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[3.0]Flame Golem Witch Necromancer Build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

[3.0]Flame Golem Witch Necromancer Build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

Find out one of the most powerful and well-rounded Path of Exile Build for the Necromancer class - the Flame Golem Summoner

Flame Golem
Necromancer-Witch build

Updated for Patch 3.5

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Guide notes
December 19, 2018
-Updated for Patch 3.5

We want to present an entirely new type of guides for various Path of Exile builds. Our Crafty Guides are completely different from those that you might have seen so far. We give you the exclusive opportunity to restock your Orbs, as well as to easily find all the required Unique Items.

Our premiere Crafty Guide will be about one of the most popular classes - the Necromancer. We will try to explain the basic game mechanics of the Summoner-type characters while getting into the details of our Flame Golem Build and the Golemancy itself. 

You can also check our other Path of Exile builds at Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List

1. Gameplay

Playing a Summoner class is completely different from other builds. The gameplay is much less straightforward, while your character should have no direct contact with monsters, and is supposed to play a supportive role. Being able to freely kite Attacks and Spells while your Minions deal the damage is the core defensive layer. The main idea behind this types of builds is to have your Minions tank and kill monsters, with you assist them with your Auras, Curses, and Offerings. This is achieved by a mixture of good positioning, kiting skills, and general PoE experience.

The main idea is to have packs and bosses attack your Minions. Depending on what Gems you eventually plan to use, you can either stay far back, and enjoy the show, or if using the curse aura as suggested, stick around for it to affect the monsters.

It's crucial to stay focused all the time while playing a Summoner character. It's rather easy to feel like you are not participating in the battle, lose focus and get killed by a Charge or an AoE attack.

0:07 T8 Belfry Map
0:17 T10 Shipyard Map
0:48 T16 Lair of the Hydra (no boss fight)
1:32 T15 Colosseum Map

This video was recorded on a level 89 Necromancer with 3 Labyrinths completed. It is a Life version of this build; the gameplay mechanics don't differ much. And sadly we weren't prepared (Support Gem/Flask-wise) to deal with the Hydra.

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • cheap and easy to gear up
  • great for leveling up, with not much deviation from the end-game leveling tree
  • great damage, decent clear speed, and amazing sustainability, making it one of the most well-round builds in PoE
  • good frenzy and power charge output
  • enemies die, even after your death
  • end-game items are rather expensive (mainly The Anima Stone, and Primordial Might Jewels)
  • this builds falls entirely into the "afk-playstyle" category
  • to clear end-game content, its required to be familiar with the summoner mechanics (how the targeting system works for your golems, and how to position yourself)

3. Leveling tips

The Flame Golem Summon build is very easy to level up. You will be using other types of Minions along the way, making it a rather smooth ride, with not much gear requirements. As Witch you will have very early access to powerful summon Gems right after you start: Summon Zombies and Summon Raging Spirit. Later on, you can either choose to stick with SRS as your primary DPS ability or swap to Summon Spectres Spell. In either setup, you should be able to grind your way up to your final Golem build. If you can afford one, it's also a good idea to put both your Minion Gems in a Tabula Rasa Body Armour. 

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Raise Zombie setup
Raise Zombie Raise Zombie - your Minion-Tanks. Accessed as early as level 1, will most likely accompany you till the end-game. They are slow and act as your meatshield. You should only support them with defensive Gems to make them more durable, allowing you to stay safe while casting offensive spells.
Minion Life Support Minion Life Support - mandatory Support Gem for this setup. Will be available at level 18
Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance Minion and Totem Elemental Resistance - another decent defensive Gem. This one won't be available until Act 3 and level 31 though
Fortify Support Fortify Support - another decent defensive support option. Adds up a little extra damage too
Minion Speed Support Minion Speed Support - I can personally recommend this Gem. It will be available at level 18 (together with Minion Life Support), so you might want to use it before you get to swap it with the other recommended Support Gems
Summon Raging Spirit setup
Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit - your primary DPS ability starting from the very beginning. You can choose it as a reward from "Breaking some eggs" quest in Act 1. Raging Spirits are considered minions that use melee attacks. They act like homing missiles chasing enemies all around the screen. Also, keep in mind they only last for a limited time - their base duration is 5 seconds. Summon Ragin Spirit is a spell you should be spamming in combat while your Zombies tank the enemy attacks. This gem makes a great and cheap combination when used in a Reverberation wand
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - well-round offensive Support Gem for minions
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - another great attacking Support Gem option. Adds extra Physical Damage to your Raging Spirits' attacks
Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support - a good option for extra AoE damage. Boosts your clear speed by a fair bit
Minion Speed Support Minion Speed Support - this should be used early, as it will be one of the first accessible Support Gems for SRS setup. Later one should be swapped for one of the above
Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support - one of the best Support Gems for any SRS setup. However, if you are going to use Reverberation wand you can skip this one
Raise Spectre setup
Summon Spectre Summon Spectre - this might potentially become your main DPS. You can raise Spectres starting from Act 3 - Solaris Temple - The Flame Sentinels. You should know that Spectres will have the same abilities that they had in life. Later on, you can replace Flame Sentinels with melee version - the Kitava Heralds, from Act 5. You should use different Support Gems for each type, which are listed below.
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support(both) - well-round offensive Support Gem for minions
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support(melee) - one of the best offensive Support Gems for melee fighters
Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support(caster) - one of the best Support Gem for casters. Doubling up the number of spells your Spectre casts
Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support(caster) - most of the Flame Sentinel's spells are projectiles based; this will benefit their DPS greatly
Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support(caster) - one of the best Support Gems for any SRS setup. However, if you are going to use Reverberation Wand, you can skip this one
Fortify Support Fortify Support(melee) - another decent option, for both extra toughness and DPS 
Other viable options
Empower Support Empower Support - one of the best Support Gems for all types of Minion. However, it's not for players playing on a low budget. High-level Empower will cost a lot. However, it adds up the most Life and DPS by increasing all the supported active gems' levels

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You should kill all the Bandits for two extra Passive Skill Points. This is the best and the only valid option

Leveling Skill Trees:

31 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Lord of the Dead 2) Gravepact 3) Potency of Will (if you decide to stick to SRS)

64 Points Skill Tree
Priorities 1) Spiritual Command 2) Sacrifice 3) Death Attunement 4) Discipline and Training

Recommended leveling items:

SidhebreathSidhebreath Paua Amulet - Very cheap and easy to get from other players early in the game. Should not cost more than 1 Alchemy Orb
(20-30)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+25% to Cold Resistance
0.2% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
Minions have (10-15)% increased maximum Life
Minions have (10-15)% increased Movement Speed
(15-10)% reduced Mana Cost of Minion Skills
Minions deal (10-15)% increased Damage
Bones of UllrBones of Ullr - great leveling item for any summon build. Increases the maximum number of Zombies and Spectres by 1
+20 to maximum Life
+20 to maximum Mana
(40-60)% increased Energy Shield
(5-15)% increased Movement Speed
+1 to maximum number of Zombies
+1 to maximum number of Spectres
Reverbation WandReverberation Rod - Supports socketed Gems with Spell Echo. Allows powerful and cheap SRS combination. You should either aim to get one with three links or craft them yourself. The first option will be always cheaper with low-level items though
(15-19)% increased Spell Damage
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 1 Spell Echo
+(10-30) to Intelligence
Unending HungerUnending Hunger Cobalt Jewel - if you plan to use Raise Spectre's this is a great threshold jewel for this spell. It's also very cheap and shouldn't cost you more than 1 Alchemy Orb
Minions have (6-8)% increased Area of Effect of Area Skills
With at least 40 Intelligence in Radius, Raised Spectres have a 50% chance to gain Soul Eater for 30 seconds on Kill
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - it is always a good leveling option if you can afford one. However, spamming SRS with no extra mana/mana regeneration might be tricky with the extra support gems linked to it.
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Item has 6 White Sockets and is fully linked (Hidden)

4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

116 Points Final Skill Tree
116 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Commander of Darkness
  2. Puppet Master
  3. Invoker
  4. Mistress of Sacrifice


Major God: Soul of the Brine King You cannot be Stunned if you've been Stunned or Blocked a Stunning Hit in the past 2 seconds

Minor God: Soul of Gruthkul 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each Hit you've taken Recently up to a maximum of 5%

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Flame Golem setup
Summon Flame Golem Summon Flame Golem - your core DPS skill. Flame Golems are ranged casters, with Fire projectile and AoE spells
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - well-round offensive Support Gem for minions
Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support - works for the spells cast by your Flame Golem, while also significantly increasing their cast speed
Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles - increases the number of projectiles, and the damage of the projectile-based spells cast by your Flame Golem
Controlled Destruction Support Controlled Destruction Support - excellent damage boost to spells cast by Flame Golems
Summon Phantasm on Kill Support Summon Phantasm on Kill Support - kills done by your Flame Golems will grant up to 69% chance to summon Phantasms. Like Flame Golems, Phantasms are projectile-based spellcasters so that they will benefit from all the other Support Gems in this setup. Each Phantasm lasts for 15 seconds
Optional gems:
Combustion Support Combustion Support - can be used instead of Summon Phantasm on Kill Support against Bosses
[UTILITY] Flesh Offering setup
Cast When Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken Support - this Gem casts linked spells when a certain amount of damage is taken. Keep this Gem at level 12
Desecrate Desecrate - crates corpses for you to consume. Keep this Gem at level 15
Bone Offering Flesh Offering - grants increased Attack and Cast Speed to your Minions and yourself. Keep this Gem at level 15
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the duration of the Flesh Offering spell
[UTILITY] Orb of Storms setup
Orb of Storms Orb of Storms - Orb of Storms is used to apply your Curses
Enfeeble Enfeeble - defensive Curse option for this build
Flammability Flammability - the more DPS-oriented Curse for this build
Curse on Hit Support Curse on Hit Support  - makes the Orb of Storms apply supported Curses
[UTILITY] Phase Run and Vaal Haste
Phase Run Phase Run - a great defensive spell. Will make you less visible to enemies when active, making them more likely to target your Minions. It will be cast automatically in this setup.
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast When Damage Taken Support - kept at level 1 will allow you nearly 100% uptime on Phase run
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the Phase Run's duration
Vaal Haste Vaal Haste - Vaal Aura that increases Attack, Cast, and Movement Speed for a brief duration
[AURAS] Vaal Gems setup
Purity of Elements [1 Link]Purity of Elements - a great defensive Aura that grants increased Elemental Resistances to your and your Minions
Generosity Support [2 Links]Generosity Support - makes the supported Auras apply only to your Minions with increased effectiveness
Anger [2 Links]Anger - Anger adds additional Fire Damage to your Golems
[MOBILITY] Shield Charge
Shield Charge Shield Charge - your primary movement skill
Fortify Support Fortify Support - grants the Fortify buff on melee Hits with Shield Charge
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support

5. Gear Setup

Let's get down to the most critical part of any build - the equipment. First of all, we are delighted to invite you to visit our marketplace for PoE Currency and restock your orbs if you are unable to afford the items below (or could use an upgrade).

We guarantee that the items listed will:

  1. Cap your Elemental Resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS and Life to start mapping successfully

Please keep in mind; you can alter all the desired statistics since it is highly unlikely that the items you will be looking for will have the exact numeric values as we have listed below (this are minimum stat requirements so that they will be higher most of the time)

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Minion Damage
  4. Mana & Mana Regeneration Rate
Bone Helmet(Helmet) Rare Bone Helmet - the best in the slot Helmet for this build. However, with the Minion-related changes in 3.4, Bone Helmets became more expensive
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
30% increased Minion Damage
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Skin of the Loyal(Body Armour) Skin of the Loyal - This Armour provides cheap 6Links with the extra Global Defenses and +1 level to socketed Gems
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
Item has no level requirement and Energy Shield (Hidden)
Sockets cannot be modified
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
100% increased Global Defences
Rare Armour(Body Armour) Rare Armour - with high Life bonus
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Clayshaper(Weapon Slot) Clayshaper - mandatory item for this build
15% reduced Enemy Stun Threshold
Adds (24-30) to (34-40) Physical Damage
(8-10)% increased Attack Speed
Minions have (20-30)% increased maximum Life
Minions' Attacks deal (5-8) to (12-16) additional Physical Damage
Can Summon up to 1 additional Golem at a time
Grants level 12 Summon Stone Golem
Victario's Charity(Shield) Victario's Charity - gives your Minions a chance to grant Power and Frenzy Charges to all nearby Allies. It also provides extra Block Chance
3% reduced Movement Speed (Hidden)
+8% to all Elemental Resistances
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(20-30)% to Lightning Resistance
+11% to Chaos Resistance
20% increased Area of Effect of Aura Skills
10% chance to grant a Power Charge to nearby Allies on Kill
5% chance to grant a Frenzy Charge to nearby Allies on Hit
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Rare Gloves(Boots) Rare Gloves - with high Life bonus and Elemental Resistances
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
30% Fire Resistance
30% Cold Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
Glove enchantment:
Commandment of Frost
Leather Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - with high defensive bonuses
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
35% Fire Resistance
35% Lightning Resistance
35% Cold Resistance
Sidhebreath(Amulet) Sidhebreath - powerful and inexpensive Minion-related Amulet
(20-30)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+25% to Cold Resistance
0.2% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana
Minions have (10-15)% increased maximum Life
Minions have (10-15)% increased Movement Speed
(15-10)% reduced Mana Cost of Minion Skills
Minions deal (10-15)% increased Damage
Prismatic RingPrismatic Ring(Rings) Rare Rings - with Essence Crafted Rings with increased Movement Speed the best possible choice
Min. requirements:
55 maximum Life
20% Fire Resistance
20% Cold Resistance
20% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
maximum Mana
increased Minion Speed
Kaom Roots(Gloves) Kaom Roots - an amazing pair of Boots which grant a very high Life bonus and Unwavering Stance Passive
Has no Sockets
Cannot be Knocked Back
+(150-200) to maximum Life
You cannot be slowed to below base speed
Unwavering Stance
Boot enchantment:
10% increased Movement Speed if you haven't been Hit Recently
The Anima Stone(Jewel) The Anima Stone - it is one of the most important(and expensive) items in this build. It will provide you with 2 extra Golems
Can Summon up to 1 additional Golem at a time
If you have 3 Primordial Jewels, can Summon up to 1 additional Golem at a time
Primordial Might(Jewel) Primordial Might - another powerful Jewel that boosts your Golem's DPS and also makes them more "aggressive," which improves their mobility and targeting, increasing your overall DPS. Equipping just one Primordial Might jewel is recommended, as we suggest using two Harmony Jewels to grant you the second golem from The Anima Stone
(25-30)% increased Damage if you Summoned a Golem in the past 8 seconds
Golems Summoned in the past 8 seconds deal (35-45)% increased Damage
Golems have (18-22)% increased Maximum Life
Your Golems are aggressive
Primordial Harmony(Jewel) Primordial Harmony - are the recommended Primordial Jewels required to grant you the second additional golem from The Anima Stone. Can be stacked beyond the required 3, but will not grant an extra Golem 
Golem Skills have (20-30)% increased Cooldown Recovery Speed
Golems have (10-15)% increased Cooldown Recovery Speed
(16-20)% increased Golem Damage for each Type of Golem you have Summoned
Golems regenerate 2% of their Maximum Life per second
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - the most important stats you are looking for are Minion Elemental Resistances (so that your Golems have them capped, even when out of range of your Purity Aura) and increased Minion Damage
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
increased Minion Damage
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Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
  2. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Bleeding immunity)
  3. Experimenter's Sulphur Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
  4. Experimenter's Granite Flask of Curing (Poison immunity)
  5. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (Movement Speed)
Life FlaskLife FlaskSulphur FlaskGranite FlaskQuicksilver Flask

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We hope that you have enjoyed this kind of guide, and we are looking forward to your feedback. We would love to hear your suggestions about which build should we work on next. A Sunder Gladiator, or maybe the recently famous Glacial Cascade Mines Saboteur? 

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Grinding Gear Games.