[3.1] Skeleton Bombs (Dark Pact Skeleton Necromancer) | Hybrid | 530k - 1.6mil DPS | High-Max Block
Note: Those uniques in the pic are just skin transfers, see below for actual gear
For too long we have lived under the tyranny of dark pact berserkers, occultists, even a necromancer using totems. They all use the self-cast functionality but it's time to bring dark pact to what it was originally designed for - blowing up craptons of skeletons.
The general idea is summon skeletons -> dark pact on skeletons, with a golem and bunch of zombies tanking for you. The real highlight and funnest part of this build is using a massively buffed Vaal Summon Skeleton repeatedly from pack to pack, literally spamming the screen full of skeles repeatedly.
Meanwhile, for defenses, we have an army of minions taunting and body-blocking for us:
and 75/75% block chances with CWDT + Desecrate + Mistress of Sacrifice + Bone Offering + Rumi's Concoction + Rathpith Globe. Without a Rumi's this is still 55/60% block with a decent Rathpith. Tawm'r Isley also means that enemies are permanently blinded with the army of minions you have whacking away and you can sustain ES with the leech provided.
Changes since 3.1:
- Minion Life gem was changed from 'Increased' to 'More' life, buffing all minion life and dark pact DPS
- Using Cloak of Tawm'r Isley instead of a rare chest to get a 7th link life leech, this is only possible in 3.1 (also perma-blind is awesome)
- Skill tree slightly changed to include Ghost Reaver
- +2 vaal/+2 minion helmet replaced with a standard +2 minion helm for more ES
- Now keeping a helmet to swap out with lightning warp/faster casting/less duration/culling strike to help with big bosses
- DPS numbers updated
- Path of Building updated
- Shaper has been defeated!
Link to my current build (NecroLegendary):
Endgame Skill Tree (lvl 94)
A thing worth mentioning is that Minion Instability, while it looks like a good synergy, is really not worth having 1/3 of your minions' tanking HP removed for a marginal damage boost - explosions do fire damage, but we scale in only chaos.
Levelling is incredibly simple since this is a skill combo you can start pretty much as soon as you meet the level requirement at lvl28 - until then just use some generic spell + minion combos. There are also no build-enabling make-or-break uniques that are needed to get the build rolling.
The main tree can be taken in pretty much any order, just balancing out offense/defense properly. Ascendancies should be picked in this order:
1. Commander of Darkness
2. Mistress of Sacrifice
3. Beacon of Corruption
4. Spirit Eater
Path of Building
Note that the high end DPS in the title (1.6mil) is with a 6-link and fully buffed with 20 stacks of wither, diamond flask and arcane surge active casting on vaal skeletons. PoB doesnt account for the fact that a skeleton-casted dark pact chains twice, so we effectively do 3x the listed DPS.
The low end DPS (530k) is with my regular skeletons, no wither or diamond flask but still with arcane surge. Skeletons are always kept up and are actually really easy to cast with decent cast speed + From Dust, so I've found arcane surge is a 100% uptime.
Note that map/act bosses and the Shaper/Guardians also have some chaos resistance at 15/25% respectively.
Pros & Cons
+ Huge DPS with great survivability
+ Long range with tanking minions = never have to deal with melee enemies
+ Can run every map mod in existence
- Framerate-murdering, especially during breaches (really needs dynamic resolution)
- Incredibly slot starved (needs two unset rings to use all gems) and no movement skills without swapping out helmet slots (which I do for Shaper/guardians)
Gameplay & Videos
Tier 16 - Pit of the Chimera (boss fight demo)
Tier 13 - Gorge (map clearing demo)
Note: Above vids show me using a 5-link and old gear at about half the DPS I now have in 3.1. Below is my latest Shaper kill (I died once, but only because of that dumb ball timing):
Tier 17 - Shaper's Realm
Gameplay is generally played at a long range while having minions to tank for you. Vaal Skeletons + wither totem should be used to take down large packs like strongboxes and shrines, as well as abysses, breaches and map bosses. Always play with lifebars above allies on so you can track which minions are dying. If your skeletons die unexpectedly, you may start darkpacting your own life. For strong bosses, your zombies may die but so far nothing has been able to kill my tank of a stone golem.
Dark Pact - Added Chaos - Void Manipulation - Spell Echo - Inc. Crit. Strikes - Conc. Effect
Raise Zombie - Vaal Summon Skeletons - Minion Life - Minion Speed
You can swap out Minion Speed for a lvl 3+ empower for slower tankier minions.
Helmet (for tough bosses)
Lightning Warp - Faster Casting - Less Duration - Culling Strike
Summon Skeleton - Spell Echo - Minion Life - Arcane Surge
Wither - Spell Totem - Inc. Duration | Clarity
Bone Offering (lvl 10) - CWDT (lvl 4) - Inc. Duration
The CWDT for bone offering needs to be slightly higher than desecrate so that it will trigger after the corpses appear. This won't work if a single hit does too much damage though.
Enfeeble (lvl 5) - Desecrate (lvl 7) - CWDT (lvl 1)
Two Unset Rings
Summon Stone Golem | Discipline
As of 3.1, Dark Pact is treated as being a minion gem, so Cloak of Tawm'r Isley is vital to getting a 7th link leech gem. It's other massive benefit is 15% blind chance on all your minions and since you always have 8 skeles at once, bosses are often permanently blinded, effectively giving you 50% evasion all the time.
Rathpith globe combos very well with Mistress of Sacrifice + Bone Offering (54% attack block and 61% spell block total) and From Dust Jewel to let you summon 6 skeles at a time.
I prefer to use Redblade Band to help my stone golem, which has 52k HP, tank better. I use a Rumi's Concoction to reach max block, but a +armor +duration granite flask is also quite good.
Essences of Fear have armor mods for +%Minion HP so those are your best bet to scaling minion HP. Remember that minion HP = better tanking, and +damage for dark pact.
One final thing worth mentioning is that helmets can have +2 to minion gem levels, as well as +2 vaal gem levels from corruption. This gives us +4 to vaal skeletons, which is roughly +3000 HP. Recently I have replaced this with just a +2 to have more energy shield, since vaal skeles die pretty much instantly against Shaper/guardians.
Above all else: Minion HP (Minion HP scales both damage from skeletons getting dark pacted AND helps all your minions tank hits for you)
Offensive: Spell Damage/Chaos Damage - Crit Multi/Chance - Cast Speed
Defensive: HP - ES - Ele Res - Chaos Res
Help Alira for +20% crit multi, +5 mana regen, +15% to all resistances
Major: Soul of the Brine King (Stun & chill/freeze defenses)
Minor: Soul of Garukhan (+Evade after savage hit, +Movespeed)
Thanks everyone for reading! Stay sane, exiles
Last edited by SoLegendary on Jan 3, 2018, 12:37:22 AM
Last bumped on Feb 7, 2018, 7:05:50 PM
on Oct 22, 2017, 7:42:04 AM
What will happen if You put cwdt setup in gloves? CWDT + inc. duration + desecrate + bone offering? Will it work?
on Oct 24, 2017, 3:18:03 AM
I actually ran a very simillar (mechanically) char this league:
https://www.pathofexile.com/account/view-profile/MarDrakar/characters/ImmaDarkpaaaa (baron, 1k+ str, 10 zombies, 9 skelies, 1 specrte, 2 golems)
however I never managed to 6L the chest for dark pact tho so it made me rage make new fotm char
I did all the guardians, and vaal temple with this char, but damn it's hard, esp when tough mods are in play, like increased aoe, chain, which clears whole packs of summons...
Also - how do you play without movement skill ? Not sure if some bosses are realy doable without it... like rigwald? hydra? minotaur? ...
on Oct 24, 2017, 5:21:44 AM
It works but has downsides compared to separate CWDT setups.
With separate setups you can have desecrate at lower level and bone offering at higher level. This way desecrate procs more often, giving more consistent corpses for the offering. Another upside is that enemies with Detonate Dead are not as dangerous because the corpses will be low level and low hp.
Combo used to work in single setup. After introduction of lockstep the changes in code made it so that corpses can't be offered on the same frame they were created
I believe in slightly different donuts
on Oct 24, 2017, 11:27:28 AM
This looks very fun and different :D
A quick question, if currency was a non-issue, are there any particular uniques or changes you would make in order for this to be significantly stronger? Or would it just be a matter of min-maxing w/e stats you can?
on Oct 24, 2017, 1:34:10 PM
This looks beautiful. An absolute fun to play and I even reckon it's rather cheap to set up and start a league with! Nice!! :D
Would you suggest any armour upgrades?
I could see Cherrubim's Malefince or Carcass Jack work?
Would a chest essence crafted with minion health be an upgrade?
'You know why I enjoy Math? If something doesn't exist we simply create it.'
Ball Lightning Elementalist - Comfortable, safe, scales well. Simply enjoying your balls.
Last edited by TotemLols on Oct 24, 2017, 5:35:50 PM
on Oct 24, 2017, 5:28:51 PM
No further uniques needed, but if currency was no issue I'd probably have essence of fear mods on literally every piece of gear I had - I'd have +minion movespeed on my rings and amulet and a mirror-tier 6-link body with 30% minion HP
on Oct 24, 2017, 7:28:36 PM
Stats look good, have you considered using a Baron to boost flat skeleton HP? Here's the gear on a character I threw together on standard, sadly it's lacking a couple hundred str so I can't make use of zombie leech to help sustain DP.
Using 2xSpreading Rot + Blight means we don't necessarily need to cast DP on every pack (and also limits how much HP we lose without having skeletons up). Can be swapped out for Wither on bosses. Curse management is also a pain, I should be using blasphemy or tempest shield to apply them.
on Oct 25, 2017, 3:06:33 AM
Nice build. Got several questions for you.
1) For amulet choice, have you considered using Anvil to get 3% max block chance?
2) Can you explain why you swap out zombie set-up with culling strike lightning warp for tough bosses? Isn't zombie's phys resist better for defense?
3) Why not using tempest shield for more block and free access to curse on hit/culling?
4) Why discipline over other defensive auras?
on Jan 1, 2018, 10:42:01 AM
1. If I had a 100% uptime max block then yes, but relying on rumi's means the anvil is only useful for short bursts whereas a rare amulet gives a ton of HP and ES to work with.
2. By 'tough bosses' I mean shaper and some guardians (phoenix and minotaur) who just one-shot my zombies even at their 26k HP. Being so slot starved also means the lightning warp is really necessary for mobility to avoid hits - also I don't use the phys-resist ascendancy anyway
3. Didn't think of this tbh, but again, really slot starved atm - could maybe replace one of the CWDT triggers
4. Leech and ghost reaver means I benefit a ton from having more ES. The regen rate is also very useful because this build focuses very much on avoiding hits entirely via block and physically dodging. On ele weakness maps I do swap it out for purity of elements though.
Last edited by SoLegendary on Jan 3, 2018, 12:31:19 AM
on Jan 3, 2018, 12:15:21 AM