[3.9] SRS Triggered Skeletons | The Mobile Nightmare Apocalypse - all content, easy leveling

Summon Raging Spirit (SRS) is my favorite minion. They're aggressive, speedy, and melt everything with the one disadvantage that they don't take aggro (and would die quickly, anyway, as they do to AoE).

What's the one thing that could make them even better? Free Skeletons, of course! Skeles that you don't have to cast, that come in packs, and that take aggro and deal more damage than Raging Spirits.

POB link https://pastebin.com/0tG2cAZ1

You'll be dropping Skele boys right under your mouse cursor, 8 at a time, with the craft mod "Trigger a Socketed Spell when you Use a Skill" every 5 seconds. You'll get their Duration over 30 seconds and limit to 13 or more, making them an absolute dream to micromanage (as in, no micromanagement whatsoever).

Make it Vaal Summon Skeletons and you'll be packing a nightmare apocalypse on demand.

Further support your minions with Haste & Hatred, Flesh Offering on rotation, and Bone Armour for some survivability for yourself as well.

Here's a couple of outdated videos of my old character killing Uber Elder. If you can forgive/laugh at a few stupid deaths, they're perfectly accurate examples of the build completed:
After 3.8
After 3.6


PROS & CONS
Spoiler

*PROS*
- Sky-high damage scaling. At full build and proper config I'm seeing 217k Shaper DPS per SRS and 581k per Skeleton, totaling 11.3 million at limits, without considering Vaal Skeles. While many complained about unkillable Syndicate encounters in Betrayal, I was melting them at t16 with 5-links before I'd killed my first Uber Elder (ever)
- FANTASTIC for "wait" fights where you can summon everything before the enemy spawns. Essence boys, Legion, METAMORPHS, and Strongboxes, bosses, etc
- Simple execution, leaving you more room to learn about the game if you're not yet an expert (I'm still not).

*CONS*
- Squishy, even after getting Bone Armour. Taste of Hate and a second, variable defensive Flask will be important. Learn to avoid boss mechanics and let Skeleboys tank the enemies.

That's literally it for Cons.



SKILLS & GROUPS

Spoiler

Summon Raging Spirit: Socket this in The Covenant as soon as you can afford to 5-link one. You may notice 5-link uniques sell for more than the combined cost of buying the base + the prophecy, so consider that a money-making tip.
SUPPORTS: Minion Damage, Elemental Damage with Attacks, Melee Physical Damage Support, Ruthless, and Melee Splash.
You may swap Melee Splash for Fortify against better single-target against bosses. Yes, Fortify is actually the next best red gem for damage. You absolutely want to keep Splash socketed otherwise: you'll find single-target damage is not your bottleneck.

(Vaal) Summon Skeletons: While leveling, you'll want to 4-link this in your body armour with Spell Totem Support, but work your way towards a 6-link Staff and Trigger-casting. I've got a whole section below about Staff Business.
SUPPORTS: Feeding Frenzy, Maim, Minion Damage, Melee Physical Damage, and Melee Splash, in order of importance.
Skeles will deal great damage on their own but you'll want to prioritize utility with them. They'll keep Feeding Frenzy to 100% uptime in combat, Maim single targets, Splash packs down (Maiming survivors), charge enemies and take aggro, and blow up from Minion Instability when killed.
When you finally craft a multi-mod staff with "+2 to Socketed Supports", a lv4 Empower will become better than Melee Physical Damage. You can potentially bring it up to lv7 with a Staff, which will add SIX FUCKING LEVELS to Skeletons. At this point Skeletons will begin to deal more damage than Raging Spirits, even with utility prioritized.

Flame Dash, Flesh Offering, and Desecrate supported by Faster Casting in your Boots. You'll need all three of these spells mid-combat, so the cast speed is very helpful.
If you end up with Dexterity boots like I always do, Delve for the three-color recipe and save yourself a lot of Chroms.


Hatred with Generosity in your Helmet, UNLINKED from the other two sockets. This is a massive elemental damage boost to all your minions.
Haste also in your Helmet, just make sure it's not linked to Generosity. Half the reason you use this aura is the Cast and Move speed to yourself.
Summon Carrion Golem for the last socket in your helmet, it doesn't matter if it links with Generosity. He's just a good boy that buffs the rest of your minions and you'll have to resummon him occasionally.

Ball Lightning: This is for applying debuffs and triggering Skeletons ONLY. ITS DAMAGE IS NOT RELEVANT. When enemies reflect elemental damage, however, you can easily kill yourself if you've tried to buff it. I literally use a lv1, 0% quality gem myself.
It will apply Elemental Equilibrium and Elemental Weakness, drastically increasing Fire and Cold damage from your minions. With GMP it will cover massive area. Slot it in your gloves.
SUPPORTS: Greater Multiple Projectiles, Curse on Hit, and Elemental Weakness.

You may eventually want to get two Unset Rings with "+3 to Socketed Gem" for Haste and Carrion Golem, but that might be the least valuable return-on-investment in your late-stage spending. It's much easier to just wear Resistance rings.



SKILL TREE AND ASCENDANCY
Witch, Necromancer, grab all the minion damage, cast speed, auras, and life nodes. Thanks!

Spoiler


Okay here's some more info
Skill tree on PoE Planner: www.poeurl.com/cEHn

Most of the selections are self-explanatory from the stat priorities of minion damage, cast speed, auras, and your own life points. You don't care about Energy Shield or Mana (a little bit about regen, though). Minion Movespeed and Skill Effect Duration count as damage because they affect how much time each minion spends attacking. Let's talk about Ascendancy.

Commander of Darkness: This is the arguable one, up against Mistress of Sacrifice. Mistress brings you a ton of Cast and Move speed from Flesh Offering and just as much Minion Duration. Commander brings your minions up to Resistance caps (which is like Duration), directly increases their damage, and gives you +20 All Resists as well as a fraction of the Cast Speed.
I say Commander vs Mistress is up to preference. Keep in mind that Commander affects how much Resistance you need from gear, which is a budget concern.

Update: For this league, I've been using Mistress and expect to keep doing so. The extra speediness is totally pog.

What's absolutely essential are Mindless Aggression, Unnatural Strength, and Bone Barrier. Damage, Damage, and Survivability in heavy doses. Bone Barrier is a real unlife-saver.

- a note about Minion Instability: without it, you'll struggle against some encounters that wipe out your minions. With it, you'll forget which encounters do that. Disregard the naysayers!



GEAR AND STATS
Spoiler


Here's the priority list when you're picking stats:
1. minion dps
2. your ability to efficiently cast minions
3. your character defenses
4. minion survivability

At no point should you concern yourself with your own character's damage. It will never be relevant.

Body Armour: The Covenant, the stat rolls don't matter. Getting Blood Magic for your SRS is essential to casting it freely, which you need to do a lot. For Final Form, probably very last, consider getting one with a good corrupt like "+1 to Socketed Gems"
Boots: Movespeed, Life, Dex/Str, Resists. Preferably Two-Toned
Gloves: Grip of the Council, the 20% is huge damage. For Final Form, get one corrupted with "+2 to Socketed Curse Gems"
Helmet: Preferably a Bone Helmet. Life, Dex/Str, Resists. Craft "+1 to Max Number of Skeletons" or "% of Physical Damage taken as Fire Damage", your choice.
Weapon: You'll have to craft it! See the "Staff Business" section below. While leveling, use a Reverberation Rod with whatever off-hand you like.
Necklace: Life, Resists, Dex/Str, Cast Speed. A good Jade Amulet can last you forever. I actually craft "+1 to Minimum Endurance Charges" on my Amulet and Rings for the % Physical reduction as a Final Form expense.
Rings: Same as Necklace for stats.
Start with Ruby/Sapphire/Topaz rings to meet your Resist needs. Eventually you can replace them with +3 Unset Rings for Haste and Summon Carrion Golem, or Vermillion Rings when you can afford.
Belt: Life, Resists, Strength, Stygian Vise for the socket
Flasks: Two Eternal Life Flasks, one Quicksilver, one Taste of Hate, and one map-dependent defensive slot. I'll usually carry a Basalt Flask, but switch to a Ruby, Sapphire, or Topaz depending on boss or map mods. You need Freeze, Bleed, and Curse immunity from among these. Your survivability will boost greatly when you learn Flask crafting (it's easy) and use them liberally.
Jewels: ONE FROM DUST. Then, regular Jewels or Abyssals, you want Life, Minion Damage, + to Minion Attacks, Minion Attack Speed, and Cast Speed. Avoid buying expensive Jewels with Dex/Str or Resists, your Final Form should get all that from other gear.

~DON'T WEAR ANYTHING THAT ADDS FIRE OR COLD DAMAGE TO SPELLS, IT WILL RUIN YOUR ELEMENTAL EQUILIBRIUM~
If you're unsure, mouse over Ball Lightning's button. The tooltip will say if it deals any Fire or Cold.



Leveling up, this applies all throughout the campaign into White Maps.
Spoiler

The instructions are simple:

Put Summon Skeletons on a Totem in Act 1
Pick up SRS in Act 1 as well, then put it in a Reverberation Rod at level 24

and you'll cruise through everything. Drop the totem by the bad guys, it will start pumping out Skeles, and you can start pumping out Raging Spirits. The Totem will be a godsend with Izaru and any other boss with difficult mechanics.

You don't have much to worry about gear selection as you're leveling up. Prioritize Socket Links, Strength & Dexterity, Resists, Life, Cast Speed, and Move Speed on your boots. Feel free to hold onto some of the better uniques like Sidhebreath and Alberon's Warpath until you beat the campaign and need more Resistances.

Alternatively, you can use Zombies in place of Skeletons until you get Trigger-casting. They're usually less work but more problematic when they die during a fight.


Getting Built, this is when you need to focus on shopping and spending your currency well. What's most budget-friendly is shopping smart!
Spoiler

Complete the core build. Get your uniques and don't worry much about the stat rolls. Shop for the rares you need with 3 desirable stats (refer to the section above to plan your purchases). Don't forget to watch for open prefixes/suffixes for the crafts you need!
Here's an example of how to filter items on https://www.pathofexile.com/trade:



Get used to visiting poeaffix.net for reference. You can see what stats an item might have, then filter for 3 good stats. Shopping in this way keeps you from the situation where you need annoyingly specific stats from one last piece of gear.

Use every Jun encounter you can until you Unveil "Trigger a Socketed Spell when you use a Skill".

Buy corrupted, 20/20 gems. They're a by-product of people trying to make lv21 gems, so they're sold off cheap.

In general, you're keeping budget in mind while getting the essentials.


FINAL FORM - when you got the money to drop on big items to push that upper endgame. Shop for rares of the best base types with 4 desirable stats or more. Find good corrupted bonuses. Buy lv21/23% gems, or Awakened.
What's most important will be crafting your multi-mod Staff, which will cost you several Exalts. It'll be your biggest boost this whole time. See STAFF BUSINESS below.

STAFF BUSINESS
You're going to have to craft this staff. I recommend you do it as soon as you've Unveiled "Trigger a Socketed Spell when you use a Skill" from Jun's missions.

for Getting Built:
Spoiler

Essence craft
Buy a non-corrupted, ilv83 Staff that's already 5-link or 6-link, depending on what you can afford. 6-links get very affordable later in the League. Be sure it has 18% or 20% block chance. ilv83 is important because the highest tier of Cast Speed can be randomly rolled by that ilvl, but higher-level Staffs gain access to other rolls you don't need. Keep it as close to 83 as you can.
Make sure it's at 20% quality, then use Shrieking or Deafening Essence of Fears until you get something with a decent Cast Speed roll on it, like 30%. Make sure it has an open Suffix for Trigger-craft! "Trigger a Socketed Spell when you use a Skill" is like an essential Keystone for this build.
Lastly, make sure it does not add Fire or Cold damage to spells!
If you're low on currency, don't be afraid to settle for the bare minimum.
Consider paying someone you trust to craft Trigger-cast for you.



for Final Form
Spoiler

Multi-mod, multi-exalts cost
You need a good staff with no more than 2 prefixes and 1 suffix (hold Alt while moused over to see full details). The best prefix would be "+1 to Level of Socketed Gems", you can meta-craft that yourself but it would be extremely difficult to get any good 2nd or 3rd mod without blocking off crafts or getting Fire/Cold damage to spells. You may also shop for good stats, possibly risking Annulments to make room.
If you're willing to spend the extra on fusings, you may include non-6-links in your search and 6-link them yourself. This will likely be necessary to get the most desirable stats.
What's important is having a good base on which to craft "Can have up to 3 Crafted Modifiers", followed by "Trigger a Socketed Spell with you Use a Skill", and "+2 to Level of Socketed Support Gems".
The "+2 to Supports" requires that you farm Catarina, which will take some time (but be profitable).
Consider paying someone you really trust to craft +2 to Supports for you.
Don't skimp on anything with this staff, it's a huge investment that cannot be restored or replaced easily.

The result will be an incredible boon at the cost of around 4-6 Exalted Orbs, depending on luck.

Unfortunately, my POB link is still using my old Staff with full multi-mods on it. It's still possible to make something better, but very unlikely and extremely expensive.


SOME TIPS
Spoiler

Anything triggers the Skeletons, so you can initiate on packs with Desecrate + Flesh Offering and the Skeles will pop out ontop of them. If you already have Offering going, initiate with Ball Lightning instead.
Learn to use Flasks! You're a squishy boy and can't avoid all damage. Two healy potions are not enough, you want to be preemptively popping Taste of Hate and a second defensive Flask like Basalt, Ruby, or Topaz. This is something you just have to get used to over time.
Fights that you can prepare for are your specialty. Get to Skeleton and SRS limits before starting a Metamorph, opening a Strongbox, or while the stupid Shaper is talking.
For cannot regenerate health and mana maps, swap your modular flask slot with a Hallowed Hybrid Flask and Alt it to have "Flask Effect is not removed at Full Mana". It only checks Mana, so you'll have both regens flowing for full duration. You can clear any no-regen map if you keep that flowing, which you can do with a little practice.


If anyone is still wondering: No, Vaal Skeletons does not trigger-cast. It functions normally.


Thanks for reading! I'll be scrub-streaming this build this 3.9 league on dlive at https://dlive.tv/chocolatenoodle where I'd be happy to talk if you catch me online (I have a full-time job and such). Casuals rise up
Last edited by therealtoothman on Jan 7, 2020, 2:43:11 PM
Last bumped on Jan 7, 2020, 2:43:14 PM
How does the Inspiration interact with Desecrate or Flesh Offering?
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How does the Inspiration interact with Desecrate or Flesh Offering?
Just lowers the mana cost, which helps sometimes. Not essential.
Build updated:

No longer are Unset Rings highly recommended, it's too small of a difference even with +3 to be a priority. Vermillion Rings will likely be best-in-slot for Final Form.

Flame Dash with Faster Casting moved to Boots to include Desecrate and Flesh Offering with the Faster Casting

Some tips added to the bottom, I'm sure I'll add more over time
Last edited by therealtoothman on Jan 1, 2020, 5:31:11 PM
What about Tavukai for the amulet? Isn't the "Summoned Raging Spirits deal (60-80)% increased Damage" a good damage boost?
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Chekovsky wrote:
What about Tavukai for the amulet? Isn't the "Summoned Raging Spirits deal (60-80)% increased Damage" a good damage boost?
You can squeeze it in if you like, but it's not as big of a boost as you'd think because of the diminishing returns on "increased damage". I'm also not a fan of the passive Chaos Damage taken.

A good rare amulet can have so many other good stats you need like Life, Attributes, Resists, Cast Speed, Minion Movespeed craft, and even Physical Damage Reduction. You'd have to get even more stats out of your rings, which could be expensive.
Last edited by therealtoothman on Jan 4, 2020, 1:08:39 PM
"
"
Chekovsky wrote:
What about Tavukai for the amulet? Isn't the "Summoned Raging Spirits deal (60-80)% increased Damage" a good damage boost?
You can squeeze it in if you like, but it's not as big of a boost as you'd think because of the diminishing returns on "increased damage". I'm also not a fan of the passive Chaos Damage taken.

A good rare amulet can have so many other good stats you need like Life, Attributes, Resists, Cast Speed, Minion Movespeed craft, and even Physical Damage Reduction. You'd have to get even more stats out of your rings, which could be expensive.


Thanks! Tavukai was actually killing the SRS's before reaching 20 summons and triggering minion instability due the suicide. I'm using now a Jade Amulet like you suggested, so far so good.

Best regards.

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