[3.18]💀 666% Level 30+ Skelemages 💀 Open Sockets. Flexible.

Skellies only!

Get your Gem to Level 30, lean into Crits+Cast Speed, and voila - easy endgame. Depending on when you start the league, getting what you need could be pretty cheap.

Since it only relies on one skill, it has sockets to slip in some Zombies/Spectres/SRS/Golem if you want, while still having the DPS to handle Endgame content with a little bit of mechanical knowledge.

Can handle The Feared no problem.

Level 30 Summon Skeletons is:
•21 from Gem Level (corrupt)
•+5 from Global Modifiers (+2 Ascendancy, +2 Wand, +1 Ashes)
•+4 from Support (Empower + Awakened Minion Damage)

You can get over 30 by getting a +gem corrupt on the chestpiece. You get diminishing returns over 30, but not by a crippling amount.

SSF might be pretty painful since You Must Get The Jewel, Fleshcrafter, Level 3 Empower, Awakened Minion Damage.


Gear list is at the bottom of the guide.

GIFs:
Spoiler
Syndicate Safehouse Boss:

Summit:

Phoenix et al. - map movement to Q to move while swapping gems



Pros
•High damage, fantastic clear speed - run ahead of Breach runs
•All map mods viable
•Several defensive layers + minion taunt make sure you Don't Get Hit(tm). Aegis Aurora is GG
•2nd weapon set with Victario's Charity grants frenzy charges
•Single-Link Frost Bomb inflicts Exposure and mitigates regen
•Swap to Breathstealer to give you and your minions random Auras
•Has an open 4-link on boots or helm for some other minion skill or ability
•666% total increased damage lol:
Spoiler



Cons
•Bad placement can leave you left behind or vulnerable
•Diminishing returns after Skelly Level 30 (though 30 is plenty to work with)
•Bad chaos res; there are some things you have to work to avoid; reliant on mechanical knowledge on tough encounters
•Clear speed constrained to Skeleton spawn speed; at times you may feel like dead weight in some groups. See first Con
•RIP your CPU

•You Must Get The Jewel:


Passive Tree:

PoB Community Fork
Spoiler
*Please double check me for accuracy, thank you

https://pastebin.com/PuJqnNz3

Read notes to configure for curses, single-target, etc

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Build Overview/Playstyle
Spoiler
•Skelemages: Sling a pack of Skelemages in front of you, then run through the pack as they kill everything. Their projectiles travel offscreen, and when supported with Pierce they can clear maps easily. Your defensive layers can take a few hits but use a phasing flask for freedom of movement.

•Curse+Charge Generation: For longer fights and bosses: Vixen’s Entrapment with Assassin’s Mark increases critical chance, and also generates Power Charges. A second weapon set with Victario’s Charity+Holy Flame Totem generates frenzy charges. Then use self-cast Punishment, swap Pierce Support for Hypothermia Support and watch the boss disappear. Also RIP your CPU :)



•That’s Literally It: You have a few auras to protect yourself and a decent amount of block% from Bone Offering and Skill Tree. Commander of Darkness Ascendancy Skill makes it easier to cap resistances. My chaos% was laughably low, but thanks to flasks and hands-off Necromancer playstyle I could deal with a decent amount of stuff.

The build has an open 4-link, so if you want to add a Spectre/Zombie/SRS skill, by all means. I squeezed in a Frost Bomb for the Exposure and HP regen obstruction, which was helpful in some encounters.

As mentioned earlier, swapping to Breathstealer is fine at the cost of Assassin's Mark trigger, but gives you and your allies random Auras, which could be clutch in dense maps with a lot of Rares (Coward's Trial, etc)



Defensive Layers
Spoiler
•Tempest Shield, Block nodes on the Skill Tree, as well as Bone Offering+Ascendancy Skill give you close to Max Block%
•Determination for %physical reduction
•Several convenient shield nodes on the passive tree
•Bone Offering with Mistress of Sacrifice Ascendancy Skill gives easy block%
•This build is Aegis Aurora-approved
•Defiance Banner if you have the reservation
Freedom of movement!!! Necros have the privilege of being able to move freely while maintaining DPS.
•Cast When Damage Taken + Frost Wall + Quartz Flask with Used when you take a Savage Hit enchantment is nice in dense situations. If it gets annoying, level CWDT or replace it.


A savage hit is a hit that removes at least 15% of the target's maximum life. Damage to energy shield and mana are not counted toward the savage hit threshold.

CWDT Frost Wall GIF:
Spoiler
The left side completely blocked off. Projectiles pass through them too:


Campaign + Progression
Spoiler

Campaign: I followed Kay’s Minion Army Starter. I appreciate that the build was flexible enough for me to be able to choose Skellies for endgame when I obtained a Dead Reckoning jewel. Thanks Kay!

https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/3179145#p24300853

https://kaygaming.netlify.app/minionarmy.html ← I kept this open on another window as I made my way through.

I kept Holy Flame Totem on my build so I could use it with Victario’s Charity. Find or buy an Anomalous quality HFT for additional projectiles = more chance to Proc Victario’s. Placing a totem down before a Ritual or Breach will give full frenzy charges within a few seconds.


Gems+Skills
Spoiler

6Link:
•Vaal Summon Skeletons - Anomalous Quality can replace the effect of Blessed Rebirth
•Volley Support
•(Awakened) Spell Echo Support
•(Awakened) Minion Damage Support
•Pierce Support (Hypothermia Support for single-target - %more with hits is massive)
•Empower Support (Increased Critical Damage before you find an Empower)

Multiple Projectiles (GMP vs. LMP) vs. Volley
Spoiler
I prefer Volley because the high applied Gem Level makes it only 2% Less Projectile Damage. Compared to GMP’s 25% Less, it seems like an easy choice. I have PoB set up so you can swap between them. Skellies are summoned in a pack, so the projectile spread will still be wide. Also in my experience most of the GMP projectiles are gonna whiff or hit a wall. Volley is a great choice in Delve!


Open 4link:
It depends on what you want to do with your hands while you’re waiting for your Skellies to clear everything. I chose Unleash SRS because it gives me room to move and watch enemies while I wait for Unleash to generate seals.
•Summon Raging Spirit
•Unleash Support
•(Awakened) Minion Damage Support
•(Awakened) Multistrike Support
A well-supported Slave Driver Spectre is also a cool choice

Auras:
•Determination
•Zealotry
•Tempest Shield
•Defiance Banner
•Aspect of the Spider
*Depending on how you build reservation, the last two are optional. I have a Zealotry Reservation Enchantment on my helmet

Other Skills:

On 2nd weapon slot:
•(Anomalous Quality) Holy Flame Totem + Victario’s Charity
•Molten Shell on left click
•If you have enough unreserved mana for CWDT Immortal Call, go for it
•Low-level Cast when Damage Taken + Frost Wall (More useful than I originally thought)


Cluster Jewel Notables:
Spoiler
Blessed Rebirth - Your skellies will be able to spawn and fire off several waves of pack-clearing projectiles before they take any damage at all. Tank Shaper beams, Sirius fields.

Renewal - If I’m not mistaken, the double damage adds up with the Minion Offense notable below the Templar’s starting point. With Fleshcrafter’s protection, the effect can last a while. All those Skellies slinging all those projectiles…

It's possible to roll both of these as prefixes on a single Medium Cluster, saving you skill points to invest elsewhere if you want.


Flasks:
Spoiler

Nothing special. Quartz Flask is an amazing QoL, especially in Heist, and the Savage Hit Enchantment+CWDT Frostwall helps make sure I stay safe in a busy encounter. Two life flasks, because that's how I roll.


This is a fairly Unique-Centered Build:

To Dust - The effect stacks, so squeeze in as many as possible. I have three in my tree. This is an easy way to scale Skelemage cast speed, which means more chances to Crit, proc Double Damage, Inflict Ailments, etc. %Reduced duration is not that painful, thanks to the +duration from other parts of my build. However, on longer encounters, I might be a little Vaal Skelly-starved. Getting a Corrupted Blood implicit on one of these would be very nice.


Vixen’s Entrapment - I use self-cast Punishment with Assassin’s Mark in the gloves. The damage bonus from Punishment is pretty incredible. I have it set up in PoB.

Before you get a Fleshcrafter, Elemental Weakness is good.

Ancient Skull - Certainly not BiS by a long shot, but it helps scale skelly damage. Unfortunately The Whispers don't apply to cast speed, but the added damage is useful. A pack of high-level Vaal Skellies hearing The Whispers is a force.


Aegis Aurora + Determination = GG shield. An Archon Kite Shield is a solid choice too - Drox's Warlord influence has some nice Suffixes, like %Life on Block or +Minimum Endurance Charges.


Ashes of the Stars - Gem Level and Quality are useful and relevant on this build, so it seems like a no-brainer. I have it anointed with Death Attunement. Be careful anointing with Grave Intentions, as it could make your Fleshcrafter spawn your minions with >=50% Chaos Res = 0 Life.


Fleshcrafter - You’ve seen it a thousand times, here it is again. This will guarantee your skellies will tear through bosses, especially Pinnacle Atlas bosses who have 50% res. If you’re just mapping, though, you could probably do a Vis Mortis or a nice Armor/ES Chest. There are plenty of Chest modifiers that would give minion advantages that Fleshcrafter does not. Plus with Blessed Rebirth’s protection, the extra ES is irrelevant in some cases.


Fortress Covenant - There's a spot for it right below the Minion Offense Mastery on the left side of the tree:

Alberon’s Warpath…not! I swapped these out for a pair of Ward boots. I needed some attributes, so forget my 10th skelly. Heck, if I’m mapping, forget my 9th skelly and swap the Death Attunement anointment with something else. I only summon 8 in a pack anyway. On the other hand, Max Skelly # is a solid DPS increase, so if you find yourself lacking damage, consider putting these on. There is also a helmet craft for +1 Max Skelly/Zombie, and many Delve Minion modifiers benefit Skellies well.


From Dust…not! It’s fun to be able to summon an entire pack, and then you could swap out Spell Echo with some other support for some hard-hitting Skellies. In my case, though, the DPS trade-off was simply too great to lose that much cast speed from a To Dust jewel.


Convoking Wand:
•Get/Craft +2 on a Convoking Wand (search "All Minion" and "All Spell" on trade to find them)
•Everything else is icing on the cake (cast speed, resistance, life)
•Rolling a Deafening Essence is nice but is worse than a +gem mod
•Keep Desecrate and Lifetap at Level 1


Belt and Rings:
•This is your chance to build resistances and extra life
•I use two Vermillion Rings and a Stygian Vise with Resistance Catalysts
•I also have Aspect of the Spider on one ring - decent DPS increase

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Thanks for reading. I am neither a seasoned veteran nor a master buildmaker, but I figure I would just share what got me through all the content I wanted. There's some space to grow in a few directions, but this setup made the grind easy. During Sentinel League I might strike out and do a similar thing with a Femurs of the Saints instead. I'll become significantly more squishy, but maybe the playstyle change will be worth it. Wish me luck and good luck everyone!
Last edited by bubMagoo on May 24, 2022, 6:52:32 PM
Last bumped on May 16, 2022, 4:44:15 PM

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