge of Hands provides you with 100% increased mana which is like equal to 100% mana regeneration. Also the Level 30 Spell Echo not only provides a high level Echo Support that you cannot achieve on a gem, but also another free slot for either Elemental Focus or Controlled Destruction.

Bone Helmet:best to have 40% Minion Damage and +Maximum Life Mod: Arc>Curse on Hit>Elemental Weakness>Flammability



Bone Helmet provides 40% increased minion damage which is great for this build. Also, since Skeleton Mages can cast 1/3 chance to become Cold/Fire/Lightning based, having double curse will great increase their damage. In the passive tree you will also alot a point to Elemental Equilibrium (EE) hence both your Cold and Fire Skeleton Mages will significantly do more damage. Since you are also using EE with Flammability and Elemental Weakness, your Fire Mage will be your Top Damager, then Cold Mages, then Lightning Mages. You can always re-summon to chance your preferred Skeleton Mage user, either way, your enemies will receive a significant debuff on their elemental resistances.

x2 Unset Rings for Vaal Skeletons & Summon Stone Golem

I basically have decided to use Vaal Skeletons for Shield Purposes especially during solo T15 BH Runs or when you are cornered by mobs. You can also replace this with Vaal Haste to significantly increase your Skeleton Mage's Casting Speed. Summon Stone Golem for regeneration purposes since I'd like to focus on life rather than receiving buffs or damage reductions.



Gauntlets (Armour based):Haste>Arctic Armour>Enlighten Support>Empower. (Decided to use Empower since I still can’t turn that single red node to Green, which would then allow me to use Enhance Gem instead of Empower)



Haste is great to increase your mobility and cast speed. You will also affect your Skeleton Mages with this Aura, significantly buffing their casting speed. I chose Artic Armour for damage mitigation purposes, and just in case a mob managed to go near me, it has a chilling chance. This saved me many times in the game.

Amulet (Used this to boost Dex and Resistances)



You need at least 155 Dex in order to wear the required gems, armors and weapons in this build. As much as you can, get a high roll on Dex and also resistances.

Alberon’s Warpath Soldier Boots: Flame Dash>Faster Casting Support>Desecrate>Flesh Offering



This boots is great for this build as it has a +1 on Summon Skeletons, bringing your minions to 10. It also has decent stats such as Armour, Movement Speed and Chaos Resistance. Putting Faster Casting as a support gem greatly helps in using Flame Dash and summoning corpses for a Flesh Offering buff.

Belt (mine’s getting there, but as much as you can, get Max Life and High Resistances)



As much as possible, try to get a high maximum life roll.

For Mobility:

One of the challenges I encountered during party runs was being the slowest in the team, especially when my movement flasks are all consumed. So maybe just to help you out, you can use Brightbeak War Hammer on both hands on your alternative weapon set up and link a level 1 Leap Slam (level 1 only for low mana multiplier) with Faster Attack Support. Then the rest of the slots you can use for leveling significant gems.



JEWELS

There are 10 Jewel Slots for this Build and you can use these slots to increase minion damage, character life and add in some resistances as well

As much as you can, aim for Maximum Life Increases and Minion Damage Increases, however if you can’t craft or buy the required Jewels yet for this build, you can use any jewels for the meantime with minion damage. Please note that you need at least x2 Dead Reckoning Jewel to have Skeleton Mage and 1 From Dust Cobalt Jewel for additional echo of 2 Skeleton Summon.

Current Jewels



You can also use, “To Dust Cobalt Jewel” to buff up damage and casting speed however would only limit this to x2 to x3 Jewels as on this build you don’t have much skill duration. So, would be great to combine it with Jewels that have at least Minion Damage and Resistances. For example;


FLASKS
I have 2 sets for Flasks, one for clearing mobs and one for boss fights

First Set has Movement Speed Buff



Second Set has more Life Flasks to help you survive boss fights



PANTHEON
Major God - Soul of Lunaris - for damage reduction and movement speed during mob clearing
Minor God - Soul of Ryslatha - for Life Flask Recovery

OTHER BUILDS THAT HELPED ME
These builds inspired me to experiment on Skeleton Mage. They are more experienced players and you might want to check out their builds as well

https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1959018
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1949867
https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/1949446

Feel free to ask questions or provide your constructive feedback/comments
Last edited by LeknaatTrueRune on Dec 14, 2017, 10:06:39 PM
Last bumped on Mar 27, 2018, 5:14:44 AM
Bandits?
"
Dawid120 wrote:
Bandits?


Hello, Kill All.
Post updated. Thanks!
Will update this build, some changes, almost level 100!
Enjoying the build so far. Having a hard time finding a bone helmet similar to yours though. Could you suggest any alternatives?
"
zet1 wrote:
Enjoying the build so far. Having a hard time finding a bone helmet similar to yours though. Could you suggest any alternatives?


Hello thanks thats good to know. For the bone helmet, you can prioritise getting the life (ideally 110 max life or above). The resistances on it are usually easy to find or craft, and the 40% minion damage can be chanced through blessed orb. Bone helmet for me is ideal for the build as it can provide both life and minion damage.
Last edited by LeknaatTrueRune on Nov 22, 2017, 1:07:44 AM
Have you considered procing EE with a cold spell? Iirc the lightning and fire mages deal the most dps.
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Completed 6 Challengesseanxjohnson wrote:
Have you considered procing EE with a cold spell? Iirc the lightning and fire mages deal the most dps.


Hello! I can try that! that reason why i proc EE using lightning is because of the Arc Gem that i can easily and quickly cast, also from a safe distance. Also cold and fire damage from Skeleton Caster seems to deal more damage than lightning. But ill let you know once ive tried this. Thanks!
"
"
Completed 6 Challengesseanxjohnson wrote:
Have you considered procing EE with a cold spell? Iirc the lightning and fire mages deal the most dps.


Hello! I can try that! that reason why i proc EE using lightning is because of the Arc Gem that i can easily and quickly cast, also from a safe distance. Also cold and fire damage from Skeleton Caster seems to deal more damage than lightning. But ill let you know once ive tried this. Thanks!


Are you looking at PoB? Do you still have the EE toggled for lightning? I turned off EE proc, Anger, and Haste and it shows Fire proj 2300~, Cold proj 1900~, Lightning proj 2600~.
"
Completed 6 Challengesseanxjohnson wrote:
"
"
Completed 6 Challengesseanxjohnson wrote:
Have you considered procing EE with a cold spell? Iirc the lightning and fire mages deal the most dps.


Hello! I can try that! that reason why i proc EE using lightning is because of the Arc Gem that i can easily and quickly cast, also from a safe distance. Also cold and fire damage from Skeleton Caster seems to deal more damage than lightning. But ill let you know once ive tried this. Thanks!


Are you looking at PoB? Do you still have the EE toggled for lightning? I turned off EE proc, Anger, and Haste and it shows Fire proj 2300~, Cold proj 1900~, Lightning proj 2600~.


oh let me have a look at that later, perhaps a freezing pulse to proc?
one of the reasons i use Arc is coz it doesnt require aiming, can reach more mobs, can be fired at a very safe distance, or perhaps it's just me used to the gameplay

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