[3.14] Ultra-Tanky Aura God, Zombie Summoner


We have watched our Zombie-mancers fall patch after patch, and Ultimatum was no different. Using old meta builds I watched level 30 Zombies be slain mercilessly in higher map Ultimatums, and as they fell I feared there was no hope left for our once-great class. However...

Years ago I posted a build that would try to change everything, but it was fairly criticized for being too difficult to itemize for, and for giving far more defenses that would ever be necessary in 3.09. It faded into obscurity, and I believed I would never need to call upon its kind: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/2746999

When you're the King of all meta builds, why change the formula? We change the formula as we are Kings no longer. That the only way we can dominate in 3.14 is to build anew. Items have to change, gems have to change, and after hours of PoB work this resurrected build is complete.

In response those criticisms, I calmed down the requirements for this build considerably. 5L instead of 6L chestpiece, cheaper jewel requirements, etc. This new variant costs less than 1/5th as many exalts as the old build and should be far more attainable by an average Exile. In exchange, this build no longer hits the 90% phys res cap, but it actually deals more damage than ever before.

The God of All Summoners has returned, Exile.

Path of Building: https://pastebin.com/AcZSAYYR {Level 92 Necromancer}


2h Weapon: 6L Rare Imperial Maul Gives 10% increased strength implicit. Craft +1 soc gems, +104% minion damage, multicraft, +2 soc support gems, and +28% minion attack/cast speed. Saqawal's Nest also doubles the effect of Aspect of the Avian, so a "Grants Level 20 Aspect of the Avian Skill" prefix will also offer a lot of value to this weapon. Aspect of the Avian will increase your mana reservation but options to offset this include anointing Charisma, corrupting gems with -1% reserved mana, and taking the Champions of the Cause node.

Helm: 4L The Baron Unchanged

Body Armour: 5L Saqawal's Nest with at least 9% reduced reserved mana. Corrupted jewels with -1% reserved mana can help offset further costs. Unlinked socket is for Vaal Summon Skeletons.

Gloves: 2L Grip of the Council We no longer need the nerfed Shaper gloves.

Boots: 4L Alberon's Warpath Unchanged

Amulet: Aul's Uprising Has either Pride reserves no mana, or Determination reserves no mana. Doesn't matter which. Anoint with Death Attunement

Rings and Belt: Rares One ring must be unset with a red socket, +3 to socketed gems in optimal. Your free aura (Pride or Determination) goes in this socket. Best belt has life and % all attributes. Minor fire and chaos resistance can help, but our gear and passives take care of our resists almost completely.


7 jewel sockets in this build. With 9-10% reserved on Saqawal's Chestpiece you do not need any -1% reserved mana corruptions.

2x Efficient Training Standard for high strength witch builds.

1x Thread of Hope (Medium Ring) Let's us save a ton of skill points at the top of the tree.

1x Abyss Jewel with Minions Leech Life Leech Life is critical, other stats you choose are just bonuses.

3x Free Choices I chose a Watcher's Eye with "+48% to Chaos Resistance while affected by Purity of Elements." I also added a Brawn for even more strength, and an Inertia at the bottom of the tree to convert agility nodes into Strength.


2h Weapon (6L): Raise Zombie - Multistrike - Impale - Minion Damage - Melee Physical Damage - Empower

Helmet (4L): Raise Spectre - Animate Guardian - Minion Life - Meat Shield - Maim

Gloves (2L): Flame Dash; Convocation; Summon Carrion Golem - Feeding Frenzy

Boots (4L): Cyclone - Cast while Channeling - Spirit Offering - Desecrate

Body Armour (5L): Vaal Summon Skeletons; Purity of Elements - Dread Banner - Pride (or Determination) - Vaal Grace - Enlighten

Ring (1L): Determination (or Pride)

Talents and PoB Stats

A lot is happening in this build to achieve such high physical damage reduction. Determination + Grace + Purity of Elements + Spirit Offering make our minions unstoppable in high tiers, but importantly for our own 'unstoppability' is that the keystone Iron Reflexes converts our evasion rating into armour. This gives us a colossal boost to phys survival that allows us to face-tank hits and not really care.

Unwavering Stance keystone gives us stun immunity at the cost of being unable to evade attacks. This works out nicely since Iron Reflexes already gives us 0 evasion, so it's effectively free stun immunity.

Vaal Grace gives us and our minions (and party) a temporary boost to attack and spell dodge chance for when a whole lot of spells are in play, and we primarily rely on flasks to boost block chance. Vaal Summon Skeletons also comes in handy as it puts so many bodies around that many spells are physically blocked by your allies.

Saqawal's Nest gives us 30-40% Lightning Resistance, Grip of the Council gives +20-40% Cold Resistance, we get 30% elemental resistance from Commander of Darkness, +28% elemental resistance from Purity of Elements, +12% chaos resistance from Alberon's Warpath, +40%-50% chaos resistance from Watcher's Eye, and +15% to all resistances (including chaos) from Spirit Offering....
All of this + our talents take a huge burden off of our rare rings and belt needing many resists at all. A little crafted fire and/or chaos res is all we need to hit the res cap, allowing us to focus on big-ticket life and strength jewelry.

Chaos resistance with gear + Watcher's Eye + Spirit Offering reaches around 50% with this setup, which is already more than most non-CI setups will reach. 75% chaos res is reached using an Amethyst Flask.

Blood of the Karui and Rumi's Concoction are excellent flasks in this build, however magic life flasks are already plenty.

The PoB skill tree reaches 582k DPS per zombie at lvl 92, but for you power levelers you can skill the Bannerman and Champion of the Cause passives to further boost your impale and auras to 633k DPS per zombie at level 97. Champion of the Cause + corrupted jewels also makes it possible to fit an additional aura of your choice into a 6L Saqawal's Nest.

Sanctum of Thought is an amazing major passive that gives -20% curse effect and -20% damage received from critical strikes, and makes a huge difference in our survivability.

Question for the PoE Community

I haven't tested this yet, but consider this. Cyclone + Dread Banner gives our Cyclone the ability to stack Impale on a target, and our skill tree passes by the "The Impaler" keystone. That keystone causes our Impales to Impale in an AoE and instantly stack targets to maximum impales. It then says that we cannot re-impale the target again for 4 seconds after this occurs, but it says nothing about our Zombies impales. Does anyone know if Zombies are excluded from that effect of the keystone passive? It seems like Cyclone + The Impaler + Dread Banner could be a colossal DPS increase waiting to be abused.

Thank you for your patience, Exile.

Last edited by Xeratule on May 1, 2021, 9:21:38 PM
Last bumped on May 1, 2021, 2:25:52 PM
This second post is about how far we can push this build.

Once you have achieved the numbers in this build you might be asking yourself how much further you can go:

Bonus 35% reserve Aura https://pastebin.com/CjkFciVm

If you upgrade your Saqawal's Nest to a 6L with a perfect 10% reduced mana reservation, Anoint your amulet with Charisma, take the Champions of the Cause passive, and corrupt 2 of your 7 jewels with -1% reservation of skills (Inertia and Efficient Training are the lowest risk) your reduced reservation will be high enough to swap in a 35% reserved mana gem!

Our Best Choices are Flesh and Stone (766k eDPS per Zombie) and Summon Skitterbots (714k eDPS per Zombie). This does mean losing Death's Attunement, however, so keep that in mind.

Bonus 50% reserve Aura https://pastebin.com/qspQBYFT

This one is a little more difficult as you'll now need to corrupt 3 of your 7 jewels with -1% reservation and re-route your passives a bit, but clever use of a Large Radius Thread of Hope lets us grab both Constitution and a Reduced Reservation node, while saving points on the health nodes next to Constitution. We also gain +1.7% health regeneration but will lose some health in the process. Here are the eDPS numbers for each viable 50% reserve aura:

Haste: 720k eDPS
Vaal Haste: 848k eDPS
Anger: 664k eDPS
Hatred: 744k eDPS
Wrath: 664k eDPS

The only thing that competes with Flesh and Stone is Vaal Haste, making this the only option for players who want mobility and a big damage spike on command. Otherwise stick with Flesh and Stone. This is also an alternative way to get Determination + Pride together if you are having trouble acquiring your Aul's Uprising amulet.

Animated Guardian Gear https://pastebin.com/PtGVxBfz

I've attached the following to the Ghastly Eye Jewel in the build to artificially trigger these bonuses in PoB, though not all of them work. 911k eDPS
Nearby Allies have Fortify
Nearby Allies have +50% to Critical Strike Multiplier
Nearby Allies have Culling Strike
Nearby Allies have 30% Increased Item Rarity
---Victario's Flight---
10% Increased Movement Speed for You and Nearby Allies
---Garb of the Ephemeral---
Nearby Allies' Action Speed Cannot Be Modified to Below Base Value
Nearby Enemies cannot deal Critical Strikes
---Leer Cast---
You and nearby allies gain 15% increased damage

Mask of the Stitched Demon is preferred over Leer Cast due to the colossal regeneration it provides, however Leer Cast was used in this example to show roughly how much damage a fully geared Animated Guardian can add. 890k eDPS without Leer Cast.

Under construction
Last edited by Xeratule on May 1, 2021, 4:57:31 PM
Why not just go withStone Golem?
Why not just go withStone Golem?

Wouldn't stone golem just get evaporated? Our mana pool is very small after all of the auras so we wouldn't be able to resummon it in combat. Even then, 105 health/second is negligible when zombies are getting slapped for thousands per second.

Also the quality bonuses from Stone Golem are not applied to Zombies.

Last edited by Xeratule on May 1, 2021, 2:49:57 PM

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