Path of Exile Expedition – Witch Build Guide [3.15]
PoE Witch Guide – The Minion Army Necromancer [3.15]
The Minion Army Necromancer is going to be one of the most powerful league starter builds in Path of Exile 3.15. It is a powerhouse and is well capable of clearing large groups of enemies and can hold its own against bosses. And the best part, you can achieve all that carnage with only rare gears. You can even try it out in Solo Self Found and get by without trading for a single item.
Minion builds are the hardest to pull off in Path of Exile. Especially since farming spectres, in general, is a bit tricky. However, not only will they be your main damage dealers, but you’ll also learn a fast and efficient way to summon spectres and store them for future runs.
The build is also not overly reliant on flasks. So recent balance changes will have little to no impact on how you play. The Minion army Necromancer is the perfect choice If you’re looking for a cheap and powerful build, with good scaling potential.
Key Build Mechanics
Minion Army Necromancer is a defensive build that consists of a small group of both offensive and defensive minions. They are as follows:
Spectres- Main damage dealers
Skeletons- Extra DPS against tough opponents and bosses
Zombies & Golems- They are your meat shields and protect you from incoming damage
- Survivability- Tanky build with great survivability. Large health pool, meat shield minions, and defensive flasks for damage mitigation. Minions also have blind and taunt to help aggro enemies.
- Cheap– Can do end game content with little to no currency investment. You can complete the build with only rare items.
- All-rounder– Great for farming and bossing. Minions builds are currently at their peak and can face any content the game manages to throw at them.
- Highly scalable– Straight forward build consisting only of rare items. But has room for improvement if you can afford the PoE currency.
- Minion Build– As with any minion build, you have to maintain distance when going up against bosses. Defense mechanics such as leeching isn’t an option.
- Socket Starved– Optimal minion builds require most of your sockets, leaving you little room to experiment with other skills.
The build doesn’t break a sweat even against level 100 enemies. However, if you can afford the PoE currency, getting the following items will help you in a higher level of gameplay. It is recommended you do the upgrades in a serial order.
- Get up to 4 spectres (+1 with a level 25 Raise Spectre gem and +1 Queen’s Decree)
- Cluster jewels
- Devouring Diadem with Haste Aura
- 5 spectres(+1 spectre with 6 links Delve chests)
- Awakened Gems
How to Play the Build?
Summoners play differently than your traditional builds. They are squishy characters and rely on their minions to do all the work for them. As a necromancer, you’ll have to follow a series of actions for optimal performance.
- Movement- Given your frail disposition, you must keep moving all the time. Flame dash is a viable option. In case of raw movement speed, make sure to have at least a 25-30% bonus speed on your boots. Start slower, upgrade as you go along. The more the better.
- Summon Skeletons- Keep summoning skeletons on large packs of enemies. If you’re trying to improve the build, try to get a Vaal Summon Skeleton.
- Armageddon Debuff- When facing tougher opponents, cast Armageddon to soften them up from the start.
- Predator Focus- If your herd of monsters is thinning out, cast Predator to focus on your preferred target.
- Bone Armour- Set Bone armour to auto-cast (preferably by setting to the left mouse button).
- Boss Fights- Before starting a boss fight always precast Arma Brand debuff.
Parting thoughts- Minion builds are quite efficient at handling large swathes of enemies. In case of stragglers, simply cast Predator to reel them back. Minions builds don’t struggle per se against bosses, but it takes a while to whittle the enemy down. Just precast arma brand debuff and keep flame dashing out of their attack paths.
How to use spectre banks for better efficiency?
Spectres are going to be your main damage dealers. So, you cannot simply pick random ones lying belly up on the ground. Normally, you’ll have to run a particular map, and kill a bunch of enemies before you can get your hands on your preferred spectre. However, there is a quicker way to get what you want without going through all that hassle.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to create a spectre bank to store your spectres and withdraw them whenever you’re out for a run.
Making Spectre banks
A spectre bank stores your minions so that you can reuse them without having to kill them every time. You can experiment with multiple banks to store different spectres and test out which ones better suit your playstyle. Here are the steps to creating a spectre bank:
- Buy a level 1 Raise Spectre and a level 1 Desecrate on your main account and store them in your stash.
- Now exit your main character.
- Create a PvP only Witch and name is SpectreBankWitch<name of the monster>.
- PvP characters start from level 28. Your main goal here is to increase your intelligence and dexterity so that you can equip the previously bought gems from your stash.
- Reset all passives.
- Path to Death Attunement and take all the intelligence nodes on your way there. Also, take the Agility node for +30 dexterity.
- Socket Raise Spectre and Desecrate in the armour and put them in your cast bar. Now it’s time to hunt for your specter.
List of Recommended Spectres
You have the option to choose from a wide variety of spectres. It is advised that you do a bit of research before starting your hunt. Here is a list of some of the best spectres based on their abilities:
- Baranite Preacher
- Baranite Sister
- Solar Guard
- Scinteel Syntheta
- Redemption Sentry
- Cannibal Fire-Eater
- Frost Sentinel
- Scale of Esh
- Slave Driver
- They of Tul
- Undying Evangelist
- Host Chieftains
- Carnage Chieftains
- Ash Prophet
- Death Bishop
- Mortality Experimenter
Hunting for Spectres
Note that not all spectres can be desecrated on the map. You’ll need to kill them first and then raise them from the corpse. Also, make sure to remove any gear (Devouring Diadem) or gems(Flesh offering) that consume corpses.
- Once you’ve decided which spectres to use, simply go to that place and kill the monster.
- If you have Spirit Echo remove it, otherwise you’ll end up raising the wrong spectre.
- Now hover over the corpses while holding the corpse targeting key.
- Once you see your target, activate Raise Spectre.
- Use a scroll to teleport back your hideout.
Saving your Spectres
- Once you’re returned to your hideout, activate desecrate and bring up the corpses you want to save.
- Now log out of your main account and log into your spectre bank.
- Now activate Descarate and raise your spectre.
- This happens because maps or zones at any given time have a list of creatures that can be desecrated. Any raised spectres that enter the zone are added to the list.
- Each bank can store up to 2 spectres. The number is raised to 3 if you have a Queen’s Decree. You can save an additional spectre by leveling your Raise Spectre gem to level 25. Finally, you get yet another spectre with a 6-Link Delve chest.
- The spectres will remain until you delete the character or replace them with others.
Getting your Spectres
- To get your spectres back from the bank, you’ll need to load up the character storing that particular spectre.
- Once you’re in the hideout and desecrate the spectre to add to the list.
- Log back onto your main character.
- Hit desecrate and raise spectre.
- You need to do this quickly before the server resets your hideout instance.
- If you’re having trouble pulling this off there is a more reliable way to jump in between your main character and spectre bank.
- Before saving or retrieving your spectres, open a portal on your main character account. Do not enter the portal, as it is simply there to keep your hideout instance from resetting.
Passive Trees, Ascendancies, and Pantheons
Here is the passive tree for the build.
The passive tree mainly uses Ghastly Eyes Jewels. Top priority mods include taunt, life, and blind. Hinder is also useful but not overly important.
The following ascendencies are required for the Minion Army Necromancer build. Get them in the following order to for best results:
- Mindless Aggression- This is a must-pick for any minion-based build. Provides flat buff to damage output, movement, attack, and cast speed.
- Unnatural Strength- The most important node as it grants +2 to level for all minion gems. This gives all your minions flat damage and life buff.
- Bone Barrier- Grants you the Bone Armour skill which negates a part of the incoming damage received by you and your minions.
- Mistress of Sacrifice- Makes so that all offering skills also affect you with 50% reduced effect.
The Pantheons best suited for this build are:
- Lunaris– Damage reduction, evasion, and dodge for better survivability.
- Shakari– Chaos and poison damage reduction.
When it comes to any build in PoE, the priority is to get at least 75% elemental resistance and the highest possible life mods across all your gears.
Your helmet is going to house Summon Skeletons or Vaal Summon Skeletons alongside Minion Damage, Melee Physical Damage, and Multistrike gems.
In terms of modifier roll for +2 or +3 to level of socketed minion gems and increased minion damage.
The body armour will be housing the gem setup for your spectre’s damage. In this case, consider the spectre is a Frost Auto Scout. The gems required are Raised Spectre, Spell Echo, Predator, Minion Damage, Elemental Focus, Hypothermia, or Greater Multiple Projectiles. Hypothermia is for CC but if you prefer faster mod clearing speed, switch over to Multiple Projectiles.
Feel free to start with any basic 6-link chest piece. You’ll always have the option to upgrade to +1 spectre armour. The preferable mods here are increased life and mana.
The gloves will contain Raise Zombie, Summon Stone Golem, Meat Shield, and Elemental army. They will be acting as your bodyguards so the preferred mod setup here is resistances and minion damage.
The boots house utility gems that increase the survivability of your minions while giving you greater AOE and frost damage. The gems required are Hatred, Generosity, Summon Skitterbots and Convocation.
You require at least 25-30% movement speed in your boots so that you can avoid fatal damage while the flame dash is on cooldown.
The Sceptre house Descarate, Bone Offering, and Tempest Shield. It must have “Trigger a socketed spell”, and minion or spell damage. Desecrate summons corpses while bone offering consumes them giving you and your minions block chance and life recovery. The tempest shield is just there for some added block chance.
The shield contains debuff gems such as the Armageddon Brand, Hextouch, and Frostbite. In terms of mods, anything from elemental resistance to life will do the job. See where you’re lacking and roll mods accordingly.
You’ll require a Shaper or a Warlord influence shield for the mod ‘recover life when you block’. This might be a bit hard to come by but will greatly increase your survivability in the long run.
The amulet is there only to boost your dexterity. Make sure you have enough to use the green gems. In case you’re still falling short, anoint the amulet with three clear oils to get an additional 30 dexterity. You can even go a step further and roll for +1 to all intelligence gems as this will help you achieve Raise Spectre gem level to 25. This in turn increases your spectre limit by one.
Use a vermillion or coral ring and one unset ring. You’ll need the unset ring for socketing the flame dash. Preferred modifiers are increased strength, increased maximum life, elemental resistances, life gained on kill, and stat boost in case you are still lacking in intelligence or dexterity.
Although you can use a simple leather belt, try to get a Stygian Vise. It will help you socket a Ghastly Eye Jewel for more life and minion mods. The more the better. Preferred modifiers on the belt include increased maximum life & mana and elemental resistances.
- Life Flask of Staunching– For bleed removal and healing.
- Granite Flask of Iron skin– Increased armour.
- Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline– Increased movement speed.
- Quartz Flask of Heat– Phasing, and dodging.
- Basalt Flask of Warding– Increased armor and curse removal.
Note: Crafting in PoE is random, so you may need to repeat the craft many times to get the required mods. Some mods have a very low chance of rolling and the crafting mats can be extremely expensive.
- Finding a chest piece- You can start with a basic 5- link or 6-link intelligence-based body armour and Screaming Essence of God. You can farm for it, get your hands on 6 Dapper Prodigy cards which also yield a 6-link level 100 body armour.
- Trigger Wands- Trigger wands auto-cast any gems in your wand when you’re using other skills. This is extremely helpful in minion builds where you’re constantly desecrating corpses or offering them for buffs. To bench craft ‘Trigger a socketed spell when you use a skill’ you’ll need one free suffix and at least three chaos orbs for a level 20 chest.
- Minion Wand- Minion wands add an extra level to minion gems and are extremely hard to craft. The +1 to all minion gems have a very low chance to appear in rolls. You’ll need a convoking wand, bound fossil, and 1-socket resonator to get this modifier and will burn through a decent chunk of bound fossils. You are more likely to get a +2 minion wand modifier, but the cost for crafting this wand is much higher. The requirements for +2 are Convoking wand, a 4-socket resonator, and four fossils, namely Jagged, Shuddering, Metallic, and Corroded. The application of all 4 fossils blocks all unwanted mods from appearing on your wand.
- Spectre gem levels- Requirements include boots with elder influence, Bound, Shuddering and Pristine Fossils, and a 3-socket resonator. You can save some PoE currency by using a 2-socket resonator and a shuddering + bound. Also note that you need level 86 boots to get 35% movement speed, so if you’re short on currency, don’t invest all these resources on some random boot.
- Minion Helmet- A +2/+3 minion helmet gives an additional level to all minion socketed gems which in turn increases the survivability of your minions. You’ll need a level 86 helmet, a 1-socket resonator, and a bound fossil.
The Minion Army Necromancer is a player-friendly character that’s well suited to beginners as well as hardened veterans. The build performs extremely well with only rare gear. But it can also be upgraded for better damage and survivability. One of the reasons it’s a great league starter is because you can experiment with a wide variety of spectres and do so optimally without having to hunt for them every time.
Being a necromancer has never been more fun and with this build, you can test truly test the limits of your character.