[3.10] Volatile Dead Tankomancer | Facetank with eyes closed | Farm t16 while eating pizza*

The goal of this build is to be able to FACETANK as much content as possible while having okay-ish DPS and brain-dead right-mouse-button-is-all-you-will-ever-need-to-press (well, except for movement, ofc) play-style with huge AOE clears.
Or, in short, to be easy to play, cheap to gear and forgiving character you can play with one hand, while watching a movie and eating snacks, that can still do all content and clear at least moderately fast.
I think that goal was reached so I decided to share this build with you.
(English isn't my native language, so if you found spelling mistake you can pm me about it).



The core of the build is combo of Volatile Dead (VD), Desecrate, Poet's Pen, new and beloved Spellslinger gem and Corpse Pact necromancer notable.

Usually Poet's Pen isn't that great. Despite only 0.15 sec cooldown, that translate into 7 proc per second with at least some CDR, getting those 7 proc per second require 7 APS, which isn't HARD to reach, but isn't free either, taking resources from precious damage or life nodes. And below 6-7 APS poet's just doesn't work that good because spell in it is only 3 linked. And while +3 to spell level is good, lack of any %spell damage on Poet's, except base 15, hurt even more.

And there come corpse pact that problem with ease. 2% per consumed corpse doesn't look like much, but in practice APS easy goes to around 6 after 3-4 seconds of attacking. Keeping those AS stacks isn't hard both because VD clear off-screen and because character is really tanky, so dodging isn't something you should spend a lot of time doing.

But before this league this didn't work still, cause getting corpses for VD to explode was a huge problem, all options (dual Poet's, Scold, Kitava, etc) had huge downsides, that make it all too complicated to play for me. Buuuut here comes Spellslinger that solve all your corpse-generating problems and all for mere 28% reserved mana. Small cost to pay if you ask me.

And so together Spellslinger, Poet's and Corpse pact, along with Volatile Dead and Desecrate, create a beautiful combination that would easy carry you to through all game content. Just keep your finger pressing that right mouse button!

Life - 7869
Physical damage reduction - 35%+30k (44k with flask) armor
Resistances - 76 all elemental, 88 chaos, half of elemental taken as chaos (node on passive tree, changed by Glorious Vanity Jewel).
Block - 72/60 (75/70 with flask), 450 life recovered on block
Life recovery - 3k life gain on hit per second, 2100 leech + regen
Immunity to bleed, huge resistance to shock and freeze thx to big HP pool and half of elemental damage taken as chaos.

Pros and Cons


1)Tanky, just 1 button to press and main spell autotarget, so braindead. Also bleed immune, so no need to use antibleed flasks. You can as well ignore existence of your keyboard for 95% of content.

2)Cause of (1) you can eat, watch movie and grind at the same time! Multitasking for the win!

3)Can still do all content, including 100% delirium T16 (slow. boring. safe) and 20 wave simulacrum (no problem, but, again, boring, if for different reason)

4)Lag-proof. Lag all you like, play with 0.5 FPS and you'll still survive in most places.

5)Also facetank all* Sirus, Shaper and Elder can throw at you, except Sirus chaos storms ofc. For me it's a huge pros. Facetanking maze blasts feels great.(*except Shaper and Sirus ground degen zones. You'll probably need to flame dash out of them)

6)Can do all map modes! Yes, even ele reflect, for it you will just need to use lvl 1 VD in poet's and kill mobs with corpse explosion part of the spell. (damage from corpse exploding is independent of gem level and can't be reflected).


1)Low DPS, better now, with updates to build, but still around 2.8 mln Shaper DPS. Can be raised up to 4 mln Shaper DPS, but that will require big currency investment.

2)Still can sometimes be one-shoted and so require Molten Shell(and sometimes Vaal Molten Shell) to be pressed manually at selected few occasions like Sirus Maze Meteor.

3)Can get more or less expensive if you want to get 100% possible maximum from the build. Like my current budget is, probably, around 8-10 ex. Still way cheaper than many other end game builds, on the other hand.

Content this build is bad for
While this build is good for most "general" gameplay and can safely facetank and kill with moderate-to-good speed t16 maps, lvl 83 mastermind, simulacrum, red beasts, medium depth delve etc, etc there are few things it struggle with and I feel like I should warn possible followers beforehand about this.
1)Uber Elder. It IS hard. You can kill him, but it won't be easy. You will need good PC too to react in time. This fight exploit every build weakness. While you can tank shaper balls - and many other things - shaper ray will eat you alive, degen ground hurt, almost no time to stack-up decent attack speed to improve DPS, need to switch targets often. Overall - fight will be hard and not facetankable. You'll need to put off your pizza and use both hands for it. You will also need to remove Natural Affinity Cluster Jewel - it will hurt more than help there and take as many life flasks(blood of the Karui preferable) as you can.

2)(Uber)Atziri isn't a big problem by herself, even if you must dodge a bit, but her reflect clone is damn pain. Some VD balls will inevitably try to target it and then boom. You are dead cause of 100% reflect. So. Damn. Annoying.
(you can hold second poet's with VD lvl 1 socketed to not die to reflect, I guesse, and switch them mid fight - but that's, again, not braindead gameplay I like)

3)Blighted maps. This build, ofc, can do blighted maps, but it won't be AFK right click holding. You will need to actually use towers etc. No easy mod there, sadly.

4)Deep delving. Depth around 500-600 should be fine. Something like 5000-6000 isn't for this build. At all.

How to use PoB: download "Path of Building", install, click "Import/Export build", copy RAW text from pastebin, paste into field "To import build, enter you code here:" and click import. Or if that is too hard, go to my profile, click "Characters" -> DeadandExplody, and view the tree.


Simulacrum: https://youtu.be/ZksynDs-7s8
Blight T16: https://youtu.be/jf3fH1FS0y0

If you play this build and want to record video feel free to post it here!

Items and explanations
First - tree and ascendancy give huge amount of free resists, so we won't go for resist on gear all that much, except chaos res.

Head, body and boots belong to Brine King - or, at least, to crab-themed set. Craiceann's set is really good for tankiness - huge phys damage reduction, bleed immunity, some block and cannot be stunned. What's not to love? Gloves doesn't have life and so are bad. Bad, bad gloves.

Weapon - obviously Poet's Pen. It won't work otherwise. Don't even try!

Shield - Lionieye's Remorse. Big chunk of HP and armor there and more or less cheap. You can use rare with better stats and additional mods life life on block restoration if you have money.

- rare ones with chaos resistance, lightning resistance and life, cause Craiceann's set already take care of fire and cold res.

- rare one with cooldown recovery speed - as much as you can get, life and chaos and lightning resists - of free suffix to craft them

Rings - rares with life, chaos res, -mana cost of skills - cause free to use main attack is damn cool feature to have. You will need free suffix to craft +1 to minimum frenzy charges.

Amulet - Xoph's blood. Mostly for covered is ash debuff. Rare one could be good too.

Pick anything you like, really. Build isn't flask dependent (bleed immunity, so no corrupting blood, half of ele damage taken as chaos, so freeze isn't much of an issue). I prefer to have one life flask, just for emergency, Rumi's - for better VMS when I need it and to cap block, wise oak for fire pen and move speed flask. Cinderhallow is a good choice too.

Unique Jewels

Watcher's Eye with "# to armor while affected by Determination".

Glorious Vanity Timeless Jewel(Xibaqua)
Glorious Vanity will be unique to you, so buy a jewel, insert it, try to find a changed notable with #% increased Fire damage + # of Fire damage leeched as Life, if there no such notable appeared - sell it and buy new till you find that one that suits you.

Cluster Jewel.
We need one with "increased fire damage", "2 jewels sockets" and "Sadist" node. Preferably also with "% chaos resistance" per node.

Second one with Born of Chaos(88 maximum chaos res is good).

Natural Affinity unique jewel. It's often useless, but effect look cool, at least, and really boost char survival and DPS in 100% delirium, where bosses are so tough you could spend some minutes holding right mouse button just to kill them.

Gem order

Please be aware, that if the gem is Level 1 is written below, that literally means that gem with LEVEL 1 should be used to make build work.. If quality is 20 - that means that quality should be 20. (or 23).

[Poet's Pen] - Volatile Dead-Elemental Focus-Concentrated effect
[Body armor] - Cast When Damage Taken(1)-Wave of Conviction(1)-Curse on Hit-Flammability(21/0)-Blade Blast(1)
[Boots] - Cast When Damage Taken-Bone Offering-Tempest Shield-Molten Shell. (on this link you should hover on Cast when damage taken, and if all other gems are highlighted, then you have done everything ok).
[Helmet] - Determination-Enlighten(lvl 3 at least)-Flame Dash-Raise Spectre
[Gloves] - Barrage(1)-Greater Multiply Projectiles(1/20)-Life Gain on Hit-Combustion
[Shield] - Spellslinger-Spell Cascade-Desecrate

Some explanation behind it all

Those supports for VD were chosen cause they boost both the corpse explosion damage part and fire ball damage part of the spell. Since corpse explosion isn't affected by spell damage I used support that boost area and fire damage.
Barrage is attack of choice because of sustain. Barrage with GMP and life gain on hit offers so much nice sustain it will be stupid not to use it. Also helps greatly on no-leech maps.
Gems are assumed to be 20/20, but some are used at lvl 1 - like Barrage(1). Barrage - cause it cost less mana and require less dexterity, same with GMP, and CWDT because lvl 1 CWDT proc way more often.
Two cast when damage taken setups.. well, because I'm lazy and using more than 3 buttons - those on my mouse - is too much for me. Ofc all of those spells would work better when casted by hand.. but then build won't be so braindead, and braindead gameplay was a goal in the first place, even at the cost of some pure efficiency.
Raise spectre isn't something you will use often - or at all. I'll write about spectre trick later in the build. If you don't want to bother with that you can switch spectres for any other gem, like golem or summon holy relic or whatever else you want.

Bandits - kill them all. Do not tolerate organized crime!

Leveling - easy and fast once you get Spellslinger. Use smth like Arc(in Poet's) before that.


Well, Corpse Pact was mentioned earlyer, Mistress of Sacrifice is obvious(bone offering is really good to have on yourself) and Commander of Darkness, while mediocre, is still better than every other node left, so here we are..


Minor - Shakari with poison immunity is great. Tukohama isn't bad either since staying, spraying and praying is the core playstile, as is facetanking most things, and Tukohama was made for both
Major - nothing is required. Solaris is probably slightly better.

Tips, tricks and other misc info
Not much, really. Build is as simple in play as it can be, you press RMB to win and relax.
But still there is few things to tell anyway..

1) At tough bosses (Sirus etc) - keep shooting. Even when boss is immune to damage. Remember, it work like gattling gun, the more you shoot the faster you shoot. Stop for some second and you'll lose stacks - and with them damage and healing.
Sirus got you in his maze? Stay calm. Keep shooting. Yeah, he's immune to damage, keep shooting still. Use Molten Shell (not vaal one, normal one will be enough) right before meteor impact. And keep shooting.

2) (It's obvious, but kind of counter intuitive for many experienced PoE players, so probably should be mentioned). Learn to take a hit. You often want to be hit. It boost your damage. It triggers CWDT setups. Blocks heal you. Don't jump out of danger. Embrace it. Move as little as you can, shoot as often as you can. (except Uber Atziri. That girl know how to deliver a punch)

3) Spell damage is bad stat for you, it doesn't boost corpse explosion damage, only VD balls damage. Aoe damage, fire damage, elemental damage and minion damage are good, they work for both VD balls and VD corpse explosions. Take them over spell damage on jewels etc when you can.

4) Spectre Trick. More than half of your damage come from exploding corpses and depend of corpse life. That life depend on corpse level(=zone level with lvl 20 desecrate) and monster type. And while you can't really increase zone level you can influence monster type choice. By adding high health corpses, like Kitava Herald to desecrate pool of possible corpses you increase average corpse HP by adding chance of getting really high HP mob. To do that you simply need to bring spectres of that type into zone. I recommend Kitava Herald(act 10). They are easy to get and have really high life.
Spectre trick is not something you'll often use(too much work if you ask me, spending almost a minute to "prebuff" is kind of too much for fast-paced game like PoE). Still, if you want more damage for a8 sirus or uber elder or whatever you can use this trick.

To raise spectre easy, hold "A" on keyboard, hover over bodies, get one you needed highlighted, and then raise your spectre!

(1) - most popular one
Q: Wouldn't be better to use VD in spellslinger in 6 link? It will have more supports and so more damage!
A: Well, no, for many reasons
1)6 linked chest is expensive. Poet's is cheap.
2)6l SS reserve tons of mana. Mana you could reserve for smth better. Poet's is free in that regard.
3)You won't gain any damage anyway because of proc rate. Poet's can proc up to 6 times per second(0.15 CD), while SS - maximum 3, and that with helmet enchant and CDR belt. Also +3 to gem lvl in poet's is like "free" empower lvl4 as link. So it's pseudo 4 linked spell that proc 5-6 times per second vs 6 linked spell that proc 2.5-3. Then we rememver that one of that "6 links" is Spellslinger itself, that doesn't add that much damage, unless you have really great wand.. Well, you see, Spellslinger setup will hardly give more damage, while costing way more exalts and mana. I if there is no difference there is no reason to overpay.

(2) -
Q: My damage just isn't there. Is this build that bad or I'm doing something wrong? / How can I improve my damage?
A: Both, really. Build doesn't have really high damage, 3 mln Shaper DPS max. I know it's low by today standards. But many, who asked that question, don't have even that cause they make simple, but common mistakes.
1)Not lvled desecrate. Corpse explosions is like half of build's damage so having good corpses is really important - and so is lvl 20 dsecrate for high tier maps.
2)Too much moving. Listen to Karui wisdom! "Utter trust in your defences can unleash unlimited potential", "Don't flinch. It's a waste of good hitting time.". Dodge as little as you can, shoot as much. Build can facetank 99% of content. Use that.
3)Mess up in CWDT setups. Like in chest curse need to be high lvl and CWDT need to be low lvl, preferably lvl 1, otherwise it won't work
4)Not anough Cooldown Recovery Speed. You need at least 14% for it to do smth. Anything belov that won't do anything, anything above 14% will be as good as 14, unless you get it to around 30%. I can't provide you with math behind this, sorry, found that number via experements.

Q: How about surrender? Isn't it better than Lioneye's?
A: It is, most of the time. It provide more armour and more recovery on block. Surrender is good. But Lioneye's have it's good sides too - more life(around 300-350 more life after all % increased) and is cheaper. If you have money - buy both, use Lioneye's for bosses with Big Oneshot Moves and Surrender for, well, everything else. If you don't... use Lioneye's since is's simply cheaper.

Q: I want to AFK T16 Blighted maps the same way you AFK Simulacrum. Is this possible?
A: No, you will not be able to AFK T16 Blighted maps, like people with specialized Blight builds with budget over 150 EXA on Youtube. But you can still casually play T16 Blighted maps with basic knowledge how the towers work.

How to improve build if you have extra currency
If you want to get every last drop out of the build and have extra ex to spend there are some ideas how to do that.
First - helmet enchant. VD consume one additional corpse will be hard to get, but it really add damage. Around 15% more DPS to be presize.
Second - 6 link in body armour. If you can get 6-linked chest you can add some nice addition to CWDT setup, like blind, culling strike.. or even second curse, life enfeeble or elemental weakness, if you can get lvl 5 awakened curse on hit
Then, ofc, awakened gems. They are just better. Except spell cascade. Awakened spell cascade isn't better than normal one.
Well, that's all, actually. Core items are moderately priced uniques, nothing to improve here, sorry.

(*Good pizza is expensive and can be unhealthy in large quantity. I, actually, advise to use lighter(and cheaper) snacks like chopped carrots.)
Last edited by TwiceBorned on May 1, 2020, 10:40:34 AM
Last bumped on Feb 19, 2022, 8:48:20 PM
Your setup looks interesting. I'm going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.
The Lab, making a great game good since 2016.
Updated POB, added flasks. Slightly remade tree for better life(almost 7900) and re-crafted rings for better damage(8% more thx to 2 constant frenzy charges). Now character is, I think, complete and as good as she can be with this build. If someone have any questions feel free to ask)
I am leveling a new character using your guide with some customization. The animation of attack and playstyle is really interesting. Thank you for sharing.

I wonder if it would be better to use faster attack support to barrage instead of accuracy. I don't how much the life gain rate will be lowered in endgame mapping, but this would raise dps quite a lot because this also increase the trigger rate of the other two skills.
chowie01 wrote:

I wonder if it would be better to use faster attack support to barrage instead of accuracy. I don't how much the life gain rate will be lowered in endgame mapping, but this would raise dps quite a lot because this also increase the trigger rate of the other two skills.

With corpse pact you always have anough attack speed to consume corpses you generate. Build is limited by desecrate cooldown(in spellslinger) and so speed it can generate corpses, cause the more you consume the faster you attack, until you attack(and so consume corpses by VD) so fast you consume faster than you generate(and there growth stop). So no need for faster attack once you complete your 3-rd lab, but you can, ofc, use it before that.
Accuracy can be exchanged for blind, culling strike etc on the other hand if you want.
Last edited by TwiceBorned on Apr 13, 2020, 5:25:41 PM
With corpse pact you always have anough attack speed to consume corpses you generate. Build is limited by desecrate cooldown(in spellslinger) and so speed it can generate corpses, cause the more you consume the faster you attack, until you attack(and so consume corpses by VD) so fast you consume faster than you generate(and there growth stop).

thank you for explanation.
looks interesting. how is the clear speed on t14-t16 ?
Dhula wrote:
looks interesting. how is the clear speed on t14-t16 ?

Can't properly judge since I'm not "fast" player myself and play in "cool and relaxed" mode most of the time. Can chat in global half of the map or forget about game and go make a tea(at least build allow me to do it in the middle of the pack without problems. Main reason I build THAT tanky tbh. Also to alt-tab when play from work.)
Can say that damage is there and that damage auto-aim(VD) but still need to stop and attack a bit, can't clear on the move like some bow builds with mirrage archer or winter orb etc. (unless you have some VD balls left from previous pack that will just explode next one when you flame dash close to it)
Last edited by TwiceBorned on Apr 13, 2020, 6:15:23 PM
What do you think about this cluster jewel? Seems like it might fit the build?

Prismatic Heart is 10% to all resists and 30% increased elemental damage
Widespread Destruction is 10% AoE and 20% increased elemental damage

The Lab, making a great game good since 2016.
Last edited by Bowman8763 on Apr 13, 2020, 9:08:13 PM
Bowman8763 wrote:
What do you think about this cluster jewel? Seems like it might fit the build?

Prismatic Heart is 10% to all resists and 30% increased elemental damage
Widespread Destruction is 10% AoE and 20% increased elemental damage

Sadist is important to have because this build both shock, chill and ignite, so Sadist give 60% increased elemental damage, more than any other node. Also 2 jewel sockets in jewel are must have. Best second big bassive would be Doryani's Lesson for leech until you can get Glorious Vanity that will corrupt one of the passives around(Arcanist Dominion preferably) into fire leech node.
(ignite from barrage and WoC, chill and shock thx to Corpse Pact "enemies near corpses you created recently are chilled and shocked")

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