[3.5] Halloween Fireworks: Self-combusting exploding skeleton Necromancer

First off, I feel the need to acknowledge that this build is ridiculous but point out that it is also awesome.

What is truly surprising is how fast it plays; I think this is largely due to running Herald of Agony but on reflect maps (where I can't activate the Crawler) it still plays quickly, especially for a summoner.

As a quick note, I'm currently only level 81 85 or so and I will update this guide as I level and things change. I will also add videos of particularly fun or impressive feats as I have with my other build(s)

Core Mechanics:
The build is based, primarily, around 2 unique items, the Minion Instability and Necromantic Aegis passives and the Necromancer Ascendancy:

Earendel's Embrace:
  • Gives Summon Skeleton minions Avatar of Fire
  • Causes Summon Skeleton minion hits to cover enemies in ash
  • Causes Summon Skeleton minions to take a % of their life as fire damage every second

Minion Instability:
Causes all minions to detonate below 35% life dealing 33% of their maximum life as fire damage, this happens reliably due to Earendel's Embrace.

Necromantic Aegis:
Gives my minions the benefits (or detriments) of my equipped shield instead of me.

Maligaro's Lens (with Necromantic Aegis):
  • Gives my minions -50% to all elemental resistances (Summon Skeleton minions burn faster)
  • Gives % increased maximum life (increasing Summon Skeleton minions explosion damage)
  • Gives 10% increased Area of Effect (increasing explosion radius)
  • Heals nearby allies for 2% of the dying minion's life when it dies

Necromancer Ascendancy:
  • Allows us to summon 3 Summon Skeleton minions at once (instead of 1)
  • Means Summon Skeleton minions hits can't be evaded (more reliable ash coverage)
  • Gives lots of buffs to minion life and damage
  • Allows us to buff ourselves with Offerings (greatly helps out with poison stacks for Herald of Agony

Other Important Mechanics:
I use Herald of Purity and Herald of Agony in combination, using the new Storm Brand skill to poison and apply Elemental Equilibrium.

I do this because Herald of Agony and Herald of Purity minions are not overly negatively affected by the -50% all res on Maligaro's Lens. The Herald of Agony crawler cannot lose life at all and the Herald of Purity minions constantly resummon. Added to this, both do excellent damage, especially Herald of Agony, which greatly adds to clear speed.

I also currently use Raise Spectre, Animate Guardian and Summon Stone Golem.

I use Frenzy Charge and Power Charge generating apes for Spectres (Stygian Silverback and Host Chieftan respectively). These can be found in The Riverways in Act 8 and then replaced with higher base level versions in any map using Desecrate. Linked to Blood Magic, Minion Life and Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance they both survive pretty much everything and constantly buff all my minions (and myself) with Power Charges and Frenzy Charges.

Similarly my Animate Guardian is linked to Minion Life and Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance and is used to buff me and the rest of my minions. I currently have it equipped with a Dreadarc to curse enemies with Flammability on hit as well as generic aura buff items that are commonly used with Animate Guardian.

Lastly, Summon Stone Golem is just there for the regen and taunt and is simply placed in a Redblade Band unique ring.

Gear and Links:
Current Gear

Recommended Endgame Links:

  • Weapon:
  • Shield:
  • Helmet:
  • Body Armour:
    Any of:
  • Gloves:
  • Boots:
  • Ring:

PoB and Skill Tree:
Path of Building link for my Character at level 85
And a link to the Skill Tree Only

Final Comments:
This build is genuinely fun to play, the constant popping sounds of your skeletons exploding really does sound like fireworks. The new Storm Brand skill really makes it easy to just drop a brand here or there to sustain your Agony Crawler and Purity minions and the rest of your time can be spent running/flame dashing and dropping Skeleton (or statue) bombs and occasionally hitting Flesh Offering.

On that note, you can swap out Flesh Offering for Bone Offering or use the built-in 'Blood Offering' in the Bloodbond Bone Armour (which I am currently using) it's totally up to you and what you feel your build needs. Feel free to ask questions here or check out my stream and ask me directly, you can find it at:

Also my Yotube Channel at:

And a link to my other build guides (currently sparse):
Last edited by Doombug5000 on Jan 7, 2019, 1:36:12 PM
Last bumped on Feb 1, 2019, 5:02:38 PM
The idea is great. Still waiting for videos :)
Currently running this build - Are you not using zombies because of the negative effects from the shield? All those +# to zombies seems like a waste :(

I am having issues with storm brand poisoning enemies -- my scorpion never spawns :\

I'm also using vaal summon skeletons, helps to burst down some of the betrayal mini-bosses.

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