[3.15] Nay's Exploding Zombies - 7.5k+ AoE heal per cast, unique off meta playstyle


Hello everyone!
Here's a fun build idea that came into my mind at 1am after thinking about the Unique item Aukuna's Will, and I immediately when on PoB to experiment things, and now I'm leveling with it and see how much content I can clear.

DISCLAIMER : Build might not be excellent or that optimized. However, I'm currently clearing T16 maps without much effort, except needing to play a little safe for Expeditions.

3.16 Update : We lost Unleash cluster, pathing is a little weird and Minion Damage Mastery is basically useless for us. Intuitive Link could be nice to cast stuff for us by putting it on one of our Spectre. Overall build is still fine, but it lost a bunch of damage unfortunately... won't try it this league unless I get some currency to get going. Haven't taken care of Scourged modifiers, could be spicy and fix the damage issues maybe. I DO NOT recommend to league start with this haha.

Sirus A8 : seems doable if you know how to dodge, but I failed him on last phase :(

Videos
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Here's a few videos recorded, feel free to ask for more of them if you wish to see a specific one!

- https://youtu.be/SaWon9UmQcU Atziri (lvl 73)
- https://youtu.be/RorNkPCnDeo Amanamu, Liege of the Lightless (Monster Level 75)
- https://youtu.be/6rBDTpnKa54 A5 Al-Hezmin
- https://youtu.be/99d0lnRYrQU lvl 86 rare logbook

PoB
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Here's my current PoB, there's an item set for the budget version and one for a high budget also included

Also added a tree + item set for my current character if you want to compare.
https://pastebin.com/5uaDEv1r
3.16 Tree : https://pastebin.com/84BzepQd

Take note that for the DPS, we use Unleash to spawn 5 zombies at once instead of just one


Pros/Cons
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[+] Fun to play, exploding zombies are nice
[+] Character looks good without MTX
[+] Pretty budget, can reach a ton of damage with less than 2ex, most uniques items are rarely used ones
[+] 1 button playstyle, 2 if we count the brand for curse / culling strike
[+] Over 7500 AoE healing per cast, good for sustaining other minions and party play
[+] Big single target damage !
[+] Burning Ground DoT for tougher enemies
[+] Reflect ? What's that


[-] Not very tanky, 0% block, dodge and evade, minions tank a lot of it for you
[-] Decent AoE clear,but does NOT clear the full screen in one cast
[-] A lot of unique items, so it's harder to get resistance capped
[-] Difficult SSF/League start viability, as we're using a lot of uniques and replica ones
[-] Limited Hardcore viability
[-] Aurabot with Purity of Fire / Anyone who consumes corpes breaks the build

Build Concept
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We're using Replica Earendel's Embrace with Infernal Legion Support and Maligaro's Lens to make sure our Zombies die before having time to move. We can reach aover 150k Zombies HP (80k with budget version), which means 50k base damage with Minion Instability, 36k Burning Ground damage thanks to Replica Siegebreaker and 1.5k healing to Nearby allies with Maligaro's Lens + Necromantic Aegis per Zombie.

We use Aukuna's Will for more Zombie life and to make them count as corpse and not require corpse, which mean we can summon them anywhere.

How you play the build : Cast the zombies on top of the pack/boss you're trying to kill. This will spawn 5 zombies when we're at maximum Unleash seals, and they will shortly explode after, spreading Burning ground, dealing damage with Minion Instability and healing for a lot each time one of team die.

We also have Storm Brand to curse with Flammability and for Elemental Equilibrium, as it only deals Lightning Damage.

Defenses
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Even without block / evasion / dodge in our build, character is not as squishy as it sounds :

- If we use it, The Jinxed Juju makes us take 10% less damage from hits as those are taken on our Spectres instead.

- Good amount of Ward

- Plaguebringer makes Enemies deal 10% reduced damage

- over 7.5k healing per ability cast, which mean we get basically full hp less than 1 second after casting our Zombies.

- We use Flesh and Stone (Sand stance) to take less damage and blind enemies, Defiance Banner with Granite + Jade Flasks gives a okay amount of armour / evasion and Vitality gives a base health regeneration.

- A bunch of life as we're basically only taking life / minion life / strength nodes in the skill tree.

- Bone Armour makes us Immune to Bleeding and can take a bunch of damage basically all the time, as it's on the walk button.

- Bunch of Defensive spectres / minions can take projectiles for you.

Bandits/Ascendancy/Pantheon
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Bandits
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Alira if you need resistances, else kill all for +2 Passives.

Ascendancy
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We're taking the Necromancer ascendancy, and we take these nodes in order :

- Mindless Agression

- Bone Barrier (Bone Armour, more Physical Damage Reduction, 20% more minion Maximum Life)

- Plaguebringer (Our Zombies count as Corpses thanks to Aukuna's Will, so they always get Plaguebringer bonus damage / Enemies near deal reduced damage)

- Corpse Pact (More Zombie HP, and Chill / Shock enemies)

Pantheon
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Major : Soul of Lunaris for more Physical Damage Reduction and especially for Avoiding Projectiles that have Chained, which can be deadly because our minions take a lot of them.

Minor : Soul of Gruthkul for more tankiness


Gear
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Current Gear
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Weapon / Offhand
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Replica Earendel's Embrace is mandatory to make our zombies die faster and to make them cover Enemies in Ash. Try to look for a better roll on the % Maximum Life taken per second


Maligaro's Lens is also mandatory for the -50% to all Elemental Resistances and the 1% of Zombies Life Recovered when they die. Don't equip it until you get the keystone Necromancer Aegis

Chest
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Skin of the Loyal is basically BiS with the +1 to Level of Socketed Gems and the 100% Increased Global Defences. You can even go with a +1 to Level of Socketed Gems corrupt if you have currency to use. The only downside is that you can't change the sockets colors. Our Zombies benefit a LOT from gem levels, which makes it very good.


Dialla's Malefaction is really useful, as it's basically a budget version of Skin of the Loyal with its red sockets. Try if possible to get 6 red sockets, but a few green ones is fine too (the order of importance for the +1 gem levels is told in the gems section).


If you're on a budget (Empower is the pricy item, Dialla's Malefaction 6l is pretty cheap), you can go for a Rotting Legion. It gives Meat Shield Support, which makes Zombies takes a little less damage, but also deal a lot more damage when they're near you.

Helmet / Boots
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The Baron gives +2 levels to our Animate Guardian / Raise Spectre gems, and also gives more life to our Zombies. If you can get an enchantment, the best one is "Raised Zombies deal 40% Increased Damage".


For the boots, there is no required uniques, so we take Two-Toned Boots with a lot of resistances / life to put our resistances at the maximum.

If resistances aren't that much of a problem, the best is going with boots with a lot of Ward, especially if we're using Skin of the Loyal which doubles it. If you have a lot of currency to waste, the best would be going with Elder influenced ones with +1 to Level of all Spectre gems, which combined with a level 21 Raise Spectre would make us able to have a 4th Spectre.

Gloves
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Aukuna's Will is mandatory for this build. It gives a lot of Life to our Zombies, make them count as Corpses and also make them no require any Corpses. It's a very cheap item, so I managed to get those almost max rolled with +2 Level of Curse gems (we have Flammability socketed on them) for like 15c.

Rings
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We use our rings slots to get more life and elemental resistances that we need. If possible, a delve suffix for "Minions deal #% increased Damage is a nice boost to our damage. Craft is free, but Non-Channelling Skills have -# to Total Mana cost can feel great, especially if you reserve a lot of your mana.

Amulet
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The Jinxed Juju gives us Aura/Curse effect and make it that 10% of damage from hit we takes are taken on our Spectre instead. We anoint Utmost Might for more strength, which means more Life for us and our Zombies.

A rare amulet with +1 to Level of All Intelligence Skill Gems would make it easier to cap resistances and add more life to our build, while giving more damage, at the cost of the 10% of damage taken from hits redirected to our Spectres.

Belt
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Replica Siegebreaker is really good, thanks to the 24% of Minion Life taken as Fire Damage over Time from Burning Ground. DO NOT FORGET to quality it with Elemental Damage Modifiers (Turbulent Catalysts) as it gives a 4% of Minion Maximum Health bonus damage, even if it doesn't show on Path of Building.

Jewels / Cluster Jewels
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We socket 2 Efficient Training to boost our strength, as we have enough intelligence for our gems anyway.

We also have 2 other jewels sockets left, which we use to socket rare abyss jewels with "Minions Have #% Increased Maximum Life" and "+# to Maximum Life", which boost our life and our minion damage.

At last, we use a Medium Cluster Jewel with "Added Small Passive Skills Grant: Minions have 12% Increased Maximum Life" with Hulking Corpses (25% increased maximum minion life" and Life from Death "increased maximum minion life and life regeneration)

Flasks
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Panic Life Flask if needed.

Starlight Chalice gives increased effect of our Shock, Restore our Ward and gives +400 Ward instead of +200 thanks to Skin of the Loyal.

Other 3 Flasks are Quicksilver, Granite and Jade ones. Quicksilver for movement speed, Granite and Jade for more defenses. Don't forget to get one of them anti-freeze (of Heat) with Enchant "Use when you become Frozen)


Gems / Links
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Main 6l : Raise Zombie - Empower - Minion Life - (Anomalous) Infernal Legion - Unleash - Concentrated Effect/Increased Area of Effect
We use Unleash to cast 4 Zombies at the same time for the cost of one. Infernal legion is needed for them to take damage.
For the order of importance in Dialla's Malefaction, Gems you need to put in red sockets are : Raise Zombie -> Empower -> Minion Life -> Unleash -> Concentrated Effect/Increased Area of Effect -> Infernal Legion.
On higher budget, prioritize getting level 21 Raise Zombie and level 4 Empower.
On lower budget, replace Empower with Combustion.
Increased Area of Effect is for clearing, while Concentrated Effect is for dealing more damage on single target.

Bone Armour : Just put it on the walk button for it to activate as often as possible

Helmet 4l : Animate Guardian - Raise Spectre - Meat Shield - Minion Life
For spectres, I use : "They of Tul (gives Dodge chance)", "Hairy Bonecruncher (cast Enduring Cry, taunting Enemies)" and "Undying Evangelist (Proximity Shield)
Animate Guardian items :
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Get as much % Maximum Life on items if possible


Support 4l : Storm Brand - Hextouch - Flammability - Culling Strike
Use on bosses / tougher monsters, as it curse the enemies and also use our Elemental Equilibrum for a bonus -50% to fire resistance.

Aura 4l : Clarity - Defiance Banner - Flesh and Stone (Sand Stance) - Vitality
Clarity is needed because of our high mana cost for Zombies. If you don't have enough mana, just don't use Vitality for now.

CwDT 3l : Cast when Damage Taken - Convocation - Frost Wall
Convocation brings our Zombies close to us to heal us / bring other minions to tank damage. Frost Wall blocks projectiles.

Other gems : Flame Dash - Vaal Summon Skeletons - Portal
Vaal Summon Skeletons can be used to tank more damage and serve as a shield.


If you have any questions / comments, feel free to post them there,
whisper me in game : @Zomboomyati
or on discord : Nayati#3132

Stay sane exile!
Last edited by Nayati150 on Oct 18, 2021, 10:52:31 AM
Last bumped on Oct 21, 2021, 8:19:50 AM
Nice build idea, really.
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Vetrinus wrote:
Nice build idea, really.


Thanks ! It's a pretty fun build overall, and there's a bunch of optimizations left (for example, I just added a Cluster Jewel and Ward based defenses, and boosted our Zombies Maximum Life to over 150k). It's also the only selfcast exploding Zombies build I could find haha, Aukuna's Will has unused potential, it be with Infernal Legion / Minion Instability or with Detonate Dead.
Last edited by Nayati150 on Sep 5, 2021, 10:33:22 AM
The explosion damage is huge compared to thr skeleton bomb i am playing...cool
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realm9thfeb wrote:
The explosion damage is huge compared to thr skeleton bomb i am playing...cool


It is ! The explosion damage scales off Minion health, and it's easier to get a lot of health on zombies instead of skeletons. However, it's easier to spawn a bunch of skeletons / make them die than with Zombies.

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