[3.7] Zombiemancer Summoner Build Guide – Path of Exile: Legion
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[3.7] Zombiemancer Summoner Build Guide – Path of Exile: Legion

August 22, 2019

Hello and welcome to another Path of Exile
build guide! If you dream of commanding a small army of
minions whose sole purpose is to do your bidding and outdo each other in killing monsters,
then you’ve come to the right place! Sit back, relax and let the minions do all
the work while you pick up loot and admire the scenery. While usually summoner builds are known to
be rather complicated, Clooney’s Zombiemancer is one of the easiest to play and at the same
time boasting excellent DPS and survivability. Here’s the high level breakdown of the build’s
capabilities: One of the most powerful summoner builds of
any kind out there! Once you have the 7 empowered zombies out
they will obliterate everything in their path. They are equally effective at quickly clearing
large packs of mobs as well as killing bosses all the way up to Uber Elder. Your minions are incredibly resilient, being able to facetank pretty much
everything thrown at them. They have very large health pools, capped
resistances and huge amounts of life regen, so even in the toughest fights it will be
enough to pull them back for a second or two in case they are in grave danger. The build is designed to be very easy to play
without having to cast specific sequences of spells or combos that are generally the
staple of summoner builds. After summoning your small army, pretty much
everything after that is automated. While it requires quite a few mandatory uniques,
they’re all common ones which are really cheap even in the first few days of a new league. As such it’s a more than decent starter build
which can be easily funded as you progress through the game. End-game min-maxing and best in slot items
with very high affix rolls will be expensive, but I did manage to kill the Shaper with a
5-link and all my gear costing less than 2 exalts in total. With proper investment and a bit of practice
you will be able to clear all the content in the game. However there are two map modes that you should
avoid as they will cripple the build too much: physical damage reflect will kill your zombies
quick and no mana regen makes it impossible for you to cast anything as your mana pool
is very small. This being said, let’s see how you go about
getting all that. The guide is divided into seven main sections:
build overview, passive tree and leveling, ascendancy, pantheon, gems and links, gear
flasks and jewels and finally “pros & cons”. In the video description below you will find
a link for importing the entire build guide in the “Path Of Building” tool. It includes the passive tree broken down into
level brackets, example gear and a detailed “Notes” section on gearing, stats priorities
and gems. With that out of the way, it is time to lay
out the build overview. The build revolves around summoning zombie
minions and then using specific pieces of gear, auras and other minions to greatly buff
them. Zombies are a permanent type of minion, meaning
they do not expire, nor have a limited duration and they persist when changing zones. However they do not survive logging out and
will have to be re-summoned when coming back online. As the skill description indicates it, summoning
a zombie requires a corpse which can belong to a dead monster or created by using a spell
such as Desecrate. The level of the corpse, the map where it
was created or the monster it belonged to have absolutely no influence on the resulting
zombie – its stats depend strictly on the gem level as well as the support gems and
other buffs. By default the zombies use a standard attack
and and area of effect Slam, both dealing physical damage. As such, most support gems that affect attacks,
physical damage or area of effect can be used to support the zombie gem and in turn the
summoned minions themselves. For example when using “Ruthless” support
gem every third attack of each zombie will be a Ruthless Blow, dealing more damage. Normally you are able to summon only 3 zombies,
but through several passives, Necromancer ascendancy and The Baron helmet we will increase
that to 14. We then reduce that number to 7 zombies but
which will deal twice as much damage by using Mon’Tregul’s Grasp sceptre. This weapon also provides huge defenses bonuses
for the zombies as well as causing any enemies killed by them to explode dealing fire damage
to other nearby monsters. That generally causes a huge chain reaction
which will clear entire packs in a split second. As you can likely deduce from the Baron’s
description, in order to significantly increase the maximum number of zombies you will need
to stack a large amount of Strength at least 1200 to be more precise. This is a completely realistic number that’s
not too difficult to achieve while still maintaining very solid defenses and utility. The helmet also grants half of your strength
to all minions, in turn boosting their HP and physical damage. Moreover, when you get 1000 Strength, 2%
of the damage dealt by the zombies is leeched to you as life. This is an excellent defensive mechanism which
will help you survive through a lot of incoming damage. You then capitalize on that Strength
to obtain a huge amount of Energy Shield through items such as Geofri’s Sanctuary
or Shaper’s Touch gloves. All in all you will end up with over 6000 HP
and 5000 Energy Shield. In addition you will make use of several other
minions such as Spectres, Animated Guardian, Stone Golem and Holy Relic which act as buff
bots that will further increase the zombies’ DPS as well as defenses. Finally you top it all off with 2 or 3 auras,
a pretty obvious choice for a build that revolves around minions. While it sounds like a lot to take in, don’t
worry, as always, I will talk about all these in much greater details in the passives, gems
and gearing sections respectively. And speaking of that, let’s actually start
with the passive tree and leveling. As briefly mentioned in the build overview,
the main objectives are to increase the number of zombies and to gather as much strength
as possible. A large part of that will come from the passive
tree, especially through jewels, so, getting enough sockets will be a priority. Starting off as a Witch, in Act 1 you will
immediately go for a few significant passives such as Grave Intentions and Lord of the Dead. These will boost both the max number of zombies
as well as their damage. However you will likely notice that at this
stage in the game your zombies tend to die quite easily and you need to resummon them
often. They also don’t deal too much damage yet and
this will be the case up to around level 25. As such I recommend you temporarily level
using Freezing Pulse or Arc until then. You can have zombies and skeletons around
as meatshields but don’t rely on them to do much yet. You can also use Summon Raging Spirit if you
prefer having a summoner vibe from the very beginning. That being said, moving on through Act 2,
you will get some HP and resistances through Cruel Preparation and its adjacent nodes while
pathing towards the excellent Death Attunement minion wheel. This will grant you an additional zombie as
well as boost their damage and life. This act also brings with it the “Deal with
the Bandits” quest and the decision here is simple: kill them all. The bonuses they would provide are entirely
useless for summoners so the two passive points are clearly the way to go. In acts 3 and 4 you continue to buff the zombies
by taking the notable passives “Spiritual Command” and “Sacrifice”. Then stop by and grab “Quick Recovery”
to get a bit of life and mana regen for yourself. Lastly, take Gravepact wheel to obtain yet
another zombie along with more damage and some life leech to keep them running. At this point you should start feeling like
the zombies are finally earning that salary which you don’t pay them as they are actually
killing stuff AND survive long enough. Going through acts 5 and 6 you get the first
two jewel sockets in which you can put Violent Dead. These are temporary and will help you while
leveling but they will be later replaced by jewels providing large amounts of Strength. As encounters get a bit tougher it’s a perfect
time to grab some more life and strength by speccing into “Retribution”, “Discipline
and Training” and “Sanctity”. In act 7 you further boost your defenses with
“Devotion” and “Shaper” notable passives. Afterwards grab an additional socket
in which you should move a Violent Dead jewel. In its place drop an “Efficient Training”
jewel which will convert all the Intelligence from its radius into Strength. At this point you should be more or less in
full summoner mode and not dealing any direct damage yourself so it is a good time to take
“Elemental Equilibrium” keystone. This is quite a straight-forward passive:
when you deal damage with a certain element, let’s take for example fire; so when you deal
fire damage to an enemy, Elemental Equilibrium will increase that monster’s fire resistance
while lowering their cold and lightning ones by a very large amount. So why is this useful? When you pair your zombies with Hatred Aura
they will deal additional cold damage on top of the default physical. If YOU then deal fire or lightning damage
to enemies, Elemental Equilibrium will lower their cold resistance, greatly boosting the
damage dealt by the zombies. Thankfully minions themselves do not trigger
Elemental Equilibrium in any way so they won’t mess things up
with the cold damage that they deal. I will however talk a bit more about triggering
Elemental Equilibrium in the gems and gearing sections respectively. In act 8 grab yet another socket for an additional
“Efficient Training” jewel, a 30 Strength passive as well as the “Written in Blood”
cluster for additional HP and energy shield. While going through acts 9 and 10 you will
take two more jewel sockets: in one of them move the Violent Dead from the top of the
tree and replace it with a third and final “Efficient Training” jewel. In the other free socket use a “Brawn”
jewel with as much increased Strength and Dex as possible and a low decreased
Intelligence roll. As you finish the campaign get “Constitution”
and “Purity of Flesh” wheel, for a significant amount of HP to help you survive the initial
maps. By around level 80 continue to pile up Strength
and additional life with “Born to Fight” and “Heart of the Warrior”. As you approach level 90 you should get the
last socket for a final “Brawn” jewel. From this point on, you have several options
depending on what you feel like you’re lacking: defenses, DPS or more attributes such as DEX
or INT. The recommended way is a balance of defenses
and damage by picking up “Barbarism”, the “Melding” wheel and “Righteous Army”. I did however also include a full damage option
in the Path of Building tool. And that’s about it for the passive tree and
leveling. In the next section I’ll be covering the Ascendancy
class which improves pretty much every single aspect of the build. Summoning dead stuff to fight for you is clearly
the signature of a Necromancer, so this is what you’ll be picking up as the Ascendancy class. First points go to “Invoker”, a pretty simple
but efficient passive: it buffs both damage and defenses of your minions and reduces the
cooldown of Convocation. This skill is an excellent tool that you’ll
be using quite a lot, both offensively and defensively, so being able to cast it more
often is more than welcome. After completing Cruel Labyrinth, spend the
points on the most important passive from the Necromancer ascendancy, namely “Flesh
Binder”. You get additional zombies with greatly improved
Slam attack and a decent amount of physical damage reduction for both yourself and the
minions. The third passive is “Commander of Darkness”,
an excellent way to get much more from your auras. The first bonus stacks for each aura you have
active and ideally you should end up with three of them. The other two bonuses will apply just once. However, apart from boosting the zombies’
damage they will help you cap both your and the minions’ resistances. There are very few sources of minions resistances
so this is an excellent defensive buff for them. With the final Ascendancy points grab “Mistress
of Sacrifice”. This might be a bit surprising but, thanks
to this, you will be able to survive huge hits that would otherwise instantly kill you. This passive will apply half the effect
of Spirit Offering to you as well and, in practice, it will act like an instant Energy Shield
heal. While I will go into greater details about it in
the Gems section, for now I will just add that this is one of the most important
defensive mechanisms of the build. With the ascendancy out of the way, we can
take a quick look at the Pantheon choices. Generally speaking Pantheon choices are situational
and there isn’t a “best” pair that will outperform all others in any situation. However, there are certain options that complement
specific builds quite well in a wide range of situations. For this particular case, here are my recommendations: For the major God, Soul of Lunaris: probably
the best defensive pantheon for builds which operate mostly in melee range. Since you’ll be using Shield Charge to apply
Elemental Equilibrium, you’ll end up in the middle of things quite often. For the minor God, the optimal choice is
Soul of Shakari: chaos damage bypasses Energy Shield and poison in particular is encountered
quite often while mapping so it is always a good idea to reduce a type of damage that
can ignore about half of your effective HP. Having covered the pantheon choices, we can
now focus on one of the most important aspects of any build: gems and links. As usual I’ll start off with the main skill,
Raise Zombies, and its support gems. First in line is a very simple and obvious
choice: “Minion Damage” support adding a huge amount of damage without any downside. The second support is “Melee Physical Damage”
yet another clear-cut DPS boost. By default zombies deal only physical damage
so this gem will have excellent effectiveness. Third in line is a mix of damage and utility:
namely, “Minion Speed” support. While there are better damage gems on paper,
zombies have to actually get in melee range to hit anything. In practice, every second they spend traveling
between targets is a second they are not dealing damage. This gem will greatly minimize this downtime
and significantly boost your clearing speed. Now, technically the best third support gem
would be an Empower at level 4 which can only be obtained through corruption. This would increase the level of your Raise
Zombies gem by 3, granting them additional damage and HP. However the price for a level 4 Empower is
generally in the 5 to 6 exalts range, so it should be an option only if you already have
excellent gear that cannot really be further improved. The next support gem is “Ruthless” which
will transform your zombies’ every 3rd hit into a ruthless blow, dealing vastly more
physical damage than normal. Finally for the last gem there are a few options
available depending on your preferences. The best all-rounder is “Maim” which further
increases physical damage and has a chance to apply the “Maim” debuff, slowing the
enemies and causing them to take even more physical damage. An alternative is “Multistrike” which
will repeat every attack two additional times in quick succession. Technically this would be the best DPS option,
but the extra attacks are generally wasted on trash mobs as they generally die in one hit anyway. It is however an excellent support gem for
bosses as they’re almost all guaranteed to hit. The next gem setup brings three additional
minions whose sole purpose is to buff the zombies and yourself. This must be socketed in the helmet slot in
order to get the +2 levels to minion gems bonus. First is Animate Guardian, one of the most
interesting minions in the game. It is summoned by using items dropped on the
ground which the resulting minion will actually equip and use. As such you will want to provide it gear
that will grant bonuses to allies, meaning you and the other minions. I will go over the best items to be used by
the Guardian in the Gearing section. For now I will mention that it can use weapon,
shield, body armour, helmet, gloves and boots. However be warned that if the Animated Guardian
dies all its gear is permanently lost. While leveling only give it random rare items
or cheap uniques that you don’t need or would otherwise vendor. Later in the game with enough minion defense
and health passives as well as leveling the gem itself, the Guardian will have over 50k
HP and will survive pretty much anything. At that point it’s worth giving it more expensive
and better items that will greatly buff the other minions. Then 2nd gem in this setup is “Raise Spectre”,
another really cool minion which is summoned using the bodies of dead monsters. As the name indicates it, this minion is a
ghost of that respective monster and, unlike zombies, it will inherit all the attributes
and skills that the respective monster had while it was alive. As such you will want two specific Spectres which
have an ability that buffs the zombies; namely two Carnage Chieftains. They will periodically cast a spell which
grants Frenzy Charges to all allies. In turn, these provide a great deal of damage and attack
speed, excellent for both yourself and the rest of the minions. Apart from the skills, Spectres also inherit
the level of the bodies which are used to summon them. For this particular build this raises a small
issue: Carnage Chieftains can only be found in Act 2, Old Fields map which is a level
14 zone. This means that the resulting Spectres would
also be level 14, making them completely useless later in the game. There is however a simple workaround using
Desecrate skill. The corpses created this way will have either
the same level as the map you’re in or the level indicated in the skill’s description,
whichever of the two is smaller. If the map is level 50 but Desecrate can
only raise corpses up to level 41, the outcome will obviously be level 41 corpses and afterwards
spectres. Similarly if the map is level 41, it doesn’t
matter if Desecrate can create level 100 corpses, the result is still 41. The best option is to use a high level Desecrate
gem while you’re in the highest level map or zone that you have available. This takes care of the corpses level
problem, but what about the type of monsters? How can you get high level Carnage Chieftain
corpses if they only spawn in a level 14 map? Well, normally Desecrate will only create
corpses of monsters which are native to the zone you’re currently in. But, once you’ve summoned a Spectre of a particular
type, its corpse will be added to Desecrate’s pool and it can be then created on other maps
as well. I know it sounds complicated but after you’ve
done it once you’ll see it’s actually really simple. In fact, we interrupt this program to bring
you a quick demonstration of summoning Carnage Chieftains: You start from Act 2 in The Forest Encampment
and then go to the Old fields zone. Remove “Cast When Damage Taken” gem so
you can manually cast Desecrate. You can also use a separate higher level
gem and cast until you get a Carnage Chieftain corpse. You can highlight specific corpses by keeping
the “A” key presse on your keyboard. Once you found one, summon a Spectre from
it and then go to the highest level area you can access. You can even use Delve for this if you went
deep enough. Here you will need to use the highest level
Desecrate gem you have and cast it until you spot a Carnage Chieftain corpse in the pile. Raise a Spectre from it and repeat the process
to get the 2nd one as well. Fortunately you will very rarely have to go
through this whole process: first of all Spectres don’t really die as they also have huge life
pools and good defenses. They also persist through logging out so in
practice you only need to resummon them when you have access to higher level areas and
you wish to “upgrade” the spectres to the new level. Coming back to the gems setup: so far
you have Animated Guardian and Raise Spectre. The third gem you will add is “Blood Magic”
– this allows Carnage Chieftains to spend a small amount of HP instead of mana to cast
their Frenzy spell. This way they can really spam so it ends up
having a permanent uptime. The last gem in this setup is Minion Life
support – since these summons are not there to deal damage but only as sort of buff bots,
you need to make sure they survive. Next you have the movement skill setup and
for this build it will be Shield Charge. Apart from the obvious purpose of moving around
faster, this is also used to proc Elemental Equilibrium by dealing a small amount of lightning
damage and thus decreasing the monsters’ fire and cold resistances. In addition to that it is also a way to tell
your zombies what to attack: normally they go about their business on their own but if
YOU attack a monster they will immediately prioritize that target as well. You then link this gem to “Fortify” support
which will grant you the buff with the same name, providing 20% damage reduction
from hits. Lastly you will add “Faster Attack” support
to make charging significantly faster. You also make use of two “Cast When Damage
Taken” setups: the first will be kept at level 1 and it will trigger Desecrate in order
to create a bunch of corpses. The other linked gem is Convocation, a spell
which will summon all your minions around you and grant them a life regen buff. This is a great defensive mechanism as you
essentially gain a zombie meat shield around you and they will also quickly kill whatever
was hitting you, all while their life is being regenerated. The second “Cast When Damage Taken” setup
is kept at level 2, such that it is triggered only after the first one. This is because the second gem is “Spirit
Offering” which will be using corpses raised by the Desecrate triggered by the other cast
when damage taken. Spirit Offering will grant a large chunk of
Energy Shield to minions, based on the number of corpses consumed. They will also get a whole bunch of resistances
and a big added chaos damage buff. And since you took “Mistress of Sacrifice”
passive from the Ascendancy these will also apply to you at half effectiveness. Up next are the Auras: first will be Hatred
which provides a large amount of cold damage to zombies, based on their physical damage. This is then linked with “Generosity”
support. The first obvious reason is that it further
increases Hatred’s damage bonus. The second one is that it prevents it from
adding cold damage to your own attacks. As I mentioned earlier in the guide, you want
to deal only lightning damage so that Elemental Equilibrium lowers the cold and fire resistances
of the monsters you hit. If you had Hatred aura active on yourself,
it would completely ruin this mechanism. Then, in a completely separate link, socket
Haste aura, granting you and your minions increased attack and movement speed. In order to be able to keep both these auras
active and have some leftover mana for shield charge, you need to link Haste with “Enlighten”
support gem of at least level 2. Ideally get a level 3 or 4 when you can afford
that. The most important thing here is that you
don’t link the Auras and their supports all together. You don’t want Generosity affecting Haste
as you need that aura for yourself as well. I know it’s tempting to have Enlighten also
linked with Hatred but it’s not worth losing the benefits from Haste. There is also an alternative setup here by
using an Elder Shield with “Socketed Gems have 15% reduced Mana Reservation”. In it you socket Hatred linked with Generosity
and separately Haste on its own. This will allow you to use an additional aura,
namely “War Banner”, boosting your total DPS by about 10%. There are 3 other mandatory gems that do not
need to be linked with anything and you can just squeeze them wherever you have any room left. First is Summon Stone Golem which provides
a large amount of life regen. Once you’ll be using Geofri’s Sanctuary body
armour this bonus will turn into Energy Shield regen. Then, you have Summon Holy Relic. This tiny minion will follow you around and
will cast a nova spell whenever you hit an enemy, granting life regeneration. This buff has increased effectiveness on other
minions helping them survive even more damage. The third one is Flame Dash – while some
might consider this optional, the impact it has on map clearing speed is so large,
you cannot really drop this gem. The simple fact that it can be used to bypass
obstacles and climb ledges is sufficient to earn its socket. Finally, if you have any free sockets left,
add another high level “Convocation” spell for manually recalling your zombies and making
them follow you more easily. This is only a quality of life addition to
the build and you can only use it if you have unset rings for the extra sockets. To wrap up this section, here’s a compact
list of gems you should aim to have at 20% quality. Gearing up for this build isn’t too difficult
and you can easily farm mid-tier maps with an investment of about 50 chaos. Of course, you cannot reasonably expect to
kill Uber Elder with that kind of gear, but the more currency you spend, the better you
will perform. First I need to point out that you do not care at all about any kind of affixes
that add damage to yourself. Instead you’ll be looking only for the ones granting attributes, defenses and maybe some
minion damage, if you can afford it. The absolute number #1 priority however is
to gather at least 1200 strength to get the full benefit from the Baron Helmet. This is the build’s linchpin item and as its
description is saying, you are allowed to summon an additional zombie for every
300 Strength you have. Half of all your strength is also added to each
minion, increasing their life and melee physical damage. Also, when reaching the 1000 Strength mark,
2% of the zombies damage will be leeched to you as life. On top of that it grants 2 levels to minion
gems socketed in it, so here you will be placing the Animated Guardian and Spectres along with
their supports. For the weapon slot, as hinted in the build
overview the best and only option here is “Mon’Tregul’s Grasp” sceptre. While it halves the number of zombies, when
well rolled it will also double their damage so nothing really changes here. On top of that it also gives them a huge amount
of HP and resistances. Lastly, it causes enemies killed by zombies
to explode and deal fire damage in a small area around them. This actually scales with all the minion damage
modifiers so in practice it will single handedly clear entire packs after a single monster
dies. One thing you need to keep in mind here is
that the halved number of zombies is always rounded down, so if normally you could summon
11 of them, when using this sceptre you would only get 5. In the offhand you will use a rare shield
with as much Strength, Life, resistances and energy shield as possible. Attributes such as Dex or Int are more than
welcome as you will need a decent amount of each for your skills and auras. As mentioned in the Gems section there is
also the option of using an elder shield with “Socketed Gems have 15% reduced Mana Reservation”
so you can squeeze in another aura. The rest of the affixes remain the same: strength,
life, resistances and other attributes. The body armour is the excellent
“Geofri’s Sanctuary”. Apart from a solid amount of all resistances
and life, it provides 2 Energy Shield for each 5 Strength you have. And it just so happens that you are stacking
about 1200 of those, so, you end up with a huge amount of Energy Shield from this item alone. You also get Zealot’s Oath keystone which
will convert all life regen into Energy Shield regen. In practice this will make it so you will
very rarely drop all the way to HP and when that happens the zombies’ leech will keep
you alive. For the gloves you will go with yet another
unique: The Shaper’s Touch. They provide a somewhat similar benefit as
the body armour, namely “2% increased maximum energy shield for each 10 Strength”. Basically, more energy shield for no real additional investment. The optimal choice for boots is a pair of
“Alberon’s Warpath” for the insane amount of Strength that it provides through its unique
bonus of up to 18 percent increased Strength. In practice this translates to about 170 strength,
way more than any other single item would normally have. They also come with a decent 20% movement
speed and some chaos resistance, both more than welcome additions. Holding your invisible pants is a Heavy Belt
with 70+ Strength and maximum life, resistances and Energy Shield. If you’re able to get enough Strength on other
pieces of gear, then a Stygian Vise belt would be a much better option for its implicit while
the rest of the affixes should be the same. The socket would allow you to use a Ghastly
Eye jewel to provide some utility and damage for your minions. A very useful amulet that will help you get
a large amount of Strength as well as enough Dex or Int for all requirements is “Astramentis”. At first glance it might seem like a bit of
a waste but it can save you 2-3 affixes on the rings or the belt as well as some passive
points so in the end it will likely come on op For the rings, the top priority is to get some flat lightning damage. This is absolutely necessary for triggering
Elemental Equilibrium with Shield Charge Also, make sure there is no other
elemental damage on the rings. You can check the tooltip for Shield Charge
and it should only show physical, lightning and perhaps some chaos damage. Apart from that the other affixes should be Strength,
life, resistances and attributes The best bases are Unset Rings which will
allow you to use the optional skills that I’ve mentioned in the “Gems” sections. These would be much more valuable than any
other implicit that other rings would bring. Up next are the jewels, which are a very important
component of this build. First you have 3 pieces of “Efficient Training”,
placed in the sockets located North, East and West of the Witch starting area. Their positioning is really important as these
jewels transform the Intelligence from the passives you have actually taken into Strength. So it’s not enough for those passives to be
just present in the jewel’s radius, they actually need to have points invested in them. This is completely different than the way
other jewels normally work in respect to attribute points inside their radius. The 3 locations that I’ve indicated are the
absolute optimal for this build in terms of Strength so don’t place them anywhere else. The rest of the sockets in the passive tree
should be filled with “Brawn” jewels. Look for ones with 6% Increased Strength
and Dex and the lowest amount of reduced Intelligence. Depending on how good your gear is and if
you’re already able to get 1200 Strength, you can replace one or two Brawn Jewels with
“Violent Dead” ones, greatly boosting the damage of your zombies. In case you can affod to drop yet another Brawn or
you have a Stygian Vise belt, then use a Ghastly Eye with “Minions have a chance to blind
on hit” along with flat physical damage and attack speed. Moving on to the flasks, there aren’t unfortunately
any minion specific ones for some strange reason, so you’ll be using them mostly as
utility and defensive tools for yourself. The first flask is a Sapping Eternal Life
flask of Staunching. Since you have such a low amount of unreserved
mana, the Sapping prefix doesn’t really have any downside, while significantly increasing
the amount of recovered life. Staunching suffix is a must-have in late game
as bleeding can do a huge amount of damage and it is encountered quite often while mapping. Second one is an Experimenter Sulphur Flask
of Warding. This is pretty much the only flask which provides
some benefits to the minions through Consecrated Ground, mostly for the life regeneration. Up next is an Ample Quicksilver flask of Adrenaline
to help you move around faster. Since your boots only have 20 percent movement
speed, this flask will offset that downside to some extent. Then you should use a Chemist’s Basalt Flask
of Heat for some additional physical damage reduction as well as Freeze immunity. The last flask is up to your preference: you
can grab another Quicksilver so you won’t run out of charges or a Silver one for a bit
of movement speed and attack speed, helping you shield charge around faster. Now, as promised in the Gems section I will
also briefly cover the best gear for your Animated Guardian: The cheap setup is made out of Leer Cast helmet,
Dying Breath staff, Victario’s Flight Boots, Meginord’s Vise gloves and any rare or cheap
unique body armour that provides large amounts of life and resistances. For the optimal gear replace the weapon with
Kingmaker axe and the body armour with Gruthkul’s Pelt. The helmet can be “Mask of the Tribunal”
as a defensive option or a rare helmet with “Nearby enemies take 9% Increased
Physical Damage” affix. While this bonus might seem lower than that
of Leer Cast, it is in fact much more potent as it is applied after all the target’s damage
mitigations have taken place. These are items are clearly more expensive
but with this gear your Animated guardian will have around 50k HP and I haven’t
seen one die until now so I feel like the investment is worth it. To wrap up gearing section, here are some
excellent levelling uniques that will help you progress through the campaign With the gearing out of the way, it is time
to take a final look at the pros and cons of the build so you can better understand
if it’s what you were looking for. Starting off with the Pros: a very tanky build; between life and energy
shield you end up with over 10k effective HP. Add Fortify buff, zombies life leech, the
significant energy shield regen and the fact that you have an army of bodyguards around
and you obtain something really hard to kill. It is one of the most simple and easy to play
summoner builds out there. Many players that would like to try out a
minion build are generally taken aback by their complexity. With this build you can get to experience
that play-style without much hassle. If anything it’s easier to play than most
builds of any kind. An excellent Hardcore build, especially when
used with a defensive Animated Guardian Most best in slot items for the build are
actually really cheap as this type of gear is rather a niche one. For example, a ring with no damage
is generally sold as junk and you can snag some really good deals with very little currency. It can do all the current game content, including
Uber Elder with a bit of minion micro-management through Convocation. As for the cons: minions A.I. is not exactly brilliant. Sometimes they get stuck in very narrow corridors
or corners or won’t attack an enemy until you hit it as well. However, such issues are generally circumvented
by using Convocation. Summoner play-style; this is not everyone’s
cup of tea as it might seem a bit lazy or uninvolved. On the other hand some people want exactly
that and since you’ve made it so far, I’ll assume that you’re one of them. The labyrinth feels quite awkward with all
the minions covering traps and getting in the way. They make very quick work of Izzaro himself,
but getting there is sometimes a bit of a challenge. It is not able to run two map modes; more
specifically physical damage reflect will quickly kill your zombies and no mana regen
will prevent you from using Shield Charge. You can power through these maps, but I strongly
recommend to reroll or skip. Learn anything new, exile? If you did, then you’ll probably be happy
to hear that there are more videos coming up in the near future with more exciting builds
to try. Make sure not to miss them by subscribing
to the channel so you get notified when that happens. And while you’re at it why not like this video
as well or drop a comment down below to let me know your thoughts. Thank you all for watching and see ya next

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Thanks for this amazing detailed guide! Just a quick question… I have just started playing the game and rolled a with for my first char as I love necro on diablo. I am currently mid 40s and have only found your guide today, firstly is there a way for me to reset all of my skill points as I have done mine all wrong and would like to try your build. Thanks in advance for any replies.

  2. Super important question! My animate guardian wont die! I want to put new gear on him I bought but I cant un summon him and I cant kill him.. is there a way to equip gear to an already existing fully geared guardian??.

  3. How good is this build in Delve? I am considering it as a league starter for 3.7, but as the sulphite is going to become account bound and not character bound, I would want my starter build to have good delving potential, to become the main delver later on.

  4. I haven’t followed a summoner guide in a while but this guide made me want to try it next league. Very good and clear explanations, thank you!

  5. as armor, you should use an elder vaal regalia self-crafted with level 1 maim. then you get 10% of life gained as maximum energy shield on it and its already far better than geoffries

  6. Please please please make a soulwrest summoning build. The dps would be higher and it's much easier and interactive to play. Your build videos have spoiled me I cant watch anything else.

  7. How do you guys see this build handling the 3.7 Legion mechanic? Will the zombies be able to activate all monsters in the 17 sec clear time?

  8. My three coins:
    curse on hit – arc – vulnerability
    vaal haste / grace – inc duration
    no discipline?
    Commander of darkness without lvl 1 clarity? It's almost a free buff.
    ghastly eye jewel – best damage mod is minion damage if you used minion skill recently – note CWTD won't trigger the buff
    watcher's eye with clarity + disc/purity of elements mod
    You can leap slam instead if you prefer, meaning you can drop flame dash.
    In general, I would go with more auras.

  9. You should also add to the options on "leaguestarter/delve/uber/low budget" and all of that if the build is SSF viable, just a tip

  10. Great guide! I want to try this as my 3.7 league starter. However, do you think the nerf to immortal call will destroy the build? Looking forward to your thoughts!

  11. I like the zombie build, but are you still able to reach 1000 strength without the jewel, Efficient Training? I am in standard league I am kinda poor 😛 (idk if this was mentioned in the video :P)

  12. What do u think of Sign of the Sin Eater
    – Tyrant's Sekhem. Can we add it do build and remove EE? Is Smites lightning dmg buff better than using Mon'tregul's Grasp (or minion dmg 1h) + EE?

  13. ===== 3.7 LEGION UPDATES =====

    UPDATE #4: the patch notes for 3.7.3 mention the following bug fix: Fixed a bug where the "x% increased Zombie Resistances" modifier on Mon'tregul's Grasp unique Void Sceptre instead granted a flat amount of Chaos Resistance to Zombies. It now grants Elemental Resistances as well

    This means Mon'tregul wasn't actually providing 25-30% elemental resistances to our zombies, but only chaos. So even as tanky as they were, it was still far less than they should've been. Well, the build had very little problems with keeping zombies alive but after this patch the boys will be even tougher ? Unexpected free buff? Hell yeah! ?


    UPDATE #3: PoB is finally updated with most new gems' information and this build got BUFFED through the roof! Simply replace Haste with Pride Aura and War Banner with "Precision Aura" and the DPS with 1200 STR is around 3.6 MILLION vs Shaper/Elder. Not only that, but with over 10k EHP and a boatload of defensive layers, this build is currently insane!

    If you want to even further boost your zombies defenses without losing too much DPS, you can replace Maim , the 6th gem in the Zombies setup with the buffed Fortify Support gem.

    Here's the updated PoB: https://pastebin.com/q8hWaxDQ
    NOTE: no changes in the passive tree, just updated the gem changes.


    UPDATE #2: the build has been actually significantly buffed in 3.7 thanks to the addition of "Umost Intellect" and "Utmost Strength" passives, making it MUCH easier and cheaper to reach 1200 STR cap.
    Latest PoB tree / build guid aid: https://pastebin.com/2YfnYaPt
    Latest PoE planner tree: www.poeurl.com/cpvm

    With decent gear you can drop both Brawn jewels AND an Efficient Training (the one on the right side of the tree). These can be replaced with Ghastly Eye jewels which will greatly boost your HP and zombies' DPS! All in all the build gains approximately +300 EHP for the player, +200k DPS (!!), +3500 minion HP / +300 combined life leech/life regen for zombies.


    UPDATE #1: tl;dr: Build is still completely viable in 3.7 and it won't feel any different at all. The unstoppable army is alive (sort of) and kicking ?

    Very few changes to this build in Legion update. Overall seems like slightly more DPS and a few new options for Auras/Support gems that still need to be tested ingame. A new amazing STR wheel has been added a small distance below "Barbarism" in the passive tree. Anyone that was still struggling to get 1200 STR can grab it and it should be much easier to achieve this cap.


    >> Ruthless Support gem has been buffed – great damage increase!
    >> "Utmost Strength" wheel added slightly below Barbarism in the passive tree. This is very easy to grab and will really help players that were struggling to get the 1200 STR cap.
    >> Multristrike Support has been changed to provide less attack speed on the repeats but these also deal increased damage. Overall damage seems to be buffed but slower attack speed means the zombies would be stuck attacking in place slightly longer. It's not of great consequence as this was an optional 6th gem competing with Maim on boss fights. Might turn out to actually be buffed and then take the 6th spot. Needs testing in-game to see it in action.
    >> Immortal Call has been changed: instead of providing a brief complete immunity to phys.dmg. you will now take 35% less phys dmg as well as 34% less elemental dmg with a duration 2.5 times longer than before. Will have to see how this pans out in practice – overall it feels like total phys immunity was overkill in many situations but also a life-saver in a select few encounters. It was also useless against elemental damage even if it was triggered by it; with these changes it will provide significant mitigation against elemental damage so survivability should increase.
    >> Shield Charge has been changed and will now deal damage in a cone rather than a circle: this means that Elemental Equilibrium application on enemies is a bit nerfed (it will overall affect fewer targets). On the plus side, the gem gains 1% movement speed for 1% quality, so you should definitely try to get it to 20% Q now.
    >> War Banner was nerfed, providing less accuracy now. Not a huge deal, this was used only with the Elder Shield setup and Unset rings so it shouldn't affect most players.
    >> new "Pride" aura introduced – nearby enemies take more physical damage with increased effect the longer they are in range. Will have to see the actual numbers to understand whether it works for the build or not (perhaps replacing Haste).
    >> Shockwave Support gem could be interesting, depending on its interaction with Mon'tregul's Grasp Sceptre corpse explosion. Needs in-game testing.

  14. I’ve been wanting to make a zombie build but never knew how, found a video a while back with this same build but no voice over so it would just flash the stuff onscreen. I had no idea how he got the 1200 strength and just assumed he had hacked it or something, I’m glad you went into detail on how to get the strength to make this build shine. I have one point of advice with the raging spirits. If you combine it with totem support it saves a lot of mana, and if you go with double totem (the support skill I can’t remember the exact name) you can get some silly numbers for total spirits flying around, one character I had I think 24+ and they’re all over nomming everything in sight.

  15. Only weeks ago, when my PoE career started, I was extremely confused while listening to your videos and now I see how good they are and how amazing it is that you make them, the more I learn as a PoE player the more your videos teach me on top of that, thanks!

  16. What curse would u use on this build currently running enfeedble but i dont rly know if there is a better choise ty 🙂

  17. Really nice.
    There's someone asking over on the GGG forums how you get Fortify, which shows on the Zombies @11:38, on them. Other than Vigilant Strike + The Vigil I see no way with the links you use; however, VS + The Vigil are not in the build guide.

  18. Simply replace Haste with Pride Aura and War Banner.and gives it more dps?.when having 2 aura,s how do you get mana?

  19. Currently following this guide, and in act 10 atm. Two things first, can't you just use one CWDT setup with the gems socketed in the order you want them to trigger? verse having two CWDT setups and lightning warp is strictly better than flame dash for this build, covers longer distances and triggers elemental equilibrium appropriately. Also best PoE guildes I have ever seen, truly a work of art man.

  20. I played this build in betrayal to lvl93 in HC and now playing it again. There are some minor changes i made.
    1) As Endgame belt I used Cyclopean Coil instead of a rare one. It comes with 15% increased attributes, 100+ HP and Immunity to Ignite/Frozen
    2) Especially in HC this build kinda suffers against chaos damage. I swapped the Haste Aura for Purity of Elements in combination with a Watcher's Eye that provides 50 Chaos Resistance while under this aura. This leaves you with an extra skill gem slot (no enlighten needed), more unreserved mana and more elemental resistances.

  21. I have just started PoE and this has been a blast to play. I leveled rather fast as they zombies clear quickly. Thanks for your hard work!

  22. Were yo all getting all your resistances from i had to drop all to get 1000 strength , level 85 and i just keep dying average maps i am doing is 6's, the mains weapon you said to use as well has changed its talent to deal damage when a zombie kill to when a zombie dies and kills, just get over welled 🙁

  23. You can't benefit from the resistances from commander of darkness while using generosity, because it makes the auras not effect you. Any solution to this?

  24. Hello, any new tips or useful updates after a week into the league? How does this handle the new league monolith mechanics? Thanks for the guide!

  25. Hey man, just wanted to say thank you very much! Hard to find good detailed builds for PoE. I'm a noob at the game but having a blast and always wanted to try a necromancer. Your guide helped a whole bunch, and I have every piece of gear, aside from the chests and rings for around 120c. Very grateful for all your hard work!

  26. I wasn't sure if I wanted to play this league since the last one left a bad taste in my mouth.

    But your video and build is super awesome so I'm going to give it a try. 🙂

  27. My carnage cheiftan struggling to survive, always the first to die. Is it because my minion life is not maxed out?

  28. when the AG has enough life reg you could switch his gloves to other ones like the new Asenath Gentle Touch: https://pathofexile.gamepedia.com/Asenath%27s_Gentle_Touch
    or other corrupted gloves with curse on hit: enfeeble to prevent 1shots or vulnerability for enhanced damage

  29. What do you think about using the sin eater mace that was added this patch on animate guardian until you can get kingsmaker going, seems like it could be a nice weapon to soak up all the ailments from you and your zombies!

  30. is desecrete/convocation necessary for Cwdt i tried the phoenix guardian it had some strong rolls and rekt my zombies i had to take the cwdt to summon new zombies.. also little annoying when u cant use convocation urself, i also wonder if it's okay to switch animate dead jewels for that ghastly eye jewels , can't touch other gems because my strenght suffers ;/

  31. Hello, thanks for the guide!! What do you think about Atziri's Reflection and The Surrender shields on Zombiemancer or better search something rare?

  32. At the start of the video "Oh, i wanted to try a pet build in poe"….half way through the video "NOPE, thats too expensive, im going cyclone"

  33. Problem that i have with zombies in general is their map clear. This type of games are about loot, so you want to go with speed meta if you want to create currency with minimal gameplay investment. Sad reality of below average Zombie AI is that they don't want to attack frozen legion minions for some reason, they just run around until you tag one of them … Problem with legion is that zombies can't clear frozen armies as any other non summoner build out there.

    With this build you will lose currency CONSTANTLY. For every map you do i will do 2 more. You'll get half of the loot from the frozen armies cause you can't free them all. Everything about this build screams currency loss. For example berserker cyclone will move through map at least 5 times faster… It will clear at least 5 times faster. So someone will generate levels and profit 5 times faster than you. GameMeta = dominance . To dominate this game you need to go fast.

    I get that fun is subjective thing. Someone can be happy with 10 ex worth of profit per league playing just one build. For those kind of people this is the perfect build. Slow, inconsistent due to bad AI, requires some serious min maxing for uber fights. Expensive if you want lvl 28 zombies which is only way those bad boys are surviving some of those insane mods. And allot of time they will run back with you when you decide to run away from aoe… Just horrendous gameplay due to tragically bad zombie AI. if you must play summoner i would strongly recommend specters cause they are more reliable and they clear way waaaaaaaaaay faster.

  34. As a new player, by learning slowly towards getting a build almost the same, I learned so much of the game and that the best games are always a bit slow in the beginning, like the beach at start. POE expands so much and it can only get better, made to be played forever! To heck with big companies like Ubisoft and EA, and as for Diablo 3. Trust me, the generation will deny big companies and play games with developers who deeply care and communicate with their player base.

  35. How viable would this be in SSF do you think? The baron is pretty common now and can be chanced easily, same with alberons/montregul. How have you found the monolith clearing with this?

  36. Okay this build is OP .. i got SHAPER first try 0# deaths , uber Atziri first try #1 death all this with dirt cheap gear

  37. Great video! I'm trying the build and I'm level 85 and loving it. A few questions;

    What would you suggest I do if I prefer to self cast convocation? It doesnt trigger until my energy shield is down and that seems too late since it can behave as a defensive spell when in the center of a group, improving survivability.

    Clooneys written guide suggests that the delve mod from a jagged fossil (+9% damage to nearby enemies) is better than the Leer Cast 15% damage benefit (when equipped on the animate guardian). Why is that?

  38. I think you need 2 Desecrate gems… One lvl 20 in inventory for summoning the apes, and one lvl 1 for the CWDT + Convocation combo, since the desecrate lvl 1 doesn´t let you summon corpses over lvl 20.

  39. Very useful guide but one PS4 downside seems to be if you blue screen all your summons die on relog. So the getting gear for AG is risky.

  40. Great video! I am new to POE (PS4) and your guide has been invaluable. I was curious about your thoughts on prism guardian Acheron kite shield? It seems to have good resists, reduced mana reserve and +2 to aura. Is there something I’m overlooking?

    I was also curious if the socket color order matters with any of the items?

    This build has been a lot of fun. My only complaint is that the game crashes often on the ps4, blue screen. It is very frustrating. It sometimes feels like this is directly related to the amount of minions/mobs on the screen. Also, There have been times where it will lag or the game will freeze completely. What are your thoughts on this being a build issue, POE Issue or PS4 issue?

    Last note to other ps4 players, the Astramentis was by far the most expensive “base” item i encountered in trade. A cheaper way to get one is by using the The Polymath divinity cards. I was able to get all 3 cards for under 15 Chaos. Additionally, if you can find a six linked Geofri’s Ringmail. Consider buying it. I went through about 550 Jewelers Orbs to get 6 sockets and I am still working on linking them. I have seen estimates as high as 1200 Orb of Fusing to get 6 links. If I see one in trade I still may buy it just so I don’t have deal with fusing.

  41. I've just killed uber elder and had so much fun using this build. I was kinda new to the game and still could understand everything in the build thanks to how detailed this guide is. Fantastic video, thank you for your work!

  42. I can do everything except Uber Elder; my zombies just die every time, leaving me with my dick in my hand

  43. The mask of the tribunal is not available in Legion league so what other helm option do you recommend for the animate guardian? Also, I am having a hard time trying to figure out how to slot my items and gem them because your build on youtube does not match the build on pastebin. Is there anyway we can get an updated pastebin with the correct slots such as gloves R=G=B=W….? Thanks in advance!

  44. been following the guide to a T, however even when summoning my spectres in a level 80 zone, while running lvl 70 maps, they are dieing almost instantly…all sockets and links are there…dont know what im missing…

  45. Is there another good defensive option for the AG helmet? Mask of the Tribunal doesn't seem to be in 3.7 league.

  46. Been stuck at 6 zombies, but thanks to your updated guide I finally made it to 1200 strength! Keep up the good work!

  47. Thank you for the great build, having a lot of fun with it. Today I've noticed CWTD1 doesn't link to spirit offering, though it did before. I'm level 88 currently and I have no idea why it doesn't work anymore. In fact, if you hover over CWTD it shows that it doesn't link to any skill I have from this build. Patched?

  48. I got a few questions based on my experience and tasting the real deal:

    1) Isn't it worth to change the CWDT combo gems lvls for high tier mapping? I mean, almost every hit you receive in a Tier 16 map, with 2.600 armor and capped elemental defenses, is higher than 2.000 damage. Is almost guaranteed the strong hit to trigger the defensive combo, but high Offering and Convocation could highly improve the ES regen.

    2) It's not actually a question, unless it's related to the first one: The character is not tanky enough for some of the high damages found in high tier maps, even with the defensive combo. I tried replacing "Haste" for "Pride" for a damage buff, as suggested in below comments, but it's so risky without enough defense and speed, even when I spam the flasks. It's worse if you get a surprising chilling attack the slows the hell out of you. Most of the boss battles the main character must simply evade de boss attacks, and sometimes it forces to interrupt the 4 secs you need to keep the enemy under the Pride aura for the bonus damage. So, I returned to Haste…

  49. hello first to say I LOVE THIS Build , bud since im 57 now i get confused by 1 thing , in your pob setup u are using 3 violent dead jewels and 2 efficient training jewels, but when i read description of the violent jewel its say limited to 2 so i asked a friend to loan me a 3 one and indeed it says you can not use this item. its stats will be ignored. do i miss something here ?

  50. I've just finished setting up a nice Discord server for this community: https://discord.gg/9M6N6Wf

    This way we can communicate a bit more directly, get to know each other, bounce ideas for new builds, clarify things about the old ones and, of course, discuss and share stuff beyond PoE as well.

    So, drop by, say hi and stay awhile! ?

  51. I tried this build and i think i got everything right, i've invested close to 15ex and im runing maps no problem but when it comes to bosses i feel like im doing to little damage to them, i would really appreciate some small advice to know if im doing everything allright :S. heres the pastebin: https://pastebin.com/vcjLFNiQ if u wanna check it out , thanks for the guide it has been preetty cool trying a summoner
    BTW sorry for the spelling mistakes, im not a native speaker and i hope u can understand what im saying 🙂

  52. Hey this build is awesome started playing it and following guide it is a killer these minions kill everything I camt wait to get to 70 to start farming maps omg love it love it love it.

  53. Okay, so don't know how many people will see this, but even if it helps one person it was worth it:
    DO NOT run acid caverns (t15 as of 3.7). It WILL murder your 50k hp guardian. The boss has bullshit spammy stacking AoE and instawipes pretty much all of your summons.

  54. Hey can you tell us where you put your gems in what sockets on what piece of gear, ie show us where you put shield charge on what piece of gear?

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