3.2 Volatile Dead Necro - Drowning In Death Duo - 2mil+ DPS, Tanky, Budget - League Starter

This is one of two parts of a budget friendly duo build designed by Uniting Wraeclast to be played both as a solo and a duo with few to no changes. All of our builds are quite capable of playing solo with a minimum of 400k realistic dps to shaper*, although when they are paired together their strength multiplies through the power of synergy. We aim to stay to a strict build budget but show premium scaling items. Builds are mainly designed for softcore leagues but can very easily be adapted to hardcore. Please see the below link for a full list of our builds currently available as well as what we have in the works for you.

*400k realistic dps based on no flasks, realistic setting, and only with buffs that have near 100% shaper uptime. This may require non budget items for some builds.


Recently updated with Arctic Breath + GMP in Kitavas and Vigilant Strike with The Vigil threshold jewel for fortify!

This build is currently in progress, this post will be updated with actual in-game gear and information as I progress.

This is my starter build for Bestiary.

Counterpart Corpse Generating Summoner Here


This is the Volatile Dead Necromancer part of the Drowning In Death duo build. This build focuses entirely on the Mistress of Sacrifice Ascendancy node, specifically the "2% increased Attack and Cast Speed for each corpse consumed recently" line. Combining this with Volatile Dead + Spell Cascade we are able to consume 9 (12 with helmet enchant) corpses every cast, allowing us to stack a ridiculous (400%+) amount of cast speed.

One of the main drawbacks of a build like this is it is inherently clunky because you need to generate the corpses before you can explode them. This is no long an issue when playing with **Summoner/Golemmancer** because they are able to generate corpses for you with no drawback to their own build, allowing you to focus on blinding yourself and everyone else with the brilliance of 50+ suns per second.

I have no friends, can this be played solo? Absolutely yes! While designed to synergize with its counterpart build this is more then capable of being played solo.

How do you generate so many corpses? The cast speed we get from Mistress of Sacrifice works with the Unearth Totem we use. The more corpses we explode, the more cast speed we get, which allows us to both generate and explode corpses even faster. On top of this we have Desecrate in Kitava's Helm generating an additional ~10 corpses every second. The 50 corpses/second number I reference a few times in here is actually a very conservative number. I'm anticipating the actual amount to be a bit higher when solo and much higher when played with your duo partner.

VIDEOS (more coming soon)

T7 Underground River - 5Ls @ lv79/lv77
T8 Overgrown Ruin Boss - 5Ls @ lv79/lv77
T11 Colonnade - 40% Monster Life - 5L @ lv85

T10 Wasteland - 5L @ lv83



+ Disgusting single target damage (2m+ realistic Shaper DPS)
+ Fast and safe clear
+ Covers entire screen in glowing suns
+ Tanky for a caster (high block + HP pool + Fortify)


- Requires more than 1 button to play solo
- Low life recovery/leech, susceptible to damage over time
- Extremely mana intensive
- Covers entire screen in glowing suns, will probably lag potato computers



Path of Building: https://pastebin.com/SReMRdGe - Default setup does not include any debuffs granted by duo partner. Namely Elemental Equilibrium and Scorching Ray debuffs (-74% fire res).

Skill Tree Passives

Ascendancy Points: You only need 4.
Mistress of Sacrifice -> Commander of Darkness -> Minion Damage, Skill Duration minor node and Minion Damage, Cast Speed minor node.

Bandits: Help Alira


Nothing! The gearing of this build is extremely flexible and has no set requirement. However I do recommend the following uniques as I feel they create the most balanced and powerful version of this build.

Martyr Of Innocence Staff - Provides a massive amount of both damage and defence and is typically very underused and cheap. Best in slot weapon.

Kaoms Heart Chest - Fire damage and crazy life. Easily best in slot.

Stone of Lazhwar Amulet - Juicy spell block and comparatively easy to corrupt for +1 curse.

Rumi's Concoction Granite Flask - This allows us to almost cap block with Bone Offering.

Nycta's Lantern Sceptre - Weapon Swap. Extremely underrated, until you get either a Tabula Rasa or 6-link Martyr of Innocence this is the best in slot weapon. Personally I don't even plan on getting a Tabula, I will buy a Nycta as early as possible and use it until I have a 6L Martyr of Innocence.

Rathpith Globe Shield - Weapon Swap. Damage, life, spell block, easily best in slot.

Core Uniques For Partner Build (in progress)

**Break down partner uniques and their interactions**
Corpse Generating Summoner


Passive Tree (30 Passives)
Early on we want to pick up all the life nodes that are close.
**brief description including where your partner is at**

Passive Tree (60 Passives)
Next we start to pick up some damage while flushing out some of the travel nodes.
**brief description including where your partner is at**

Passive Tree (90 Passives)
At this point we've picked up most of the life and critical damage nodes. All that's left is jewels and less efficient life nodes.
**brief description including where your partner is at**



The tree is fairly flexible depending on the style of build you choose to go for. Eventually I want to add multiple trees and explanations but for the first release of this guide everything will be directed at the Staff version of the build.
**partner build link**


Path of Building Configuration

To calculate your actual DPS you need to take the Average Hit damage and multiply it by the number of corpses you explode every second. We explode 9 corpses (12 with helm enchant) per cast so simply multiply that by your Cast Rate to get your Maximum Possible DPS. This is not your true DPS because under most circumstances it's simply not possible to generate as many corpses as you can explode, even with your duo partner. You will have to manually calculate how many corpses you can realistically generate to determine your true DPS.

For all screenshots below I assume 50 corpses/second (200 recently). This is extremely manageable as your Unearth totem alone can generate 40+ solo. Also I assume that only 20/50 of the corpse explosions hit the target.

Note: These are missing the Herald of Ash buff for 12% more spell fire damage and the -24% resists from Tukohama's Vanguard Spectres (duo partner).

1,532,400 DPS (Suns)

223,380 DPS (Corpse Explosions)

Solo with Diamond Flask
2,090,100 DPS (Suns)

286,980 DPS (Corpse Explosions)

Duo (Dual Curse + EE)
2,312,250 DPS (Suns)

337,080 DPS (Corpse Explosions)

Duo (Dual Curse + EE) with Diamond Flask
3,153,850 DPS (Suns)

433,020 DPS (Corpse Explosions)

Overall we are very tanky for a caster. Rocking high amount of block and a decent life pool combined with 297 life on block from Bone Offering makes us very hard to kill.

With Rare Chest

With Kaoms Heart

With Rumis Concoction

GEAR (in progress)


This section will be updated with my actual in game gear. Refer to the "Mandatory Uniques" section above for uniques.

For the rest of your gear you want to focus mainly on Life and Resistances. Strength is an added bonus to get whenever possible (more life).

Gear @ lv79

I should be using a Stone of Lazhwar but I've been too lazy to rebalance resistances if I buy one right now. Soon!

Gear @ lv83



Main DPS Setup (Most -> Least important)
Volatile Dead
Spell Cascade - This allows us to triple our damage with only a 31% less damage multiplier. Insane. Best in slot support.
Elemental Focus - We don't care about ailments so this support is a no brainer.
Concentrated Effect - The explosion AOE doesn't matter when each monster has their own personal sun flying at their face. Huge damage boost.
Fire Penetration - Best damage boost vs bosses, even with Elemental Weakness and Elemental Equilibrium.
Controlled Destruction - Biggest damage boost of the remaining supports.

Why not Spell Echo? We already cannot create enough corpses to explode so Spell Echo provides 0 benefit.

Kitava's Thirst (helm) - This is for our utility spells
Warlords Mark - We really need the mana leech from this for single target
Arc - Choose your favorite power charge generation spell. I'm testing out Arctic Breath for the chilled ground. I like Arc because it auto targets.
Power Charge on Critical - Power charge generation
Desecrate - More corpses = more explosions = more DPS = more swag

Another options is to swap out Arc and Desecrate for Arctic Breath + GMP for chilled ground. You don't really need the extra corpses with your duo partner anyways!

Arctic Breath
Greater Multiple Projectiles

Unearth Totem - This is our main form of Corpse Generation
Spell Totem
Greater Multiple Projectiles
Lesser Multiple Projectiles

Herald of Ash - 12% more damage
Clarity - Used while solo for Commander of Darkness bonus.
Vaal Clarity - Helps with mana for single target

Bone Offering - Extremely strong defensive offering
Increased Duration
Vigilant Strike - Combined with our duration nodes and The Vigil threshold jewel you get a whopping 30 seconds AOE Fortify.

Other Options
Stone Golem - Life regeneration is extremely nice quality of life
Enduring Cry

Solo Only - Corpse Generation
Spell Cascade

I have a rare helm I switch on instead of Kitava's for solo that has Desecrate + Spell Cascade linked and I manually curse Warlords Mark when needed.


The Vigil

You want jewels with Life and Crit Multiplier first. Other good stats to look out for are Area Damage, Fire Damage, and Spell Damage. Cast speed isn't very useful because we already get plenty of Mistress of Sacrifice. Another good option is to fill out the last 1-2 jewel stats with either stats (dex/strength) or resists.


Freezing Pulse -> Firestorm (lv12) -> Volatile Dead + Spell Cascade once we get Desecrate (lv16) + Spell Cascade. From there you basically just destroy everything. Try to get a Nycta's Lantern for around lv41. You can use the Light and Truth divination card early in the league as it has a very high chance to give you Nycta's and is usually much cheaper than buying one straight up.

Do Normal lab as soon as you are able and take Mistress of Sacrifice.

+1 to fire sceptres/daggers/wands or X-X added damage to spells
Resists until 75% cap
4L Evasion pieces for Unearth totem
Any stat requirements for gems/gear

Gear after ~6.5 hours played (lv52)

Current Gear (lv74)

SYNERGY DETAILS (in progress)

This build benefits a lot from playing with your duo partner. They provide an extra curse (Elemental Weakness), Elemental Equilibrium, Scorching Ray Debuff (Tukohama's Vanguard Spectres), and a bunch of extra corpses for you to explode.

**How the 2 builds fit together including a link to other build again**
Corpse Generating Summoner Partner Build

Playstyle (in progress)

The playstyle of this build for solo play vs duo varies mostly in that you're going to want to cast Desecrate + Spell Cascade manually to clear packs. Unearth Totem will do the job but there is a bit of a delay in summoning the totem and it casting once.

I recommend that you map using your weapon swap of Nycta's Lantern + Shield and swap to Martyr of Innocence for bosses. This way you can shield charge clear through the map extremely quickly and not give up any single target damage for it. Volatile Dead is AOE and auto-targeting so there isn't a whole lot else to say here.

For bosses summon your Unearth totem, and mash Volatile Dead!

I recommend switching from Kitava's Thirst to a rare helm for solo play and just dropping the power charge generation entirely. Socket Desecrate + Spell Cascade. You will have to manually curse bosses but the quality of life and smoothness of play is well worth it. Also you need to run a lv1 Clarity to get the Commander of Darkness bonus. Other than that it's the same as Duo play but with less damage and more FPS.

Speed between packs and spam Volatile Dead until you go blind. Kitava's Thirst will auto-curse and generate power charges for your group as well as lay down some extra corpses for that sweet sweet DPS.
**Explain Duo playstyle for max synergy clear vs boss**
**partner build link**

FAQ (in progress)

Why not Pledge of Hands or Spell Echo? We already can't generate as many corpses as we can explode so the Spell Echo from Pledge of Hands doesn't do anything for us.

Can I use X item or take X passive? Yes, this is a guide not a dictatorship. Please mold the concepts in this guide to best fit your character and play-style.

I thought you said this was "budget friendly" but you are saying to use a 6L Martyr Of Innocence and Kaoms Heart, what gives? These are best in slot items for the build, not requirements. The build functions perfectly well using a 3L Nycta's Lantern and baring your naked chest to the monsters of Wraeclast.

Can we contact you in-game or through messages? Please keep all questions to our forum posts. We check them frequently and will answer all in the threads. I'm happy to help you but it's impossible to play the game while being spammed by questions (most of which are probably answered in this post already).


Thank you for taking the time to look through our build guide. If you like what you see you can check the link below for other duo builds we’ve made. We will update the guides as we play and hopefully have the time to keep our videos updated as well. Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated as well. Please keep all questions/comments to this post and do not message us in-game!
IGN: Dmillz
Last edited by Dmillz on Apr 3, 2018, 10:44:01 PM
Last bumped on Mar 27, 2018, 11:58:19 PM
Updated with links to counterpart build!
IGN: Dmillz
The build looks very nice, looking forward to video.s
I just finished Act 10 with this build, playing with my wife who will post her thoughts on the partner build. We both had a lot of fun and thought that this was by a very wide margin the best, most synergistic pair of characters we've ever played. We've played characters before that I would describe as "went well together". This takes that to another level.

This build leveled really well. It picked up a lot of speed in the 20s when the partner build was able to use specters (dropping SRS, freeing up a lot more time to make corpses). From that point on, leveling went super fast. Most bosses died in a few seconds. There were some hiccups with certain bosses (Kitava and Arakaali, notably) where the Unearth totem wasn't creating usable corpses because the boss isn't on solid ground, but even those fights were still pretty quick with the partner build making all the corpses. Having just reached mapping level, the consensus feeling both my wife and I have is that this pair feels like we're abusing a game mechanic.

Some lessons learned after finishing the leveling:
* I leveled with a Tabula Rasa until level 42, when I equipped the Nycta's Lantern. I never looked back to the Tabula after this point -- Nycta's Lantern is extremely effective for this build.
* Kitava's helmet requires that you actually spend 100 mana before it will have the 30% chance to do the thing. For me, I didn't realize this until I was around level 55 (I thought if I used 50 mana twice in quick succession, it'd act as if I'd just spent 100 mana). I'm a bit slow like that, sometimes. My solution was to use Voidbringer gloves to increase my mana usage.
* When soloing, I would strongly recommend having a second Desecrate to make corpses to start an encounter faster than summoning the Unearth totem.

Depending on how soon the next duo build is posted, my wife and I intend on continuing mapping with this pair.
There were some hiccups with certain bosses (Kitava and Arakaali, notably) where the Unearth totem wasn't creating usable corpses because the boss isn't on solid ground

My god, this drove me insane! I was leveling solo so killing Kitava was brutally hard haha.

I'm thrilled you guys are enjoying this so much! Due to work constraints we haven't been able to push it as fast as we wanted to early on in the league so I'm glad you guys made it work with the half done guides!

For soloing I actually swap Kitava's for a rare helm that has Desecrate + Spell Cascade in it. Drop 1 Desecrate on a pack and VD explodes everything.

It will probably be another week or so to get both guides up for the next duo (Wander + Ele Spectral Throw) but my half is ready to go (Wander) so I'll start getting it organized sooner rather than later!
IGN: Dmillz
Hi just wondering how you benefit from commander of darkness with no auras running? am I missing something perhaps? cheers, enjoying the build!
Because I totally forgot to update the gems to add it in! For solo play I run a lv1 Clarity and in the duo I don't bother as my partner is running several auras.
IGN: Dmillz
Cheers for the reply!
great build, i will try this duo build with a friend of mine who is a complete beginner in poe

nice work mate and your other build ideas are also nice!
Hey just for the lulz

Scorchray + cast while channel + unearth + bodyswap

Barrage/kinetic +coc +gmp +unearth +volatile dead +spell cascade or anything funny

Ps.: Top build having fun :)
Last edited by Fozakin on Mar 19, 2018, 12:31:52 PM

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