{3.5} Speaker for the Dead | 74 minion Summoner | League Starter, Leveling Guide | 4.7M Shaper DPS

Hail, oh wandering soul. Since the time of the ancient people of Be'Ta, I have been a purveyor of the perverse art of Necromancy. Shall I sate that dark curiosity of yours? You want power, do you not?

You must have an army, squirming with the wretched and the damned. You will wash the Atlas in your color, fell the most arrogant of abominations, and penetrate the deepest black pits of Nightmare.

I will show you how, for but a pittance. A mere piece of your soul. You won't miss it. Now, now, don't tarry, what's there to think about? You want it, I have it. Take it. Heh heh heh, yes... TAKE IT!

I Accept
The Pact is Sealed

Art by CD Projekt

I impart you with these most efferous of companions:

Nurture the Spectres of icy regret, so that none will move against you.

Embrace the Phantasms of spreading vengeance, for they will reap their due from the wheat of life that stands before you.

Feed the foul Crawler of Agony, a glutton never full, consuming all.

Stitch the remains into a family of Zombie flesh, so they might see their loved ones a final time.

Sing the secret of the Skeleton bones, and return legends to the past.

Let the Charge of Lightning flow through you, out of you.

Surge forward to what calls you.

Strike with Curses,

Poison their minds,

Bleed their bodies,

Strip their protections, their pride,

Taunt, Blind, and Hinder them,

Take their Life with every Hit,

Revel in the trumpets of your Holy Relic,

Offer their Spirits,

And raze their lands so completely,

Not even the crows can scour a grain between them.



Art by LIU HUAN

We have but one mission: To twist the rules of mortal skill socketing, and leverage multiple 5- and 6-link horrors to our retinue. Seven kind kill their kin for your glory. Up to 74 march in your name.

Whether supplication or annihilation, is there a difference how one bows down to death?

VIDEO
T15 Basilica, Delve 300, Red Elder

[GIF WILL GO HERE]


EVERYTHING YOU NEED






The only requirement for this build is one source of flat Chaos or Physical Damage for Spells, such as on an Abyssal Jewel (above), Elder affix on helm (above), Lesser Poison Support, Herald of Purity, or Envy aura from Aul's Uprising. This is important for allowing Ball Lightning to Poison when we have % Chance to Poison, which gives us Virulence stacks, even if it's only 1 point of Chaos Damage or Physical Damage. We achieve up to 80% Chance to Poison from Herald of Agony and Poison Support affix on gloves.

Avoid any source of flat Fire or Cold Damage on Attacks/Spells, since we use Elemental Equilibrium (EE). Of the three Elemental Damage types, we want to only hit with Lightning Damage, which will weaken further Lightning Damage in exchange for strengthening the Cold and Fire Damage of our minions against the target. None of our minions use Lightning Damage, so it's okay to weaken Lightning Damage. (Note: Physical and Chaos Damage are not considered Elemental, so they do not matter in regards to EE; the Generosity Support prevents our Hatred aura from affecting our own attacks in exchange for making it stonger on allies; and minions do not trigger EE because their damage is separate from ours.) We do not want to deal Cold Damage, or EE will weaken the Frost Sentinels' and Hatred's Cold Damage. We do not want to deal Fire Damage, or EE will weaken the Fire Damage of the Solar Guard and Added Fire Support (if you have either). If you plan to play in parties and do not wish to sabotage their damage, you must take care to coordinate what elemental damage they deal and the auras they use, or temporarily abstain from attacking, or simply remove EE to avoid any conflicts. EE is very powerful, but not party-friendly without planning.

The other items are not required for the build to function. They only make it stronger.

Please do not PM or message me ingame with build questions. Post them here. Refer to the FAQ for more details about why. Thank you!


Overview
Artwork - Necromancer
This Summoner build freezes, poisons, bleeds, blinds, maims, hinders, taunts, generates frenzy charges for allies, curses, lowers resists, gains LoH from attacks and spells, knocks back, and teleports, all as one action; and is assisted by two Frost Sentinels, a Solar Guard, an Agony Crawler, eleven Phantasms, eight Zombies, a Holy Relic, ten Skeletons, and fourty Vaal Skeletons.

The goals of this build are to field as many minions with as many supports as possible, push summoner DPS to new heights while remaining tanky, be adaptable, and play fast, smoothly, and with minimal fuss.

Our large roster of minions include:

(#L = number of links, indicating the relative power of a skill)

  • 1. 5L Frost Sentinel Spectres for Freeze proliferation, Hinder, and spawning Phantasms.
  • 2. 5L Solar Guard Spectre for Ignite proliferation, Special Beam Cannon into rooms, Hinder, and spawning Phantasms.
  • 3. 5L Phantasms for general map clearing, Hinder, and more Freeze proliferation with cold damage from Hatred aura.
  • 4. 5L Agony Crawler for hardened targets, Maim, and Blind.
  • 5. 5L Zombies for protective meatshields, Taunt, Maim, Blind, and counter to Proximity Shields.
  • 6. 6L Skeletons for boss slaying.
  • 7. 6L Vaal Skeletons for defensive events.
  • 8. 1L Holy Relic for minion regeneration and minor trash clearing.

We are able to grant so many minions more supports than normal through Shaper and Elder items.

We further aid these minions with an 8L Charged Dash that casts Ball Lightning while channeling and applies numerous effects to enemies on hit:

  • 1. -50% Cold and Fire Resistances (Elemental Equilibrium keystone)
  • 2. 54% increased projectile damage taken (Projectile Weakness curse)
  • 3. Projectiles pierce target (Projectile Weakness curse)
  • 4. 25% chance to Knock Back (Projectile Weakness curse)
  • 5. Poison for Virulence stacks (Herald of Agony)
  • 6. Poison to enable Vile Toxins support (Skeletons)
  • 7. Bleed to enable Bloodlust support (Skeletons)

We also gain ~245 Life on Hit per second per target and rapidly self-generate Frenzy Charges for nearby allies (Victario's Charity shield) with how frequently we are able to hit a target (19-22 hits per second).

The build has one active skill (Charged Dash), one dodge skill (Shield Charge), and six prep skills (aura, herald, three persistent minions, and two long-duration minions used only for bosses and events). Everything else is automated. It doesn't rely on flasks, so it can be played primarily mouse-only. Aiming, positioning, and incoming damage have far less pressure than other builds. There are no timers or cooldowns you really need to be concerned about.

Playstyle can be adapted to your preferences, dynamically adjusted from passive to very active at whim:

  • Defensive style - Hang back behind your minions and let waves of Ball Lightnings wash over monster packs for a relaxed and safer experience. You can also employ tactics like summoning Skeletons into a room before entering to draw attention away from the doorway. On easy content, you can simply use just Shield Charge, as Phantasms, Zombies, and Spectres will carry you and leave nothing but treasure in your wake.

  • Aggressive style - Dash immediately after releasing a volley of Ball Lightning, rocketing forward into the face of your enemy. Your minions will often teleport onto you in a staggered fashion, causing them to immediately engage the closest threats. You aim for optimal teleport positioning and zip around the battlefield so no monster can get a bead on you. This puts you at greater risk for the sake of speed and fun.




Source

Pros and Cons
Artwork - Dark Mage

Art by APPLE XieBin

STRENGTHS

  • 1. Fast - You are able to be constantly on the move, even when you aren't, leaving a trail of death behind you. The only thing slowing you down is how quickly you can pick up items.

  • 2. Versatile - All content (mapping, bosses, delving) and all map mods (enjoy unID maps). The different minions are each specialized so together they can overcome any problem. You deal all damage types with all sources (melee, attack projectiles, spell projectiles), so no single monster defense cripples you (e.g. Proximity Shields).

  • 3. Cheap - Only needs vendor gems to start. Grows with steady investment. Maximum cost depends on gear availability, but should not exceed more than a handful of Exalted orbs. I funded this build through the Chaos vendor recipe, several natural Exalted drops, and a few sales in the range of 1-3 Exalted orbs.

  • 4. Powerful - Many builds cannot focus on more than one skill without interfering with their main ability. We bring to bear all our skills simultaneously. 4.7 million is a real, constant DPS that is independent of temporary buffs like flasks or Vaal auras.

  • 5. Safe - Moderately high ~7k health, fast recovery, strong avoidance, some mitigation, proliferated freezes, 32-72 minion decoys, and constant mobility. Very few things pose a problem. Just don't get cocky, you're not a tank. Watch out for one-shots like Enhanced Vaal Fallen leaps in Vaal Outposts or the scything attack of cloaked Cavestalkers in Abyssal Cities post-300 depth in delves.


WEAKNESSES

  • 1. Ramp-up Time - Full damage potential requires an initial set-up of several seconds, including four 0.43sec casts of Skeletons and several 0.35sec volleys of Ball Lightning. This makes it tricky to, for example, phase-skip and immediately kill the T15 Carcass boss (Amalgam) despite having the damage to do so.

  • 2. Vulnerability to AOE - Skeletons, with 5771 life and 55% elemental resistance without jewels or Spirit Offering, are weak to hard-hitting area damage from some endgame bosses. Losing them can feel awkward, since you must interrupt your Charged Dash routine to resummon. Your ramp-up is somewhat restarted by this, since fresh Skeletons lack Frenzy Charges. Spectres and the Agony Crawler can keep your damage output above a million while you reorganize your forces.

  • 3. Maze-like Rooms - Even when you can shoot into a room, it doesn't mean your minions who have lagged behind will have the same line of sight. Doorways and corners restrict your minions' clearing potential, so be mindful of their position. Sometimes it's best to take advantage of their straggling by quickly diving into a room so they auto-teleport onto you when you get too far away. The Holy Relic, who keeps close, will be there to back you up if they don't. Even a few kills by your Spectres can spawn Phantasms in a room, who will then clear the rest of it. For truly dangerous rooms, such as a shrine pack, summon Skeletons as far back into the room as possible to draw attention away from the entrance so you can burst in without taking a firing squad to the face.

  • 4. Socket Starved - Like most summoner builds, we don't have the luxury of free socket space. The gear each gem must go in is also inflexible. Without overly changing the build, you can at best only drop Cast When Damage Taken, Spirit Offering, Greater Multiple Projectiles on Ball Lightning, and Fortify on Shield Charge for something else. (I like Fortify on Charged Dash when up against endgame bosses for more consistent uptime.)


DPS Breakdown
Artwork - Necromancer
OVERALL DPS
(target: Shaper)

  • 4,726,230 total DPS
    (all minions at peak)

  • 3,722,537 boss DPS
    (no phantasms, zombies nuked, relic out of range, too lazy to gem swap spectres)

  • 3,117,802 clear DPS
    (no skeletons, target not boss)

If Spirit Offering isn't up, divide the above numbers by 1.10.

If you swap the Flesh Binder ascendency to either Commander of Darkness or Puppet Master, you'll gain around ~8-12% more damage. Right now I'm testing how I like the Physical Damage Reduction.


DPS PER MINION
(glvl = gem level, mlvl = monster level)

  • Skeletons x10 (glvl.24, mlvl.78)
    2,762,414 shaper DPS
    3,151,160 trash DPS
    (not including Vaal Skeletons)

  • Agony Crawler x1 (glvl.26, mlvl.82)
    789,681 shaper DPS
    1,362,828 trash DPS
    (not including Mortar, which is 6x hits every ~7.5sec)

  • Zombies x8 (glvl.26, mlvl.82)
    338,312 shaper DPS
    400,296 trash DPS
    (not including Slam attack, which is 45% more damage every 2.5sec and cannot miss)

  • Phantasms x11 (glvl.21, mlvl.72)
    623,282 shaper DPS
    980,837 trash DPS

  • Frost Sentinel Spectres x2 + Solar Guard x1 (glvl.20, mlvl.84)
    170,446 shaper DPS
    325,768 trash DPS
    724,351 endgame boss DPS if gems swapped from clear to damage (Controlled Destruction, Spell Echo, Pierce, Vile Toxins)
    (not including Unending Hunger jewel, which is roughly 1% more DPS per 3 nearby deaths within the last 30sec; Spectres don't have to be the one to get the kill)

    Frost vs. Solar
    55,806 vs 58,834 shaper DPS
    106,669 vs 112,429 trash DPS

    Frost Sentinels have 63% of the base damage of Solar Guards, but their Ice Spear gains 50% more damage in its second stage, putting them at 94% of a Solar Guard's damage.

  • Holy Relic x1 (glvl.21, mlvl.72)
    42,099 shaper DPS
    48,073 trash DPS

Defenses
Artwork - Summoning
MITIGATION
  • Over 7k life possible
  • 20% reduced Damage taken, from Fortify (on Shield Charge, optionally on Charged Dash)
  • 10% less Damage dealt, from Taunt (T1 Ghastly Eye Jewel = 6-8% chance x 18 attack minions)
  • Option to swap in Enfeeble on demand

RECOVERY
  • Over 500 life regen
  • 2.2 life flask multiplier x 1.7 rate for rapid recovery
  • 40-50 life on hit (= 140 per sec per target)
  • 15 life on spell hit (= 105 per sec per target vs. radius 4 enemy)

AVOIDANCE
  • 40% Attack Dodge, from Acrobatics (50% w/ Quartz flask)
  • 17% Attack Block, from Victario's Charity shield
  • 50% Attack Miss, from Blind (T1 Ghastly Eye Jewel = 5-6% chance x 19 attack minions)

  • 30% Spell Dodge, from Phase Acrobatics (40% w/ Quartz flask)

  • Freeze/Chill proliferation (20% chance x 14 minions)
  • 30% Action Speed Slow, from Chill (if cold hit deals 10% of target's life, scaling down to 1% slow at 0.33% life; all minions except the Solar Guard deal significant cold damage)

  • 30% Movement Slow, from Maim (30% chance x 9 attack minions)
  • 30% Movement Slow, from Hinder (T1 Ghastly Eye Jewel = 6-8% chance x 15 spell minions)
    (Note: Maim and Hinder stack additively, for a 60% slow)

  • Knockback (25% chance on hit x 36+ sources of hits)
  • Automated Corpse Destruction, from CWDT + Spirit Offering
  • Distraction/Body-blocking (33+ minions impede many projectiles and melee monsters)


Playstyle
Artwork - New God Rising

Art by R X

1. Use Charged Dash to launch a volley of GMP Ball Lightning at monsters. This is your workhorse skill, and it accomplishes eight things simultaneously:

  • a. Poisons - Summons the Agony Crawler and strengthens Skeletons (via Vile Toxins support).

  • b. Curses - Paired with the Mark of Submission ring, Projectile Weakness grants Pierce to your Frost Sentinels and Agony Crawler. You also gain Knockback to keep away melee monsters and cluster them up for AOE damage.

  • c. Applies Elemental Equilibrium - Significantly boosts Fire and Cold damage for stronger freezes, benefiting Spectres, Hatred, and Added Fire. So all your minions, basically.

  • d. Gains Life on Hit - With a LGoH for Spells Shaper ring, Ball Lightning will give you fantastic recovery that lingers as long as the balls do. With a flat LGoH claw, Charged Dash can give stronger additional recovery in a smaller area.

  • e. Bleeds - Against bosses, hit them with Charged Dash a few times, giving your Skeletons a massive 59% damage multiplier with Bloodlust support.

  • f. Triggers Holy Relic's AOE spell - This kills off weaker mobs that get close to you, and grants 110 life regen to you and 320 to your minions. This helps keep your Spectres, Skeletons, and Zombies alive. It's equivalent to 1.5% minion regen for Zombies and 5.6% regen for Skeletons.

  • g. Generates Frenzy Charges for minions - 5% chance on hit, and Ball Lightning hits an awful lot of times. You will easily cap your minions on Frenzy Charges, even against bosses. No need to waste 6+ passive points and lose your shield for Necromantic Aegis. Three Frenzy Charges grant minions 45% increased attack and cast speed, 15% increased movement speed, and 12% more damage.

  • h. Teleports - On release of the channel, you teleport to your illusion. It's like you never lost travel time from stopping to cast, and it'll get you across gaps and over cliffs. There is a bit of a learning curve in getting used to navigating your illusion optimally. Stick with it, it's worth it. If you absolutely cannot stand it, though, sub in Blade Flurry.


2. Shield Charge to dodge as needed and travel long distances. Use Charged Dash to bypass obstacles. One of the best defenses is simply staying mobile.


3. Your minions will do everything else for you. Frost Sentinels and Phantasms provide general clear and proliferate freezes, helping to keep you safe and destroy pesky corpses. The Agony Crawler will demolish any tanky rares. Zombies take down Proximity Shield monsters.


4. The one lone Solar Guard is there to proliferate Ignite. Any kills with Damage Over Time count as your own, which in turn will trigger Victario's Charity's 10% chance to grant a Power Charge to nearby Allies on Kill. A single Power Charge grants your minions 200% increased critical strike chance. Minions have a base 5% critical strike chance and 30% critical strike multiplier. Three Power Charges amount to 35% chance to crit, but this is very unlikely to occur due to how quickly other minions steal kills from the Ignites.


5. Only against bosses will you bother to summon Skeletons. After four quick casts, you'll have all ten out. Then hit the boss with Charged Dash and Ball Lightning to poison and bleed the boss, enabling the Vile Toxins and Bloodlust supports to more than double Skeleton DPS.


6. Use Vaal Skeletons whenever you want to throw a surprise party for bosses, Breaches, Abysses, and other defensive situations.


Art by Chris Rallis

Gem Links and Gear
Artwork - Sceptermaker Kodorfitte

Art by Laura Sava




ELDER HELM (w/ +3 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems)
1. Vaal Summon Skeletons (21+3/20)
2. Melee Physical Damage (20/20)
3. Vile Toxins (21/-)
4. Bloodlust (20/20)
5. Minion Damage (from Elder helm)

A. Optional: Immolate (from Elder helm) adds ~5% more damage
B. Optional: Minion Life (from Elder helm) raises Skeleton life to ~7.5k

If you go for the Optional links, keep in mind it will increase the mana cost, which will potentially slow down getting all 10 Skeletons out.

You want a level 21 Vile Toxin for the extra 5% more damage. Quality on this does not matter, so it's far cheaper to buy uncorrupted 20's and try your luck to get your own 21 instead of buying one.





SHAPER CLAW (w/ +1 to Level of Socketed Gems)
1. Herald of Agony (21+1+4/20)
2. Raise Zombie (21+1+4/20)
3. Empower (4+1/-)
4. Maim (from Shaper Claw)
5. Optional: Added Fire (from Shaper claw)

There are other optional links, such as Faster Attacks, Elemental Damage with Attacks, and Increased Critical Strike Chance, but they aren't worthwhile for the mana reservation. Your call, though.

If you can find one, the suffix "Enemies have 20% reduced Evasion if you have Hit them Recently" would really help both the Agony Crawler and Zombies.

The most important bit here is the interaction of Empower with +1 to gems, giving a total of +5 levels to the Agony Crawler and Zombies. We stack levels on the Crawler because not only does it scale up its flat damage and increased damage, but it gains accuracy as well. Zombies, meanwhile, are able to reach 20,000 life from the level increase.





ELDER GLOVES
1. Charged Dash (20/20)
2. Cast While Channeling (20/20)
3. Ball Lightning (1/0)
4. Optional: Greater Multiple Projectiles (20/20)
5. Poison (from Elder gloves)
6. Optional: Chance to Bleed (from Elder gloves)

A. Optional: Additional Accuracy (from Elder gloves)

GMP is for comfort and coverage. You can swap it out if you want something else, such as Fortify or Storm Barrier for more defense. If you can't get Elder gloves or want to use a different base, such as a Grip of the Council, you can swap GMP with Poison Support or Lesser Poison Support.

If you can't or don't use Chance to Bleed Support, replace Bloodlust in the helm with a level 4 Empower or Multistrike.

I keep Ball Lightning at level 1 so I don't have to worry about reflect damage. It's up to you if you want to try squeezing some damage out of a fully leveled Ball Lightning.






FOSSIL-CRAFTED BOOTS (w/ +1 to maximum number of Spectres)
1a. Hatred (20/20)
2a. Generosity (20/20)
3b. Spirit Offering (8/20)
4b. Cast When Damage Taken (1/-)

You can use any rare boots with 30-35% movement speed. Do not use Bones of Ullr. The sacrifice of mobility, life, and resists is not worth +1 Spectres. Unlike many Spectre builds, we don't rely on them for damage. They exist to generate Phantasms and freeze monsters. Use 2 Frost Sentinels over a Solar Guard.

Spirit Offering is our substitute for Immortal Call. If you destroy a corpse that an effect originates from, such as porcupines, the effect is also destroyed.





BODY ARMOR
1. Raise Spectre (20/20)
2. Summon Phantasm on Kill (21/-)
3. Greater Multiple Projectiles (20/20)
4. Elemental Proliferation (21/20)
5. Faster Projectiles (20/20)
6. Minion Damage (20/20)

Any 6-link with high life and/or defense will do. 10c Tabula, 40c rare, go with what you can afford and work your way up.

You want level 21 gems of SPoK for the extra Phantasm and higher monster level, and of EP for the increased proliferation radius.





VICTARIO'S CHARITY
1. Shield Charge (16/-)
2. Faster Attacks (20/20)
3. Fortify (-/20)

Strength is strapped in this build, so you won't be able to fully level Shield Charge unless you get some Strength on gear. It's not worth going out of your way for, though.

Quality on Fortify increases its duration. Gem level doesn't matter.





MARK OF SUBMISSION
1. Projectile Weakness (20/20)

On Hexproof maps, swap to another ring of your choice. I use a second Shaper ring with Life on Spell Hit and high life.

In very dangerous areas, like Delve's Vaal Outposts and Abyssal Cities, you can swap Mark of Submission for a second one socketed with Enfeeble. No need to recolor equipment.





SHAPER UNSET RING (w/ +15 Life gained for each Enemy hit by your Spells)
1. Holy Relic (21/20)




AMULET
Optional: Rare w/ Life & Resistances, +1 Skeletons
Optional: Bloodgrip
Optional: Perquil's Toe
Optional: Hinekora's Sight
Optional: Aul's Uprising

I chose Bloodgrip because it's a super cheap 1c Unique with solid life. It's common enough to buy up and mass-Vaal for +1 curse. Doubled life from flasks means one use of my two flasks can give 6271 instant life, restoring me from near death to full life in a heartbeat. The value of this should not to be underestimated. It also makes me practically immune to bleeds. Perfect against Labyrinth traps. I only take the base 10% damage per second from a monster (70% from players), instead of 210% while moving. It doesn't protect against Corrupting Blood, but I could get immunity to that on a jewel corruption. Finally, the 1.6% life regen mitigates damage over time like burning ground, desecrated ground, caustic cloud, poison, ignite, bleed, etc.

If you want a DPS necklace, I'd go for a rare amulet with +1 Skeletons. You could then craft +1 minimum Endurance Charges for more physical damage reduction, or 10% chance to summon Spectral Wolves on Kill (Jorgin unveil) for more minion fun.




BELT
Life and resists are all that matter here. A Stygian Vise would be best, but I've had no luck in crafting, and buying one that matches my current self-found belt is outside of my price range for now.






JEWELS (Ghastly Eyes)
1. Life > Added Chaos Damage to Spells
2. Life > Taunt / Blind / Hinder
3. Life > 10% Minion Elemental Resists
4. Life > Minion Attack/Cast Speed > Minion Attack/Cast Speed if Killed Recently

Flat life on all your jewels is a must. When you have 2000 base life and 200% increased life, 50 flat life = 7.5% increased life.

You need one source of flat added Physical or Chaos damage to Spells. Mine is a prefix on my helm, but this isn't ideal since I lose a life prefix. This is what will allow Ball Lightning to Poison. If you cannot find or afford a jewel like this, use Lesser Poison with Ball Lightning until then. Envy on an Aul's Uprising amulet can also work.

Get one source of each of the three defensive mods, Taunt/Blind/Hinder.

Frost Sentinels and Solar Guards are capped by default on their resistance to their respective element, so that helps them against reflect damage. The other two elemental resists, however, are under cap by 30. One or two sources of 10% minion resist on your jewels will help shore them up together with Spirit Offering.

20% increased minion damage and 8% increased minion attack/cast speed are about equal (4% more damage), so I prefer minion speed to help with my own Shield Charge.




FLASKS
Flasks can be whatever you like. Just cover Bleed, Freeze, and Curse Immunities as a bare minimum. Keep a mana flask to the side in your inventory for when an unID map turns out to be No Regen.




INVENTORY
I swap Desecrate in when I need to make Zombies at login. I put it into my Cast While Channeling to get them out fast.



WEAPON SWAP
Your weapon swap is up to you! I use a couple 6% Haku weapons as incubators for any Empowers, Enhances, or Enlightens I find. You'll want to keep your Desecrate here if it's still leveling up.

More video
Artwork - Black Bride

Art by youngji lim

Video from Yloss (character: Chirdina with 19/0 gems)
Shaper Guardian: T16 Phoenix
Elder Guardians: T13 Eradicator, T13 Enslaver, T14 Constrictor


How to raise Spectres - A short video guide by DieKao.
[L61] Blood Aqueducts Leveling - How the build performs at low level, by DieKao.


I welcome user contributions! To record gameplay, I use the free and open-sourced Open Broadcaster Software (OBS).


Art by Bogdan Marica
Last edited by Hercanic on Jan 14, 2019, 10:27:19 PM
Last bumped on Jan 23, 2019, 6:30:15 PM
NEW PLAYER GUIDES
New to the Hack-n-Slash ARPG genre? New to Path of Exile? New to the summoner playstyle? Just curious? Well, allow me to put your apprehensions to rest: You have made an excellent choice on all accounts! Prepare to be carried on a throne of corpses all the way to endgame!

Minions Explained - The Liber Mortuorum (~15% complete)
Artwork - The Demon Book

Art by Stefan Koidl

This grimoire of undeath will detail specifics on each minion, its AI, stats, and nuances such as how to raise Spectres properly.

MINIONS 101
Minions do not use your weapon, or any of your gear. The only way to scale them is through gem level, linked support gems, minion-specific nodes on the passive tree, anything that says "Minions" or "Allies", like Auras, and debuffs put on enemies like Curses and Elemental Equilibrium (EE). In the case of Spectres, they also scale with the corpse level they were originally raised from.

Nothing on the passive tree or your gear affects minions because they are not You, and their Attacks and Spells are not Your Attacks and Spells. The only exception is if the keyword "Minion" or "Ally" is used. If it doesn't EXPLICITLY state either of those words, it doesn't directly apply to minions. EE, for example, does not have either of those words, so only Your Attacks and Spells, not your minions' Attacks and Spells, will affect the target's Elemental Resistances.

In other words, minions do not trigger EE. The resulting debuff on an enemy, however, can benefit minions, as well as any other party member, because the target itself has had some of its resistances weakened by you.

Spells come from You. Totems and Mines are remote Spells. This is why all three apply EE. Minions are different. The spell you cast to create them ends at that, meaning the spell itself deals no damage and has no other effect aside from creation. Unlike a fireball or ice spear, the minion itself is not the Spell. It is a separate entity from You, with its own independent stats. If they score a kill, you do not get credit for on-kill effects. If they deal attack damage, you do not get attack leech from them. If they strike a monster who Reflects Damage, you do not take the reflected damage, the minion does.

Minions do use two stats from you, namely Item Rarity and Item Quantity.


SPECTRES 101
The default hotkey for "Target Corpse" is "A". This only functions while a corpse-targeting spell is on your hotbar, such as Raise Zombie or Raise Spectre. Hold down this hotkey to target the corpse you want for your Spectres.

The monster level of Spectres does not automatically increase with gem level like other minions. It stays whatever monster level the corpse was that you raised them from, further restricted if your gem levels were low at the time. So if you raise Frost Sentinels from Lunaris Concourse, even with a level 20 Raise Spectre, those Frost Sentinels will always be level 58. Raise Spectre also has its own cap, so if you use a level 1 Raise Spectre in Lunaris Concourse, even though the corpse is level 58, your Spectre will only be level 32 because of the gem's cap.

Once you have any level of Frost Sentinel as a Spectre, the Desecrate skill can create that monster's corpse in a higher level zone. This is how you get up to level 84 Frost Sentinels without having to find them naturally. However, again, there's a cap tied to Desecrate's gem level. So if Desecrate is too low level, just like if Raise Spectre is too low level, you will end up creating very low level Spectres (a wand on weapon swap with "+1 to socketed Chaos skills" can help Desecrate). At gem level 20, both Desecrate can create up to level 100 corpses and Raise Spectre can raise up to level 100 Spectres. However, there is no level 100 zone. Desecrate only creates corpses up to the lowest between its level cap and the monster level of the zone. Since the highest zone is 84, we're limited to level 84 Spectres. The only current exception to this is Unearth, which can create corpses of a higher level than the zone. So you can, in fact, get up to level 100 Spectres, but only very slow-walking Skeleton Archers that the Unearth gem creates corpses of.

It's a bit confusing at first. You have to check the zone level, Desecrate level, and Raise Spectre level to determine what level your Spectre will be when raised, and then you must memorize that since there's no way to check it later. The unique map, Oba's Cursed Trove, in the last room of the map with all the strongboxes, has a monster level of 84, and is the most reliable way to get level 84 Spectres.

How to raise Spectres - A short video guide by DieKao.

How to change Body Armor without losing Spectres:
If you ever need to change out your body armor or do crafting on it, go to town first. Wear the new body armor and slot Raise Spectre in the exact same socket position. For crafting, temporarily wear a Tabula Rasa or any body armor where you can keep Raise Spectre in the same socket position while you craft on your actual body armor. And, of course, go back to town again to switch back!

If you make the mistake of ever changing gear in your Hideout (oops, you lost the DEX from that item, which disabled your body armor, and now:), the Spectres you worked so hard on will go POOF. Gone. Forever. Until you go to the trouble of raising them all over again.

As long as the Spectre gem stays in the same socket position, you will not lose your Spectres when you go back to your Hideout to use your crafting bench. If you get new body armor, make sure the same socket is blue so you can place Raise Spectre there and keep your Spectres. I repeat: Always change gear in town!!!


FROST SENTINELS (Spectres)
Frost Sentinels deal ~63% of Solar Guard damage, but their Ice Spears gain 50% more damage in their second form, putting them at a nearly identical 94% damage. Their range is the same as a Solar Guard's special beam cannon. They are like snipers, able to attack ahead of you from the other end of the screen instead of trying to catch up to you. With their extra projectiles and casting from further back, they cover far more of the screen than Solar Guards who have -50% range on their fireball spell.


SOLAR GUARD (Spectre)
Solar Guards have potentially several times more damage if their fireball explosions overlap. These explosions do not happen if the projectiles Pierce, so monsters must be close to walls for this to matter.


PHANTASMS
Individually they may not seem like much, but all together they deal significant damage. But most importantly they increase your area of effect.

When a Spectre kills things at max range and spawns Phantasms, those Phantasms can turn outward and attack things even further out. With so many, they are more likely to be able to attack in directions your Spectres aren't facing. A few monster kills in a room puts Phantasms in that room to clear everything else in it. They have built-in pierce, making them reliable against packs you haven't or can't curse with Projectile Weakness.

They are also 11 more chances to land a proliferated freeze, thanks to Hatred giving them cold damage.

Uptime shouldn't be a problem while clearing, and they're not intended for bosses.


AGONY CRAWLER


ZOMBIES


HOLY RELIC


SKELETONS


VAAL SKELETONS


Mechanics Explained (1% complete)
This section will detail the nuances of several game mechanics this build relies on, such as the commonly misunderstood Elemental Equilibrium or how we enable Ball Lightning to Poison.

Path of Exile Beginner Guide (PoE Betrayal 3.5) - A video guide by Rhykker, aimed at anyone brand new to PoE.

Shield Charge - Requires a one-handed melee weapon. Wands will not work.

Threshold Jewels - These do not require you to actually have their stat requirement allocated. Just that nodes with that stat exist near the jewel socket. All this really means is you can't place something like Unending Hunger, which requires 40 INT in radius, in places like the STR socket to the immediate left of the Scion's life wheel. Whereas it works perfectly fine in the INT socket north of the Witch's starting area, despite us not having allocated 40 INT, because 120 INT, allocated or not, is within range.

Elemental Equilibrium

ELEMENTAL EQUILIBRIUM
Often called EE for short, Elemental Equilibrium is a keystone node on the passive tree, located in the center between the Templar and Witch areas. It is extremely powerful, especially for summoners, but requires several concessions: We must be wary of having any added Cold or Fire Damage on our gear, as well as added Cold or Fire Damage from allied auras.

How it works for our build is Ball Lightning and Charged Dash both deal Lightning Damage. When we hit monsters with either of these skills, their Cold Resistance and Fire Resistance are significantly weakened. By a whopping -50%, which can also put the target into negative resistances. In most circumstances, it is worth 50% more Cold and Fire Damage. In cases where monsters have high resistances, it is even better. 75% resistances being dropped to 25% is effectively triple damage.

In compensation, because we hit with Lightning Damage to begin with, the Lightning Resistance of the target is strengthened. By a mere +25%, but this could be enough to bring a monster with 50% Lightning Resistance to 75%, which effectively cuts Lightning Damage in half. We don't mind this, though, as our only Lightning Damage is from Ball Lightning and Charged Dash, and neither of these are intended to deal meaningful damage. We're a summoner, after all. Our minions deal damage. Our own attacks serve other purposes, like debuffing enemy resistances for our minions to exploit.

Avoid any source of flat Fire or Cold Damage on Attacks/Spells, since we use Elemental Equilibrium (EE). Of the three Elemental Damage types, we want to only hit with Lightning Damage, which will weaken further Lightning Damage in exchange for strengthening the Cold and Fire Damage of our minions against the target. None of our minions use Lightning Damage, so it's okay to weaken Lightning Damage. (Note: Physical and Chaos Damage are not considered Elemental, so they do not matter in regards to EE; the Generosity Support prevents our Hatred aura from affecting our own attacks in exchange for making it stonger on allies; and minions do not trigger EE because their damage is separate from ours.) We do not want to deal Cold Damage, or EE will weaken the Frost Sentinels' and Hatred's Cold Damage. We do not want to deal Fire Damage, or EE will weaken the Fire Damage of the Solar Guard and Added Fire Support (if you have either).

If you plan to play in parties and do not wish to sabotage their damage, you must take care to coordinate what elemental damage they deal and the auras they use, or temporarily abstain from attacking, or simply remove EE to avoid any conflicts. EE is very powerful, but not party-friendly without planning.

"
Enemies you hit with Elemental Damage temporarily get +25% Resistance to those Elements and -50% Resistance to other Elements

Balance is good in all things, but especially in the realm of magic.

What does this mean? Let's break it down word by word, because in PoE many terms have very specific meanings.

1. Enemies you - "You" refers to your character. Minions cannot apply your EE because they are not You. Refer to the Minions Explained section above to learn more about how minions are treated as separate entities from your character, unlike other Spells. It is important to remember that all instances of "You" and "Your" throughout the game exclude minions (unless it's explicitly "Your Minions").

2. hit - The skill must Hit, which is distinct from certain things like Damage Over Time and other debuffs that do not directly strike the target with damage. Skills that do not hit include Scorching Ray, Blight, Wither, Searing Bond, etc. Both Ball Lightning and Charged Dash hit, so we needn't worry about this.

3. with Elemental - Elemental refers to Cold, Fire, or Lightning. Physical and Chaos are not Elemental, so they do not affect EE in any way.

4. Damage - This means at least 1 point of elemental damage must be dealt. Those who take the Ancestral Bond keystone, for example, are unable to directly deal damage, and thus cannot apply EE through their own attacks or spells. We don't have to worry about this, as we still deal a small amount of damage.

5. temporarily - Debuff lasts 4 second.

6. get +25% Resistance to those Elements - To all elemental types contained within the same hit. If you use a weapon with added Cold and Fire Damage, then one hit from Charged Dash will deal all three elemental types. The target would gain +25% Resistance to all Elemental Damage. That would be terrible. There'd be no point to taking the EE keystone if it only hurts your damage, due to added elemental damage on your gear. So be sure to look carefully and avoid any item that adds flat Cold or Fire Damage to your Attacks or Spells.

7. and -50% Resistance to other Elements -




Two enemies afflicted with EE.

Poison

POISON

The only requirement for this build is one source of flat Chaos or Physical Damage for Spells, such as on an Abyssal Jewel (above), Elder affix on helm (above), Lesser Poison Support, Herald of Purity, or Envy aura from Aul's Uprising. This is important for allowing Ball Lightning to Poison when we have % Chance to Poison, which gives us Virulence stacks, even if it's only 1 point of Chaos Damage or Physical Damage. We achieve up to 80% Chance to Poison from Herald of Agony and Poison Support affix on gloves.


The small green cloud indicates this cannibal has been successfully poisoned.



Leveling Guide
As I have run out of room to continue expanding the leveling guide here, I have moved the contents to their own thread in the "Gameplay Help and Discussion" forum.

Speaker for the Dead | 74 minion Mass Summoner | Leveling Guide
Last edited by Hercanic on Jan 21, 2019, 7:18:39 AM
MORE GUIDES

Endgame Bosses (~10% complete)
Artwork - Emrakul entering Innistrad
This section will provide details on some of the toughest fights in the game, and how to cope with them.

These boss fights are designed to kill players. There's no shame in dying to them. Many of their dangers can be avoided by becoming very familiar with the boss mechanics, their animation cues, patterns, and timings. Just keep calm and don't panic.

Your skeletons will die. How often to resummon will become a feeling that comes with enough experience. Make peace with the fact that you won't always have all of them up. Sometimes you have to prioritize your safety. A nice part about this build is the Agony Crawler and Spectres have your back.

To survive, you must bolster your defenses beyond normal. Replace GMP in your gloves with Fortify (get a second pair so you don't have to recolor). This allows you to always have Fortify up.

Use Enfeeble instead of Projectile Weakness, or another Shaper ring with high life and LoH for spells. Enfeeble will cause you to take 6% less damage and if the boss crits it'll have a 24% multiplier instead of 30%. Alternatively, a rare ring with 100 life will be worth almost 5% more life, and you gain another 105 life per second per target from Ball Lightning.


A curse like Vulnerability only gives 3.7% more damage from your Skeletons, so not really worth it.

A +1 Curse ammy and Temp Chains glove corruption would be nice, but those gloves might be hard to find. I got mine for only 20c, a real steal, but that was pure luck of opportunity.


For Spectres, focus on DPS. We can get 724,351 Shaper DPS from them with:
  • 1. Raise Spectre
  • 2. Minion Damage
  • 3. Controlled Destruction (replaces Phantasms)
  • 4. Spell Echo (replaces Elemental Proliferation)
  • 5. Pierce (replaces GMP)
  • 6. Vile Toxins (replaces Faster Projectiles)

Minimally chilling someone like Elder or Shaper requires a hit of 66k, so Hypothermia is iffy to use but still possible. Instead we take Pierce to help with AOE, since our Skeletons don't have any and we're not using Projectile Weakness. Elemental Focus would be 51.5% more damage compared to Controlled Destruction at 46.3%, but we would lose all chills/freezes/ignites. The difference in damage is negligible, in my opinion, so I'd rather bet on chill helping me out a little. Up to you, though.



Art by Lkchiara

Malachai (T13 Core)
  • Life: 1,825,284 (5 phases)
  • Attack: 5143 damage x 2 APS = 10,286 DPS
  • Cannot be Knocked Back

    Skills
    • Elemental Cone Spell (Tentacles): ??? DPS

    • Slam Attack: ???% bonus damage at center, 41% less Attack Speed

    • Teleport Slam Attack: ???% bonus damage at center, 41% less Attack Speed, cannot use while shielded

    • Mortar Spell: 1720-2581 Physical damage

    • Rune Trap: 3165-4747 Fire damage, trap lasts 38 seconds and cannot be damaged for 40 seconds, 60% reduced throw speed, throws 3 at a time, limit 7

    The map mod, "Area contains two Unique Bosses", turns this encounter into an unholy nightmare. He is the only map boss to ever give me trouble. The issue comes from his seven invisible Rune Traps (based on Fire Trap, but the burning ground looks like grasping hands). With two bosses, it becomes fourteen, and your minions running around can set all of them off simultaneously. Even with 75% fire resistance, that's a potential burst of 16,614 damage.



    Minotaur (Arena)
    • Life: 12,470,588
    • Attack: 4943 damage (30% converted to Lightning = 3460 Physical | 1483 Lightning damage) x 1.76 APS = 6089 | 2610 DPS
    • Cannot be fully Slowed
    • Unwavering (cannot evade or be stunned)

      Skills
      • Sweep Attack: 30% converted to Lightning (3460 Physical / 1483 Lightning damage)

      • Slam Attack: 150% damage (7415), 35 second duration, tracks enemies hit (?), used when target is near

      • Burrow Attack: 160% damage (7908), used when target is not near

      You need to have around 8000 eHP to not be one-shot by these abilities, before any map mods (8% phys reduction from Zombies + 15% from Basalt flask = 1.23 eHP modifier, so 6500 life becomes 7995 eHP).

      The shock effect from the lightning towers cannot be dispelled, so most builds will be one-shot if they are afflicted.

      The key is to go in hard and aggressive to maximize your DPS and keep the fight short. When he burrows, sidestep and he'll miss. Stay out of the falling rock AOE. Use Charged Dash to teleport through the lightning towers unharmed; Shield Charge will not protect you.

      The map mod "Increased AOE" will make this fight much more deadly.



      Hydra (Arena)



      Phoenix (Arena)



      Chimera (Arena)



      Art by Sergey Ashihmin

      Shaper (Arena)



      Uber Elder (Arena)
      • Life: 18,328,731
      • Attack: 6078 x 1.88 APS = 11,426 DPS
      • Cannot be fully Slowed

        Skills
        • Siphon: ??? Physical DPS, 20% ES regenerated per second, lowers target's action speed by -??%, used when less than 75% life, not used during minion phase

        • Tentacle Slam Attack: 130% damage (7901), used when less than 50% life, not used during minion phase

        • Expanding Nova Spell: 6129-7491 Physical damage, used when less than 98% life

        • Doom Projectile Spell: 4953-7429 Cold damage, used when less than 50% life, not used during minion phase

        • Projectile Spell: 7433-11,149 Cold damage (four spread variations)

        Fight Simulator (Reddit post)
        Cold damage spells are dominant in this fight, followed by physical. Sapphire (6% max cold resist), Basalt (15% reduced physical), and Quartz (10% attack/spell dodge) flasks would help counter this, but their uses are limited so timing is crucial.

        Shaper's Celestial Beam deals damage in all three elements. Divination Distillate can give another 4% max to all elemental resistances. Rumi's Concoction might be reduced by Acrobatics, but it's still solid protection. Taste of Hate would be great, but it'll interfere with EE.

        Quicksilver is really good for increasing the speed of Charged Dash and Shield Charge, letting you manually dodge faster.

        Aside from those possibilities, you want life flasks to bounce your health back up after a big burst, or you're liable to die to something random. We don't rely on flasks for damage, so we have room for an extra life flask. We'll be less likely to run dry when we need recovery most.

        For Pantheon, use Solaris and Yugul to reduce cold damage. Alternatively, Ryslatha can help keep your life flasks charged up if you can manage for 15 seconds.

        As for how to use Charged Dash in the fight, you can refer to Mathil here. Our advantage compared to him is we don't use it to deal damage, our minions do that, so we can focus on maneuvering to keep safe.


        Shopping List (~2% complete)
        Artwork - Witch
        This section will provide a list of quick links to PoE's trade site for each item used by this build, to help you get equipped that much faster. Links are for Softcore Betrayal League. If you are in another, you can change to the appropriate league using the league dropdown box on the trade site.

        How to trade

        Source

        Ctrl + Enter: Reply to a whisper.

        How to Value Items in Path of Exile - A video guide by Nathan Walker, who gives a solid and basic overview on how to price items for sale.
        If you ever feel poor, here was my first Exalt drop in Delve:

        Courtesy of the orb monsters that teleport onto you and explode when they die, before I ever knew what they were.


        LEVELING GEAR


        GEMS


        STARTER PACK


        BUDGET VERSION


        COMPLETE EDITION
        Helm (+3, Minion Damage, Life)


        LIMITED EDITION (Money is No Object)
        Abyssal Jewel (T1 Life, Minion Attack/Cast Speed, Ditto on Kill)
        Gloves (Temporal Chains corruption)
        Gloves (Enfeeble corruption)
        Boots (+1 Spectre, Movespeed, Life, Resists)
        Aul's Uprising (Envy) - 12-15ex
        Aul's Uprising (Hatred)

        ES Variant
        Aul's Uprising (Discipline) - 11-15ex
        Watcher's Eye (ES on Hit) - 2-5ex


        Crafting (~5% complete)
        This section will detail how to craft some of the items used in the build. It is meant to help those just starting a league or playing SSF (Solo Self-Found).

        New Crafting Bench Options - And where to find them. Metamod crafts are now unlocked at the end of Prophecy chain quests.
        Fossil mods
        Fossil Locations & Farming - A video guide by ZiggyD.
        Fossil Crafting - A video guide by ZiggyD.
        Tiny's Trial Simulator (Reddit)


        • Helmet craft:
          1. iLevel 86 Elder helmet (Bone Helm BIS, but very rare/expensive)
          2. Bound + Pristine or Jagged fossils

          Affix aim is 3: Minion Damage Support, +3 to Minion level, Life/Resists. A Jagged fossil has a chance to add "Nearby Enemies take #% increased Physical Damage."


        • Glove craft:
          1. iLevel 68+ Elder gloves (evasion base is fine)
          2. Corroded + Pristine fossils
          3. These gloves are naturally super cheap on the market, since both bleed and poison are extremely off-meta, so if you have the opportunity I'd recommend buying them instead.

          Affix aim is 3: Poison Support, Chance to Bleed Support, and Life. If it doesn't go well, Life can be crafted, and Bloodlust on Skeletons can be traded for a different support like Empower or Multistrike. Poison Support lets you use GMP for coverage or Fortify for defense in your Charged Dash setup, so that's your main prioriry.


        • Claw craft:
          1. iLevel 80+ Elder claw (Twin/Gemini BIS)
          2. Faceted + (Jagged and/or Scorched) fossils. Jagged boosts Maim and Added Fire, but creates more competition for +1 gems, while Scorched boosts Added Fire and removes all cold affixes (we don't want any cold damage because of EE and Hatred).
          3. This one will be the most difficult to self-craft, because there are so many possible affixes.

          Affix aim is 2: +1 to Gems and Maim Support. Added Fire Support is third best, but not necessary.

        Metacrafted Claw
        Jun's crafting mods
        Prefix: Minions have 28% increased Damage/Life (4c)
        Prefix: +2 to Socketed Support Gems (1ex)
        Suffix: Minions have 15% increased Attack/Cast Speed (4c)
        Suffix: Can have multiple Crafted Modifiers (2ex)

        Shaper mods we want
        Prefix: +1 to Level of Socketed Gems
        Prefix: Socketed Gems are Supported by Level x Added Fire Damage
        Suffix: Socketed Gems are Supported by Level x Maim

        Possible claw
        Prefix: +1 to Level of Socketed Gems
        Suffix: Socketed Gems are Supported by Level x Maim
        Suffix: Can have multiple Crafted Modifiers (2ex)
        Prefix: Minions have 28% increased Damage/Life (4c)
        Prefix: +2 to Socketed Support Gems (1ex)
        Suffix: Minions have 15% increased Attack/Cast Speed (4c)


        You could craft this using a variant of the metacrafting method, aiming for Maim on a scoured Shaper Gemini Claw and then following this method to get +1.

        Note: I am valuing +2 to Supports above Added Fire since it's a similar damage boost while having no mana multiplier as well as increasing Zombie life.



        None of the special affixes are necessary, they only add power. You can slowly work towards them while playing the build normally with vendor gems and found rares. During the interim, you can start off with a simple rare "+1 to socketed skills" claw and "+2 to socketed minion skills" helm.
        Last edited by Hercanic on Jan 14, 2019, 9:11:30 PM
        FEEDBACK

        Frequently Beseech'd Entreaties (FAQ)

        Art by Mathias Kollros

        If I have questions, what's the best way to reach you?
        For questions or anything else, please post here in this thread. This will allow anyone with similar questions to see my answer to you. Other players may even be able to answer quicker than me. It'll also help keep the thread bumped to the top of the forum so more people are likely to discover the build.

        Please do not message me ingame. A quick hello or thanks is appreciated, but asking build-related questions is not appropriate. I have even less time to game than I do to write forum posts, so by stopping to respond to ingame questions I am sacrificing premium time for something that really should be asked here in this thread. I would love to help, but I have to draw a line somewhere. In short, I will ignore any ingame requests.

        Please do not Private Message me. Don't worry, I read every post here. However, it takes a great deal of time to write thorough responses, with links, research, calculations, and citations, to give you the best and most accurate knowledge. If this is done over PM, only one person is benefiting from my time. I cannot easily quote or link to any of it for other uses. If you can explain why you must ask privately, I may be willing to make an exception, but otherwise I will no longer be answering build-related questions over PM.

        Can you look over my gear?
        I would love to, but it takes a lot of my time to investigate and write up. Doing this once in a while wouldn't be a problem, but I started getting slammed with too many requests, not only in the thread but by PM and ingame, too.

        Although it gives me some insight into where people might be getting confused, and thus highlight aspects of the guide I could improve, a lot of what I would write is specific to an individual and thus cannot be easily repurposed for guide content. That means it's an inefficient use of my limited time to refine the guide.

        As a compromise, I have written a generic checklist of what I look for when reviewing someone's build:

        • 1. Does it match my build? It's fine to innovate, but if you've gone offroad there's only so much I can recommend. Does it have a Victario's Charity shield? Are the helm and gloves Elder-influenced? Are the weapon and ring Shaper-influenced? Did you follow my passive tree? Are you using all the right Support Gems? I've seen a couple people use Minion Speed Support on Spectres instead of Minion Damage Support, for example. Also, once you get to maps, don't use the Violent Dead jewel. It's not worth it for us.

        • 2. What Support Gem Affixes are on the Shaper/Elder-influenced items? The market won't always have identical gear to what I recommended. It's fine not to have everything, but some additions may be harmful. For example, too many Support Affixes on the weapon can inflate Herald of Agony's mana reservation to be too high. Other Affixes are required to use certain Support Gems. If your gloves do not have Chance to Bleed then there's no point using Bloodlust Support on Skeletons. If your gloves don't have Poison, then you should be using Poison Support or Lesser Poison Support instead of Greater Multiple Projectiles Support on Charged Dash/Ball Lightning. If your helm does not have Minion Damage, then until you upgrade your helmet you should use the Minion Damage Support gem instead of Vile Toxins Support, as between the two it's the stronger support gem.

        • 3. Do you have a source of "Added Chaos Damage to Spells"? Most players get this with a Hypnotic Eye jewel. My own comes from an affix on my helmet, so I don't need the jewel. "Added Physical Damage to Spells" is also fine. But crafting Added Physical Damage on your weapon doesn't work. Why? Because it only applies to weapon hits, not spells. It must say "...to Spells." Check Ball Lightning's tooltip DPS. You'll see a range for Lightning Damage. Do you also see Chaos or Physical Damage? If not, Ball Lightning cannot poison, which means a weak Agony Crawler and Vile Toxins Support.

        • 4. Do any of your items or jewels add flat elemental damage to your attacks or spells? Lightning Damage is fine, but any source of flat Cold or Fire Damage will mess with EE. It's not a huge deal if it's only applied to Charged Dash (check its tooltip DPS to see what damage types it deals), such as if your weapon has flat Fire Damage, because EE is overwritten per hit and Ball Lightning hits far more frequently than Charged Dash. On the other hand, if Ball Lightning is also getting added Fire and/or added Cold damage, you're boned. Drop EE until you can sort out the piece(s) of gear adding the offending flat Fire/Cold damage. Fire Damage is not as big of a problem as Cold Damage, since only a couple minions will deal Fire Damage under optional conditions (Added Fire Damage Support affix on weapon, which you may not have, or a Solar Guard as a third Spectre from +1 boot affix, which you may not have).

        • 5. How high is your life? I would look up your account on poe-profile.info to see your total life and a breakdown of your % and flat life. 3-4k is too low for endgame. 5k is average, and can be achieved with 180% life and 1800 flat life. 6k is solid, and can be achieved with 200% life and 2000 flat life. 7k+ is ideal, and can be achieved with 220% life and 2200 flat life. Take life nodes over jewel sockets. I've seen too many people blindly grabbing sockets for blue jewels with +20-30 life on them. Those jewels aren't good enough for the points you spent. I can use so many jewel sockets because I have T1 46-50 life jewels and a perfect Belly of the Beast. The differences add up. Until you can afford the best jewels, only invest in the minimum amount of sockets and put the rest into that huge Scion life wheel and the Templar life/chaos resistance cluster. Aside from that, make sure most of your gear has 70+ life on it. The more, the better.

        • 6. Your resistances are capped to at least 75%, right? Overcapping to ~115% is good to counter an Elemental Weakness curse.

        • 7. How about your minions' resistances? They also have their own. Skeletons and Zombies will be at 55% while Spectres will be at 45%. If you start to have problems keeping Skeletons alive in endgame encounters, then you want at least two jewels with "Minions have +10% to all Elemental Resistances." Spectres gain 5% increased damage reduction per soul from Soul Eater on the Unending Hunger jewel, so they should be fine in general.

        • 8. You're not having Spectre trouble, I hope? They shouldn't be dying. If they are, the way you're raising them is probably the problem, resulting in low level Spectres. Read your Spectre gem carefully. There's a level cap. Read your Desecrate gem carefully. There's a level cap. Look at the Monster Level of the zone you're in when you're raising your Spectres. That Monster Level is the final level cap of your Spectres. If any one of these three caps is low level, the Spectres will be low level. Their level is set from the moment they are raised. It does not increase, ever. You have to raise a new batch of Spectres when the lowest of the three caps is higher. The highest level for Frost Sentinels/Solar Guards is 84, which can be acquired by raising them in Shaper's Realm or the last zone in Oba's Cursed Trove map (a generally cheap Unique map), the room with all the strongboxes.

        • 9. Flask check: Can you nullify Bleed, Freeze, and Curses?

        • 10. Do you have a second weapon set? There are two tabs above your weapon slots, labeled "I" and "II". Clicking the one grayed out will swap to another weapon set. You can also use a hotkey, default binding being "X". It doesn't matter what weapons you place here, even a bow or staff is fine. What you want are six sockets. Any gems in these sockets will receive experience, even while you're using your first weapon set. This is great for leveling Desecrate, backup gems with Quality or for corruption, and money-makers like Empower, Enhance, and Enlighten, which are very rare drop-only gems that have only 3 levels but require over 1.6 billion XP to reach level 3. Because it takes so long to level them, max level sells well, and go for far more if you manage to corrupt them to level 4.


        Labyrinth Enchantments?
        We don't really need any. If you happen to get a useful one, great! But I wouldn't go out of my way unless I have nothing else to spend a vast amount of wealth or time on. For gloves and boots, I'd want anything defensive.

        GLOVES
        • of Light: Creates Consecrated Ground (6% regen) when you take a Critical Strike.
        • of the Grave: Summons 3 Grave Spirits when you or your minions Kill.
        • of Reflection: Summons a clone when Hit.


        BOOTS
        • Regenerate 2% of Life and Mana per second if you were Hit Recently
        • 10% increased Movement Speed if you haven't been Hit Recently
        • 8% chance to Dodge Spell Hits if you've taken Spell Damage Recently
        • 10% Chance to Dodge Attack Hits if you've taken a Critical Strike Recently


        HELMET
        BOSSING
        • Skeletons deal 40% increased Damage
        • 40% chance to Summon an additional Skeleton Warrior with Summon Skeleton

        CLEARING
        • Summoned Agony Crawler fires 2 additional Projectiles
        • Spirit Offering grants +12% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage
        • 45% increased Spirit Offering Duration
        • Spectres have 40% increased Damage
        • Spectres have 12% increased Attack and Cast Speed
        • 30% increased Projectile Weakness Curse Effect

        DEFENSE
        • Summoned Holy Relics have 100% increased Buff Effect
        • 6% chance to Dodge Attack Hits if you have finished Channelling Charged Dash Recently
        • +36% to Raised Spectre Elemental Resistances
        • +36% to Raised Zombie Elemental Resistances
        • 30% increased Enfeeble Curse Effect
        • 30% increased Temporal Chains Curse Effect

        MOBILITY
        • Charged Dash has 15% more Movement Speed
        • 15% increased Shield Charge Attack Speed

        UTILITY
        • Herald of Agony has 30% reduced Mana Reservation
        • 15% reduced Hatred Mana Reservation
        • 12% increased Ball Lightning Area of Effect
        • Ball Lightning fires an additional Projectile
        • 30% increased Desecrate Cooldown Recovery Speed
        • Desecrate summons 3 additional corpses

        OTHER (can swap CWDT+Spirit Offering for:)
        • 100% increased Effect of the Buff granted by your Chaos Golems
        • War Banner has 40% increased Aura Effect
        • Dread Banner has 40% increased Aura Effect


        How fast does Virulence stack to 40?
        Conclusion: ~2 seconds against a single small boss. Larger bosses are even faster.

        Explanation: Maintaining Virulence stacks is very easy for us. Remember, the build is attacking AND casting at the same time. Charged Dash has a 4.71 attack rate, 81% accuracy, and 80% chance to poison. That equates to a 64.8% chance to land a poison, or 3 Virulence per second.

        Using this Ball Lightning DPS spreadsheet we can calculate the number of hits one cast will achieve against an enemy of a certain size. The player character has a radius of 2. Most bosses are much larger than this, but since their exact value is unknown to me, I will use 2 as a launching point.

        2 radius = 6 hits
        4 radius = 7 hits
        8 radius = 8 hits
        12 radius = 9 hits
        14 radius = 10 hits
        18 radius = 11 hits
        22 radius = 12 hits

        Cast While Channeling gives a cast rate of 2.86, and I have an 80% chance to poison. So we get:

        2 radius = 17 hits / 14 Virulence per sec.
        4 radius = 20 hits / 16
        8 radius = 23 hits / 18
        12 radius = 26 hits / 21
        14 radius = 29 hits / 23
        18 radius = 31 hits / 25
        22 radius = 34 hits / 27


        Going by the above image, I would estimate bosses usually have a radius of 5-10. That would give me 16-18 (+3 from Charged Dash) Virulence per second. So ~2 seconds to reach cap vs a smaller boss, without factoring Virulence degen.

        If I need to continuously dodge, then here's what to expect from the Agony Crawler:

        Agony Crawler DPS at Differing Virulence
        789,681 (40 Virulence = 100% damage)
        618,559 (35 Virulence = 78% damage)
        473,438 (30 Virulence = 60% damage)
        352,254 (25 Virulence = 45% damage)
        252,966 (20 Virulence = 32% damage)
        173,511 (15 Virulence = 22% damage)
        111,838 (10 Virulence = 14% damage)
        65,896 (5 Virulence = 8% damage)

        Also: Life on Hit ends up calculating to 140 from Charged Dash (92% damage effectiveness) and 105 from Ball Lightning (35% damage effectiveness), per target per second, vs. a radius 4 target.


        Hardest content you've done?
        Not as much as I would have liked before boasting about how awesome the build is. Frankly, it should perform well at any content if you have a solid skill level and an understanding of the boss mechanics. People have beaten the hardest fights with less health, damage, and mitigation.

        Guardians died very quickly. I have not run Shaper, but there shouldn't be a problem. You just have to dodge his telegraphed mechanics. Uber Elder will be sketchy if you have trouble anticipating the multiple boss attacks coming your way. The build's high damage should help keep both these fights relatively brief, though.

        For very deep and dangerous Delves, I would suggest incorporating the Knockback Support gem in a second pair of gloves. Combined with Projectile Weakness's knockback chance and Ball Lightning's constant hits, this will hilariously bulldoze monsters and keep you safe. You could also swap your green Mark of Submission ring for a second blue-colored one socketed with Enfeeble for more protection. With an Extra Curse amulet corruption and gloves corrupted with a Temporal Chains implicit, you can double-up on the defensive curses:


        Against Delve bosses, I have yet to find one, so I cannot comment.

        Why does Charged Dash sometimes stop on its own?
        Charged Dash releasing prematurely without anything else around may be a sign of the mouse or keyboard button you're holding down is starting to wear down and malfunction.

        Otherwise, it means your character was stunned, which breaks the channel and thus teleports you to your illusion. This can be to your benefit, dodging further hits from whatever stunned you, such as how I easily teleported out of Red Elder's stun-siphon. If your total life is low, stuns will happen more frequently. In that case, keep your channeling brief to avoid getting knocked too deeply into enemy territory.

        Difference between Charged Dash vs. Shield Charge while leveling?
        Shield Charge gives 75-90% movement speed, but has a very slight delay at the start and a longer delay at the end. Your weapon's attack speed reduces these delays, while global attack speed and additional movement speed shortens the travel time.

        Charged Dash sends out an illusion that travels at 1.3 times your movement speed.

        Unlike Shield Charge, which scales from movement speed and attack speed (to a lesser degree nowadays), only movement speed affects Charged Dash's illusion.

        If we assume a level 29 character using Wanderlust boots and Brightbeak, we get:

        Shield Charge: +100% movement speed; +140% w/ Quicksilver;
        +170% w/ QS of Adrenaline; +190% w/ QSoA + Onslaught
        vs.
        Charged Dash: +56% movement speed; +108% w/ Quicksilver;
        +147% w/ QS of Adrenaline; +173% w/ QSoA + Onslaught

        A character's base movement speed is estimated to be ~38 units per second. Shield Charge's max distance is 60 units, and I estimate Charged Dash's max range to be ~52 units.

        Charged Dash's illusion seems to be sent out immediately, so calculating it is pretty straightforward. Shield Charge, on the other hand, gets tricky. How exactly does global attack speed affect movement speed? Is it a multiplier? Is it added on as if it were movement speed? Is either case weighted in any way?

        If 100% increased attack speed = 2.0 multiplier, it would double Shield Charge's movement speed. Charged Dash's 1.3 multiplier would fall far short in comparison. Right now I'm at 128% increased attack speed, increasing to 140% when my minions kill. That'd be a massive 2.4 multiplier.

        We're talking about a level 29 character, though, who would be at mid-Act 3. By this point you'll have Spirit Command, which grants 11% attack speed. Retribution gives another 5%. A lvl4 Faster Attacks gives 28% increased attack speed. So in total you'd have 44% increased global attack speed, meaning:

        Shield Charge: +144% movement speed; +202% w/ Quicksilver;
        +245% w/ QS of Adrenaline; +274% w/ QSoA + Onslaught
        vs.
        Charged Dash: +56% movement speed; +108% w/ Quicksilver;
        +147% w/ QS of Adrenaline; +173% w/ QSoA + Onslaught

        A significant difference, but we can't forget Shield Charge's attack delays. Mine has an attack time of 0.29. Does this represent only the final attack, or both the start and end times added together? If it's not both, then we have no way of knowing how much of a delay the start animation adds. I will assume the attack time includes both.

        So my attack time is derived from 1 divided by 1.5 weapon attack speed divided by 2.28 global attack speed = 0.29.

        So for the level 29 character, it's 1 / 2.10 Brightbeak / 1.44 = 0.33.

        Thus, for Shield Charge, 38 units per sec * 2.44 movement speed = 92.72 units in one sec.
        60 units max distance / 92.72 = 0.647 seconds + 0.33 attack time = 0.98sec total time.

        Shield Charge: 0.98sec @ +144% movement speed; 0.85sec @ +202% w/ Quicksilver;
        0.79sec @ +245% w/ QS of Adrenaline; 0.71sec @ +274% w/ QSoA + Onslaught

        Since Charged Dash doesn't have a discernible delay, we'll ignore its shorter max distance and assume a constant rate of movement over 60 units.

        Charged Dash: 1.01sec @ +56% movement speed; 0.76sec @ +108% w/ Quicksilver;
        0.64sec @ +147% w/ QS of Adrenaline; 0.58sec @ +173% w/ QSoA + Onslaught

        Interesting. So when low level they are equal at first, with Charged Dash pulling ahead as we add more movement speed.

        Shield Charge is better at dodging, and will scale much faster as you gain attack speed, but it's nice to see Charged Dash is actually competitive over distances early on, especially when considering its teleportation ability.


        Isn't Taunt disabled by the Holy Relic / Herald of Agony?
        No. "Minions Cannot Taunt" is local to the gem, and only applies to that specific minion. It would say, "Your Minions Cannot Taunt" if it applied to all minions.


        Vulnerability?
        I wouldn't recommend Vulnerability. We use Projectile Weakness for the unlimited Pierce it gives our Agony Crawler and Spectres. Curses are not strong on bosses, due to their 60-80% reduced curse effectiveness trait, so our curse is for clearing. Most of our clear damage comes from projectiles. Projectile Weakness increases all damage of the projectiles, including elemental and chaos damage. Vulnerability will only benefit the physical portion. We already have Maim adding an increased physical damage effect, so the value of Vulnerability drops further.


        Banners?
        A Banner reserves 10% mana. Agony Crawler reserves 25% * 1.25 for Empower * 1.15 for Maim = 36% + 50% for Hatred = 86% reserved. Dread Banner would put us at 96% reservation, leaving 4% to cast from.

        I have 100 mana at 7% remaining mana (due to also having Added Fire on my Crawler). So we would have ~57 mana and 51 regen to cast Skeletons at a cost of 35 mana. We would probably get three casts before hiccuping on mana depletion. It would be a little awkward, but manageable.

        The problem could be avoided with some reduced reservation, such as an Elder helm affix, Lab helm enchantment, a Hatred version of Aul's Uprising, or spending a couple passive points on reduced reservation nodes. It's a shame Eldritch Battery is too out of the way.

        Dread Banner is essentially 13% increased physical damage taken. If at max quality and max stacks when placed, it becomes 19%. Generosity would boost it to 23.7%, but it's no good because then you can't trigger impale yourself and thus no stages earned. It only benefits attackers (so Phantasms and Holy Relic are sad), but can build up stages against bosses unlike War Banner.

        Skeleton DPS is 61% physical. So Dread Banner is worth 7.9% more Skeleton damage, or 11.6% when placed at 50 stages. That's 218k / 320k DPS.

        The Agony Crawler is 31% physical. So roughly half the effect. Added Fire was 20% of its damage, so we actually take a ~100k DPS loss here.

        Zombies are 49% physical. Same issue with Added Fire, a ~40k DPS loss.

        If you don't have the option for Added Fire, then this point is moot. But if you do, then the DPS trade-off only nets a small gain that you have to replace a gem for and deal with mana issues.

        I wanted it to work, but these numbers aren't favorable. We'll have to see how accurate my mathematical hip-shot is when PoB is updated with the new skills.


        Animated Guardian?
        You could replace Zombies with an Animated Guardian for empowered life, or swap Fortify on Shield Charge for him. Either way you would be able to unsummon him with weapon swap, but you'd have to remember to reactivate Herald of Agony too. Alternatively, he could replace CWDT.

        10% increased minion damage is worth ~2% more damage at 400% total increased minion damage, so Leer Cast would give 3% more damage. Dying Breath would be 3.6% more.

        Crown of the Tyrant would mess up EE unless you set it to Lightning Damage. The flat damage is roughly equal to a level 13 Wrath aura, which would add 0.5% more damage to Skeletons and 0.2% for the Agony Crawler. The -10% Elemental Resists is 3% more damage for Skeletons and 4.6% for the Agony Crawler.

        So a Tyrant+Breath Guardian would give roughly 7% more damage for Skeletons and 8.2% for the Agony Crawler. The Guardian's contribution would be worth ~250k DPS, and Enfeeble would reduce boss damage by another 1% (worth 70 life @ 7k total life). Not bad, but you have to worry about keeping the Guardian alive. I'd rather not deal with it, personally, but you could make it work.


        The Queen's Hunger?
        800+ life from Belly of the Beast is hard to beat.

        The Queen's Hunger may be decent depending on which three Veiled mods you get. It can roll up to 10% life, with another 8% from a Veiled mod. If it also gets a flat life Veiled mod, which I think only goes up to ~25, then you're looking at (360+75=) 435 life.

        The self-offerings might give you block chance or energy shield or movement speed, but you can't count on having one or the other and there must be corpses. Its randomness makes it hard to build around.

        The Queen's Hunger is a decent ES chest, so it may be good in a hybrid ES variant.


        Why so much useless fluff? Art/flavor text make you dig for real info.
        Call it a test of temperament, with a few candles to set the mood.

        Summoners aren't the best at clearing. For that, you want a build like Poet's Pen, Inpulsa's, Tornado Shot, Kinetic Blast, or anything that can instantly cover several screens and cause chain explosions.

        Summoners aren't the best at bossing. For that, you want a build like Molten Strike, Blade Flurry, Indigon, Glacial Cascade mines, Volatile Dead, or anything that has multiple ways of scaling to absurd levels and can be pre-stacked to burst down a boss.

        Summoners aren't the best at delving. For that, you want a build whose source of damage can't die, avoids or mitigates most damage, and uses monster scaling against the monsters like on-kill %life explosions.

        If you want to be efficient with your time, in other words, there are better builds out there for each major challenge.

        So why play summoner? Well, they are pretty solid for new players, so they're great to start out with. That's why I invested time into creating the New Player Guides section. Ultimately, I don't think new players will mind some fluff to ease them into the complexity of PoE. They likely wouldn't know what to even do with a shotgun blast of info, so they probably wouldn't seek it out either. Rather, it's more important that they feel excited and intrigued, motivating them to want to learn more.

        For veterans, they might be curious for a new experience, or they already enjoy commander-type playstyles. Or, like me, they simply love the theme of summoners and necromancers.

        The latter is who I wrote this guide for. I didn't want to make just another infodump of a guide. I wanted to engage players with a wisp of story, mystery, and reward each click of the spoiler button with beautiful art that captures the fantasy of the Necromancer.

        Is it a bit inefficient to scroll past a "useless" image? Sure. It's a second of your life you won't be getting back. A tiny moment that I stole... No, no, that's not right. This was a proper agreement. You read the fine print, did you not? For my knowledge, you pay a modicum of your soul. If you didn't think it a fair exchange, why click "I accept"? Tsk, tsk, youths these days...

        Summoners are inefficient masters of none. Losing Zombies is annoying. Nurturing your Spectres' level is tedious. Doorways are frustrating. If you didn't like scrolling past a few pictures, I don't think summoners will be fun for you.

        Put bluntly, I am weeding out those who wouldn't have the patience for a summoner to begin with. I know my approach won't appeal to everyone, and I don't intend to. I am open to suggestions, of course, and willing to work in compromises, but I will not compromise my overall vision.

        Thank you, though, for the morsel of soul. It was tasty.


        Acclaim

        Art by Tony Sart

        For all your kind words, from the bottom of my blackened heart, thank you!

        "
        Completed 15 ChallengesChucacobra wrote:
        The most perfect guide and build I have ever seen... This is a master class of ideas realized. (Link)


        "
        Completed 15 ChallengesTerenceCSZ wrote:
        I have never seen such a beautiful guide on such a powerful off-meta build. (Link)


        "
        I LIKE YOUR SUMMONER ART :D (Link)


        "
        this is how its done,...right (Link)


        "
        Completed 15 ChallengesChucacobra wrote:
        ...it would be tough to find such a beautiful, informative, creative and poetic build guide anywhere else on the Forums.

        ...this was obviously a long time labour of love finally realized by the OP. It struck me as work of art as much as anything else and I don't know how often one would say that about a simple(?) post on any forum in the World. (Link)


        "
        Completed 22 ChallengesSchnubbel_ wrote:
        ...innovative and fun, yet strong and well thought through. (Link 1)

        Love the build :p (Link 2)


        "
        Completed 16 ChallengesMed1umentor wrote:
        Design of the guide is AWESOME (Link)


        "
        Completed 13 ChallengesYloss wrote:
        ...very impressed by the guide and the refreshing different build... (Link 1)

        Enjoying the build a lot! (Link 2)

        Just killed red Elder (T11) at lvl 82 with no Empower Gem and almost no lvl 20 gems. ...thanks Hercanic for the build, for the VERY nice guide and for the outstanding "customer service" :) (Link 3)


        "
        Completed 10 Challengesgrimlock9999 wrote:
        ...a superb creation. ... Really creative stuff in here! (Link)


        "
        ...your build intrigues me... (Link 1)

        [after playing build] ...this was up there with one of my favs. (Link 2)


        "
        Completed 13 ChallengesDeadEnd99 wrote:
        The work that went into this one is intense! Bravo. (Link)


        "
        Completed 21 ChallengesDTBA wrote:
        Nice write up! ... Thanks for putting your time and effort into this. (Link)


        "
        Completed 36 ChallengeszoNiklv wrote:
        Nice build! Although I'm more into hybrid casters, I still approve. (Link)


        "
        Completed 10 ChallengesBETTERPC wrote:
        So nice build... Thank you so much! (Link)


        "
        Completed 1 ChallengeVirevly wrote:
        ...having a blast, thanks ! (Link)


        "
        Completed 6 ChallengesPinkabysm wrote:
        New player this season, reinstalled poe, post blizzcon like many others. your guide is excellent. I steamrolled most content... (Link)


        "
        Completed 13 ChallengesAsmosis wrote:
        Nice guide (Link)


        Change Log
        After any major change to the build, a link to the last comment will be provided, so you can hop to the most relevant discussion. Each of these update posts also feature a new piece of artwork, to help them stand out.

        • 23 December 2018 - Leveling Guide moved to an independent thread. New "New Player Guides" section added: Mechanics Explained. New category and section added: Comments and Reply Index. (Link)

        • 09 December 2018 - Most header artwork has been placed into individual spoilers. (Link)

        • 09 December 2018 - New "More Guides" section added: Crafting. (Link)

        • 05 December 2018 - 3.5 Betrayal League Patch Notes released. No build changes. (Link)

        • 21 November 2018 - New "Feedback" section added: Acclaim. (Link)

        • 14 November 2018 - Red Elder video added! (Link)

        • 10 November 2018 - All artwork has been credited to their authors. (Link)

        • 09 November 2018 - New section added: More Video. (Link)

        • 07 November 2018 - Patch 3.4.4 updated the way the camera moves for Charged Dash. The skill feels much smoother now. (Link)

        • 05 November 2018 - New section added: Overview. (Link)

        • 30 October 2018 - First two videos added! (Link)

        • 26 October 2018 - DPS calculations updated after Path of Building added new minion data. (Link)

        • 26 October 2018 - First Release. Pastebin added. No video yet. Minimal formatting.


        Art by Thanh Tuấn
        Last edited by Hercanic on Jan 14, 2019, 6:32:49 PM
        The most perfect guide and build I have ever seen... well at least equal first. Not a link out of place or unnecessary. Basically complete in every way. As a long time Summoner I am ashamed at my own poultry efforts.

        Pity it is so close to the end of the league (3.4) or I would start acquiring the pieces needed. Depending on the state of the next league this may be a go to for many people.

        Well done Sir. This is a master class of ideas realized.
        Last edited by Chucacobra on Oct 26, 2018, 9:27:21 PM
        COMMENTS

        Reply Index
        This section will contain hotlinks to all replies I have made, allowing players to search for any questions I might have already answered.

        • . 7 Replies - Arakaali's Fang, Spectral Spiders, Minion Roles; where to find Faceted Fossils; does Spirit Offering deal damage to me?; how to make a Pastebin, level 75 gear check, +1 to socketed Melee Skills, Rampage; Act 3 leveling gear comparison, level 38 gear check, how to Poison, Virulence, Contagion, Arc, self-cast damage scaling, Static Strike and Ball Lightning while leveling, Flame Dash, Kaltenhalt shield; how to survive Syndicate encounters, level 88 gear check; does evasion and defenses on items matter?

        • . 1 Reply - How to beat Uber Elder, level 94 gear check.

        • . GAME UPDATE - About Patch 3.5.0d.

        • . 5 Replies - Darkness Enthroned belt?; when to start using Elemental Proliferation, Stone Golem, Projectile Weakness and Pierce Support, what to spend passive points on after the Epilogue, Books of Skill; installing a loot filter; how to upgrade gems to 20% quality without losing damage; where Power Charges come from, Minion Damage or Elemental Proliferation, how Freeze Proliferation works; how Vile Toxins Support works; gear check, Vaal skills and their normal counterpart skill, Spectre level, boosting Desecrate's level, how to change your body armor without losing Spectres.

        • . 3 Replies - When will the leveling guide be completed?; missing items - new item light beams and map icons; best map tier for level 90, does the gear on Animated Guardian affect other minions?, what red gem to use with Spectres and Phantasms?, will Hercanic write other build guides?

        • . 2 Replies - does taunt hurt Spectres?, Spectres keep dying, value of +1 to socketed gems on claw?; do minions apply elemental equilibrium (EE), jewel crafting.

        • . 5 Replies - Crafting guide videos, what body armor after Tabula Rasa?; how to off-color body armor sockets?, 3-blue craft as an alternative?; Spectres die very fast, gear check; Faceted Fossils are expensive, value of +1 to socketed gems on claw; Queen's Hunger?

        • . 4 Replies - Player feedback; Flesh Binder vs. Other Ascendancies; optimal map tier to level when 90, gear check; Belly of the Beast vs. Queen's Hunger.

        • . 1 Reply - How we deal Lightning Damage for Elemental Equilibrium (EE) and why Hatred and Minions won't affect it.

        • . 1 Reply - Why Cast When Damage Taken isn't working, why Hatred is fine sharing a link with CWDT.

        • . 5 Replies - poe-profile.info stat breakdowns; Holy Relic usefulness, do you need to use Desecrate?, Zombie mana cost, gear check, why use Spirit Offering instead of Immortal Call?, are the build's defenses overhyped?, Violent Dead, From Dust, To Dust, Ice Bite Support; player feedback; pushing the build further; what's the point of Hatred?, purpose of added flat damage for Poison; player feedback.

        • . 1 Reply - How do we get the items for the build?

        • . 1 Reply - Will flat minion damage on jewels mess up Elemental Equilibrium (EE)?

        • . 3 Replies - Why doesn't the Unending Hunger jewel have 40 Intelligence allocated in its radius?; knowledge resources for fossil crafting?; does added damage on claw affect Elemental Equilibrium (EE)?

        • . 2 Replies - Player feedback, minion count and purpose; importance of flat life on jewels.

        • . 4 Replies - How to resurrect your Spectres?; player troubleshooting, crafting boots, is accuracy on gloves good?, where do you get a second curse from?; Faster Projectiles with Ball Lightning?, other useful glove affixes?; how to manage skill buttons.

        • . 3 Replies - Gear upgrade priority; how do we get 8 Zombies?; how do we get Poison Support?, isn't Hatred bad if using Elemental Equilibrium (EE)?, how do you avoid Labyrinth traps?

        • . 2 Replies - Can we use Flame Dash instead of Shield Charge?, options for empty sockets; why use Spirit Offering on CWDT if not using Mistress of Sacrifice?

        • . 1 Reply - Another curse?

        • . 6 Replies - Spectre gem priority; Smite and Static Strike don't deal enough damage; options for how should Hercanic expand the guide after hitting the character limit; is the build viable without min/maxing?; Zombies die a lot, Syndicate keeps killing me, gear priorities; Syndicate Marksmen as Spectres?; how to share items across characters, what are recipes?

        • . 2 Replies - Helmet enchant?; Queen's Hunger?

        • . 2 Replies - Claw stats?; player troubleshooting.

        • . 3 Replies - Does the weapon matter?, Unique weapon alternatives?; when are we hitting with physical damage that would cause Hatred to interfere with Elemental Equilibrium (EE)?; adding replies into the build guide so they don't get buried.

        • . 3 Replies - What to do about Betrayal deadly encounters; what Spectres to use in Act 3?; alternative ways to off-color Belly of the Beast?; struggling with life, build viability in yellow maps and beyond.

        • . 1 Reply - Rampage, Mind over Matter, how to increase defenses?, how to cope with Syndicate?

        • . 2 Replies - What gives minions damage?; should I start a new character or respec an existing character?

        • . PANTHEON BUG - Lunaris movement speed drop. (Fixed now)

        • . 1 Reply - Gear check, breaking past 3k life.

        • . 1 Reply - Where does the Life Gain on Hit come from and does it heal minions?

        • . 1 Reply - Farming 6L divination cards like Humility for Tabula Rasa?, Vis Mortis?

        • . 3 Replies - CWDT Spirit Offering doesn't seem to work and will Acrobatics interfere with it?; custom filter advice; Ascendancy order, Act 10 priorities, gear check, Enfeeble?, Banner?, is it fine to continue using Tabula Rasa?

        • . 2 Replies - Confusion about Elemental Equilibrium (EE); where does the third Spectre come from?

        • . 3 Replies - Player feedback, why do gems need to go into certain items?, where to buy gems; player feedback; why Frost Sentinels over Solar Guards?

        • . 4 Replies - How many Minion Damage Support gems are needed while leveling?; player feedback; skill bar and hotkey setup; Orb of Storms?

        • . 1 Reply - Mistaking Galvanic Ribbons for Flame Sentinels, need more stats?

        • . 1 Reply - How to share build with others, struggling to activate Agony Crawler, can minions poison for me?, Spectres too weak.

        • . 13 Replies - Player feedback; player feedback on crafting a +1 minion helm for leveling; player feedback; player feedback on using a Templar alt; player feedback on alternative leveling skills; player feedback; player feedback; player feedback on adding leveling trees to PoB version; player feedback; gear upgrade priorities; player feedback; Avatar of Fire?, Risen Vaal Advocates?, player video contribution; player feedback.

        • . 1 Reply - Jewel crafting.

        • . 1 Reply - Player troubleshooting on opening Spoilers.

        • . 6 Replies - What Spectres if only two?; where is the gems and items section?; Spectre gem links; Grave Intentions cluster?; player feedback on Gladiator alternative; are regular jewels okay for Poison?

        • . 1 Reply - What leveling items are still used at endgame?

        • . 1 Reply - Confirming whether Ball Lightning can Poison.

        • . 2 Replies - What is our 6L used for?; viability of a Gladiator version of build.

        • . GUIDE UPDATE - Artwork placed into spoilers.

        • . 2 Replies - Confusion between different "Charge" skills; will damage on our weapon or an Iron Ring apply to Ball Lightning so it can Poison?

        • . 2 Replies - How to get 3 Spectres?; Will glove enchantments from Labyrinth affect Elemental Equilibrium (EE)?

        • . 5 Replies - How do Solar Guards proliferate Ignites?; player feedback on confusion about Elemental Equilibrium (EE); player feedback on learning from videos and links, on artwork, how to generate wealth?; best league starter weapon to buy?, The Scourge?; the difference between local, global attack, and global spell flat damage, GGG's terminology clarity and consistency, player video contribution, global 820.

        • . 1 Reply - Confusion between different "Charge" skills.

        • . 1 Reply - How does Poison work?

        • . GUIDE UPDATE - Crafting section added.

        • . 1 Reply - Ascendancy order, threshold jewel stat allocation.

        • . 1 Reply - Third best ascendancy?

        • . 1 Reply - When do you replace Static Strike?

        • . STATUS UPDATE - Act 1 leveling.

        • . 1 Reply - Spectre boot affix.

        • . 1 Reply - How is it possible to get more than two Spectres?

        • . 1 Reply - How do minions get Power Charges?

        • . 1 Reply - How does the build compare to Blade Vortex (BV) Elementalist?

        • . STATUS UPDATE - Reddit plug.

        • . STATUS UPDATE - Act 1 leveling guide complete.

        • . ARCHIVES #2 - Original Zone Info section.

        • . ARCHIVES #1 - First cannibalized Guide Update.

        • . STATUS UPDATE, 2 Replies - Act 1 Gem Vendor section complete. Why Bloodgrip?; Banner?

        • . STATUS UPDATE - Act 1 Gem Vendor section formatting complete, To Do list.

        • . STATUS, 2 Replies - Preparing leveling guide for Betrayal League launch, notice of limited replies. Player feedback; format meaning in GoogleDoc Leveling Plan, where to find missing gems.

        • . BUILD UPDATE - Review of 3.5 Patch Notes.

        • . 4 Replies - Will multiple Phantasm gems give more Phantasms?, coping with not enough sockets while leveling, early link priority, stat and defense priorities, what weapon type to use while leveling?; was the Agony Crawler nerfed?; leveling alternative for Smite?

        • . 3 Replies - Player feedback; where can you find the leveling gear?; Elemental Equilibrium and playing with a partner who uses Arc.

        • . 2 Replies -

          ----UNDER CONSTRUCTION----
          THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE


        This post was originally a response to the above comment. My guide grew too big, hitting the 50k character cap per post and using up all my reserve posts, so I had to cannibalize this post to make more room.

        Below is my former response, which details the origins of the build:




        @ Chucacobra:
        "
        Completed 15 ChallengesChucacobra wrote:
        The most perfect guide and build I have ever seen... well at least equal first. Not a link out of place or unnecessary. Basically complete in every way. As a long time Summoner I am ashamed at my own poultry efforts.

        Pity it is so close to the end of the league (3.4) or I would start acquiring the pieces needed. Depending on the state of the next league this may be a go to for many people.

        Well done Sir. This is a master class of ideas realized.

        Such high praise! I thank you; you are much too kind. Ah, but do not expect flattery to get you a refund. All sales are final.

        It is certainly a pity I was so late releasing the build this league. I had wanted to put it through all the paces first, but my playtime is limited so progress was slow.

        As for the idea, I have been playing lesser versions of this build for many leagues now, but this is the league where everything came together. I've used Phantasms with Spectres since Phantasms first release. They were completely overlooked by most of the community until Soulwrest released because everyone was hung up on the "On Kill" requirement. But the only time that's an issue is against bosses. If I devoted my Spectres to clear, who also scale infinitely with kills from the Unending Hunger jewel, and use something like Skeletons for single target, like Bow users use Barrage, made viable by Shaper/Elder items, then Phantasms should work just fine.

        During Incursion league, though, I felt a lack of damage when racing against the clock and contending with corners (I hated not always getting 100% clears in T15+). To compensate, I started incorporating Projectile Weakness on Blasphemy (my poor MoM eHP). This worked fine with max block and Shield Charging into monsters' faces, but I wished I could push it further somehow.

        Now, with the introduction of Mark of Submission freeing up Blasphemy, I had reason to abandon Mind Over Matter for Herald of Agony and Hatred. These two gave the damage boost I needed, while the necessity of poisoning monsters for the Crawler created an opportunity to push Skeleton DPS further than ever before and self-generate Victario's Frenzy Charges. The new Holy Relic regen buff made Zombies seem more feasible. Finally, Delve justified taking damage as far as possible while also emphasizing the value of freezes. I was happy to have a reason to switch to Ice Sentinels, who are just such cool sniping Spectres. Their range is as long as a Solar Guard's special beam, and their extra projectiles combined with casting from further back gives them massive screen coverage. They don't deal splash damage or have AOE overlap potential, but that's okay because I have other minions for pure damage.

        In the end, I have 6L Skeletons on four sockets, ~5L Agony Crawler and ~5L Zombies on three sockets, 5L Spectres and 5L Phantasms on six sockets, and an 8L Charged Dash on four sockets and a ring. Hatred, Victario's Frenzy Charges, Elemental Equilibrium, and Projectile Weakness are like adding four more links to everything.

        With damage numbers for monsters and minions suddenly appearing on poeDB, I felt compelled to start working out my actual DPS. The result surprised me enough to finally share this build, and the update to PoB shortly after confirmed my calculations.

        And now here we are. Again, thank you for giving my build a read. I wish you the best!
        Last edited by Hercanic on Jan 14, 2019, 10:09:52 PM
        "
        Completed 15 ChallengesChucacobra wrote:
        The most perfect guide and build I have ever seen... well at least equal first.

        I might have missed it, but whose guide did you say was equally good? There are well-written guides for meh builds and meh guides for meta builds, but I have never seen such a beautiful guide on such a powerful off-meta build.


        "
        Completed 4 ChallengesHercanic wrote:
        3,722,537 = Boss DPS
        (no phantasms, zombies nuked, relic out of range, too lazy to gem swap spectres)

        But that said, OP, where did you derive this majestic boss DPS value from? If your phantasms and zombies are dead, surely you are left with just Frost Sentinels, the Agony Crawler and Skeletons for DPS. Out of the three, Skeletons (squishy) and the Crawler (virulence stacks above 15 deplete fast) require impossibly intense upkeep to maintain peak DPS. So how do you efficiently sustain both Skeleton resummons and virulence stacks against bosses, on top of hopping around to evade their telegraphed attacks?
        So.. no videos? The guide is virtually worthless without proper video proof, why go through all the effort but miss the most important part :/
        "
        Completed 13 ChallengesStarbuckz42 wrote:
        So.. no videos? The guide is virtually worthless without proper video proof, why go through all the effort but miss the most important part :/

        Not yet. I have never recorded a game session before, so for me there's a first-time learning curve and software setup hurdle. I'm looking into OBS, Share X, and DaVinci Resolve as recommendations from a guild mate (thanks again, Matt).

        Sorry about the letdown. I understand, videos are the first thing I look at, too. But you see, I didn't actually set out to make a guide at first. I was just calculating my DPS with newly released monster data and ended up going with the flow. Suddenly I had a guide, because why not, it was fun to write.

        Thank you for your passion in replying, though; I'm glad to know you're interested. Until I prepare video, the only proof I can offer is the PoB pastebin.

        In the meantime, do you have any maps or content you'd like to see this build perform on?



        "
        Completed 15 ChallengesTerenceCSZ wrote:
        But that said, OP, where did you derive this majestic boss DPS value from? If your phantasms and zombies are dead, surely you are left with just Frost Sentinels, the Agony Crawler and Skeletons for DPS. Out of the three, Skeletons (squishy) and the Crawler (virulence stacks above 15 deplete fast) require impossibly intense upkeep to maintain peak DPS. So how do you efficiently sustain both Skeleton resummons and virulence stacks against bosses, on top of hopping around to evade their telegraphed attacks?

        You can think of it like this: For most builds, DPS drops off the moment they have to move; for summoners, DPS drops off when their minions die.

        As for how to prioritize, that depends on the boss and situation. Hydra cried in a corner for a few seconds before dying. Minotaur with +70% AOE, +crit, 25% more damage, and +100% damage as lightning dropped to ~20% HP in the first few seconds, but then made himself a bonemeal sandwich with a pestle and mortar of falling rock. So I cried in a corner while spamming Ball Lightning from safety while my Agony Crawler made beef stew.

        Between the two minions, one cast of Skeletons has roughly the same DPS as a fully-charged Agony Crawler; or conversely, the Agony Crawler is worth three Skeletons. Either way you're at ~1 million DPS.

        In general, I would put priority on Skeletons. Try to summon Skeletons behind and around the boss to limit how many are hit by AOE. In situations of intense AOE that wipe Skeletons out too fast to get even a single hit in, rely on the Agony Crawler instead. This is the versatility of the build at play.

        As a sidenote, the Skeletons have 5,771 life, 20% attack block, apply blind (50% attack miss), taunt (10% reduced damage to everyone but the taunter), and are resistance undercapped at 65% but become overcapped with Spirit Offering. I would need another 10% minion resist jewel to cap naturally.

        As for dodging, remember that Charged Dash has mobility built into it, while GMP eases the burden of aiming Ball Lightning. You can also immediately use Shield Charge after releasing Charged Dash for a double-whammy of distance. In general, if you don't have a safe spot, use this rotation while circle-strafing the boss and don't stay stationary any longer than you have to:

        1. Shield Charge, ideally triggering Fortify
        2. Cast Skeletons if under max, Charged Dash otherwise
        3. Shield Charge (or release Dash)
        4. Charged Dash for x Ball Lightnings
        5. Release and cast Skeletons if safe and under max, Shield Charge if not.
        6. Repeat

        Maintaining Virulence stacks is fairly easy. Remember, the build is attacking AND casting at the same time. Charged Dash has a 4.71 attack rate, 81% accuracy, and 80% chance to poison. That equates to a 64.8% chance to land a poison, or 3 Virulence per second.

        Using this Ball Lightning DPS spreadsheet we can calculate the number of hits one cast will achieve against an enemy of a certain size. The player character has a radius of 2. Most bosses are much larger than this, but since their exact value is unknown to me, I will use 2 as a launching point.

        2 radius = 6 hits
        4 radius = 7 hits
        8 radius = 8 hits
        12 radius = 9 hits
        14 radius = 10 hits
        18 radius = 11 hits
        22 radius = 12 hits

        Cast While Channeling gives a cast rate of 2.86, and I have an 80% chance to poison. So we get:

        2 radius = 17 hits / 14 Virulence per sec.
        4 radius = 20 hits / 16
        8 radius = 23 hits / 18
        12 radius = 26 hits / 21
        14 radius = 29 hits / 23
        18 radius = 31 hits / 25
        22 radius = 34 hits / 27

        Unit Distance

        Going by the above image, I would estimate bosses usually have a radius of 5-10. That would give me 16-18 (+3 from Charged Dash) Virulence per second. So ~2 seconds to reach cap vs a smaller boss, without factoring degen.

        If I need to continuously dodge, then here's what to expect from the Agony Crawler:

        Agony Crawler DPS at Differing Virulence
        789,681 (40 Virulence)
        618,559 (35 Virulence)
        473,438 (30 Virulence)
        352,254 (25 Virulence)
        252,966 (20 Virulence)
        173,511 (15 Virulence)
        111,838 (10 Virulence)
        65,896 (5 Virulence)

        Also: Life on Hit ends up calculating to 140 from Charged Dash (92% damage effectiveness) and 105 from Ball Lightning (35% damage effectiveness), per target per second, vs. a radius 4 target.
        Last edited by Hercanic on Oct 28, 2018, 11:23:43 PM
        Creative build idea but very hard to make it work.

        Play style break down.

        1. Summon Skeleton to attack - Every 3 sec

        2. melee attack to activate agony - whenever not summoning minion. agony stack will fall when not attacking. vs boss / single target, what is the poison/successful hit per sec ?

        3. spam spirit offering every 4 sec / no desecrate mean need kill to get crops.

        4. Charge dash to activate ball lightning to apply EE. Shield charge to move, but why 2 movement skill ?

        5. Some flask management... YOU HAVE 5 FLASK TO MANAGE

        6. resummon dead zombi / zombi will die from time to time / no desecrate mean need kill to get crops, no crops = no zombi.

        7. IT IS A MELEE BUILD WHERE U NEED TO STAY NEAR ENEMY TO ATTACK + SUMMON.



        How are you going to manage all this in T16 boss, shaper, uber elder fight, Uber atziri. These BOSS skill will one shot all your minion, no convocation mean you have no control over your minion. so minion = kamikaze warrior.

        Biggest Con of all

        Raise Spectral
        + Summon Phantasm on Kill (21/-) - BAD FOR BOSS
        + Elemental Proliferation (21/20) - BAD FOR BOSS
        + Greater Multiple Projectiles (20/20) - BAD FOR BOSS
        + Faster Projectiles (20/20) - BAD FOR BOSS
        + Minion Damage (20/20) - GOOD

        WHERE ARE ALL THE DMG MULTIPLIER SUPPORT GEM ?
        ARE YOU TRYING TO MAKE A SUPPORT SPECTRAL ?

        From my EXP as a summoner, Raise Spectral is GOD of all Minion, Raise Spectral alone can clear 90% of mapping monster. Removing GMP and swap with slow proj/pierce/frostbite (DMG MULTIPLIER) Can drop Boss HP in sec. Why need so many minion ? they only make the fight more complected. You cant see ground effect + cant see boss skill effect + cant see enemy monster around you.


        ABOVE IS MY TWO CENT :D
        BTW I LIKE YOUR SUMMONER ART :D
        Last edited by The_Faint_Smile on Oct 28, 2018, 7:05:22 AM

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