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[3.0]SRS Baron Witch Starter Build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

[3.0]SRS Baron Witch Starter Build - Odealo's Crafty Guide

One of the best League starter builds for Path of Exile. A budget-friendly Witch build with no special items requirements

SRS Baron
Witch/Necromancer
Starter build

Updated for Patch 3.6

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Estimated budget: meager
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Guide notes
March 29, 2019
-Updated for Patch 3.6

Summon Raging Spirit (SRS) based builds are extremely easy and fun to play. This spell has very low gear requirements and allows players to reach mid-tier mapping on around 1 Exalted Orb budget. We want to present our version of the build with several alternative item choices and little tweaks to buff up both your damage and survivability.

For the full list of our Path of Exile builds you can visit the following article: Odealo's Crafty Guides - Full List

1. Gameplay

Playing an SRS Necromancer is all about casting (well, spamming might be a better word) the Summon Raging Spirits Spell and avoiding enemy attacks. SRS is a minion-type spell, that summons extremely fast flaming skulls that act like homing missiles - chasing down your enemies all around the screen. Raging Spirits last only for 5 seconds, so you do have to cast it all the time, and also makes the spell itself benefit significantly from the Spell Echo Support Gem (or from socketing it into the Pledge of Hands staff). You will also gain a lot by using the tanky 4L zombie setup we suggest using. Specific Passive Skills will allow them to stay up much longer and act as a decent meatshield. 

0:06 Tier 9 Estuary
0:32 Tier 10 Arachnid Tomb
0:54 Tier 14 Colosseum 
1:16 Tier 16 Corrupted Underground Sea

This video was recorded on a level 86 Witch, Standard mode


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2. Build's PROS & CONS

PROS
  • budget-friendly and allows the player to get to the mid-tier mapping with self-found currency
  • great for leveling up - you can easily follow the final passive tree starting at level 1, you also use the same skill set the whole game, which makes getting Gems easier
  • good damage and clear speed
  • no expensive gear requirements which make it a great league starter build
CONS
  • getting to end-game will require significant currency investment, a 6L might be expected to dish out enough DPS 
  • not the best for farming labs and certain monsters and areas with a lot of AoE
  • no control over what your current target is

3. Leveling tips

SRS builds are extremely easy to level up. Summon Raging Spirits Spell is accessible very early into the game, and will not require any gear to carry you on till Act 10.  If you are starting a new League, and certain leveling items are unavailable (or very expensive) during the first days, you can easily get a +1 to the level of socketed Fire Gems wand using the following vendor recipe:

  1. Magic wand (for example Goat's Horn with increased spell damage) - this can't be of normal or rare quality
  2. Ruby ring of any rarity
  3. Orb of Alteration

Rest of the items can be easily self-found. You should aim for rares and blues with high Life and resistance bonuses. Below the Gem setups, we have also listed several useful uniques for the build. 

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Raise Zombie setup
Raise Zombie Raise Zombie - slow but tanky minions that help you stay alive while casting SRS
Minion Life Support Minion Life Support - one of the best defensive Support Gems for your zombies
Fortify Support Fortify Support - another decent defensive Support Gem
Minion Speed Support Minion Speed Support - if you can afford the 4th link it's not a bad option. You will also be leveling up a Gem that you can later on input in your SRS setup (as long as you have the additional link)
Summon Raging Spirit setup
Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit - your main DPS spell, that you will be using starting at level 4, until you get bored and respec your build ;) Socket it into the +1 to Fire Gems wand, and if you manage to get Reverberation wand, socket it there
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - well-round offensive Support Gem for your minions
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - Raging Spirits use melee physical based attacks, this is a significant DPS boost for them
Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support - grants extra AoE damage
Spell Echo Support Spell Echo Support - one of the best offensive support Gem for any SRS setup. If you aren't using Reverberation Wand or Pledge of Hands, always try to include it into this setup
Auras
Clarity Clarity - grants increased mana regeneration which might be extremely useful on lower levels
Hatred Hatred - a great DPS boost to all your minions. This is also the end-game aura we suggest using, so leveling it up as soon as possible is a recommended (it is available starting at level 24)

Bandits:
You should kill all the Bandits for two additional Passive Skill Points. This is the only reasonable option

Leveling Skill Trees:

34 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Lord of the Dead 2) Grave Pact 3) Spiritual Command 4) Sacrifice

64 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Righteous Army 2) Spiritual Aid 3) Redemption 4) Constitution

Recommended leveling items:

SidhebreathSidhebreath - a very cheap amulet that helps a lot with mana management. It also provides fantastic DPS bonuses. Can be used until you reach end-game, so it's worth investing in this piece
(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
 
Reverbation WandReverberation Rod - Supports socketed spells with Spell Echo. It is pretty much the best leveling wand for any SRS build. In case you can't afford one, or it's not available during first days of the League, try to get Spell Echo at level 31 and put it in a cheap 4L socket in another item, or the +1 wand
(15-19)% increased Spell Damage
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 1 Spell Echo
+(10-30) to Intelligence
 
Midnight BargainMidnight Bargain - another decent leveling wand. Provides a lot of bonuses. However, it reserves 30% of your Life. Use only if you have no problems with staying alive
(22-26)% increased Spell Damage
+(10-20) to Intelligence
Minions have (10-20)% increased Movement Speed
Minions deal (10-30)% increased Damage
+1 to maximum number of Zombies
+1 to maximum number of Skeletons
+1 to maximum number of Spectres
Reserves 30% of Life
Cannot be used with Chaos Inoculation
 
PraxisPraxis - a great leveling spell-caster's ring. Will help you maintain your mana throughout the earlier levels
+(20-25) to maximum Mana
+(30-60) to maximum Mana
(3-6) Mana Regenerated per second
-(8-4) to Mana Cost of Skills
8% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
AstramentisAstramentis - it's one of the best leveling amulets, as long as you can afford it :) It provides unmatched attribute boost, and is also one of the best amulet-slot options for builds with The Baron equipped
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+(80-100) to all Attributes
-4 Physical Damage taken from Attacks
 
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - it is always a good leveling option if you can afford one. SRS might cost way too much mana in a 6L setup. However, you should be fine to build a powerful Zombie setup in the Tabula Rasa (with possibly some additional DPS Support Gems as well)
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:

112 Points Skill Tree
112 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

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

Pantheon:

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 Ryslatha Life Flasks gain 3 Charges every 3 seconds if you haven't used a Life Flask Recently

5. Final Gems links

[DPS] SRS setup
(socketed in Staff)
Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit - your core DPS. Flame Golems are ranged casters, with both projectile-based and AoE spells. 
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - well-round offensive Support Gem for minions
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - another excellent Support Gem for SRS
Spell Echo Support (optional)Spell Echo Support - mandatory Support Gem for SRS setup. Skip it if you are using Pledge of Hands, otherwise, input it into the 4th linked socket
Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support - good for farming and better AoE
Elemental Damage with Attacks Support Elemental Damage with Attacks Support - increases Elemental Damage dealt by your Raging Spirits
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - grants additional Fire Damage to your Raging Spirits' attacks. Available only as the 7th link in Pledge of Hands
[UTILITY] Flesh Offering/Desecrate/Golem
Summon Stone Golem Summon Stone Golem - our recommended Golem choice. Stone golem provides extra Life regeneration
Desecrate Desecrate - creates piles of corpses, in case you are in a long boss battle and there are no corpses available for consumption
Flesh Offering Flesh Offering - grants your minions extra Attack and Movement Speed. And also an offering skill is  required to benefit from the Spirit Eater Ascendancy point
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support  - since you should have the 4th socket, you might want to link Inc. Duration Support to your Offering spell
[CURSE] Ball Lightning Curse on Hit setup
Ball Lightning Ball Lightning - one of the best spells to apply your curse. Just link it to Curse on Hit Support, the Curse, and optionally GMP Support for broader area coverage
Punishment Punishment - the optimal DPS-oriented curse for this build. If you have problems with survivability, you might swap it for either Enfeeble or Temporal Chains
Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support - helps you apply the curse, making the Ball Lightning spell cover wider area
Curse on Hit Support Curse on Hit Support  - required for the entire setup to work as intended, otherwise you have to apply your curse manually, and Ball Lightning Gem would be completely redundant
[DEFENSE] Raise Zombie setup
(The Baron, or +2 Minion Gems helmet)
Raise Zombie Raise Zombie - they play an exactly same role as during leveling phase. We add the Main Support Gem for extra overall DPS
Minion Life Support Minion Life Support
Fortifty Support Fortify Support
Maim Support Maim Support - this Gem will make your zombies apply a debuff on monsters, that will increase Physical Damage they receive, hence increasing damage dealt by your Raging Spirits
[UTILITY] Vaal Auras
Vaal Haste Vaal Haste - grants a temporary boost to speed to yourself and all your minions. Amazing burst to DPS
Vaal Discipline Vaal Discipline - grants Energy Shield bonuses for a short duration, great defensive spell in tough battles
Increased Duration Support Increased Duration Support - increases the Vaal Gems' effect duration
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash setup
Flame Dash Flame Dash - an excellent mobility skill for casters, link it to FC for faster movement
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - allows speedier movement with Flame Dash
[AURA] Hatred setup
Generosity Support Generosity Support - this Support Gem improves the effect of linked Auras (Hatred in this example) 
Hatred Hatred - the best offensive aura for this SRS setup. You should connect it to Generosity Support for better effect


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5. Gear Setup

Let's get down to the most interesting part of our guide. Before we start, you might want to visit our PoE Currency Marketplace and restock your PoE Orbs. All the suggested items have the minimum requirements listed underneath.

We guarantee that our list will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS and Life to start mapping successfully
  3. Save you at least a couple of hours!

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Minion Damage
  4. Cast Speed
  5. Mana/Mana Regeneration
The Baron(Helmet) The Baron - pretty much one of the most expensive items for this build. You can, however, get it at level 26 and wear all the way to end-game. It's well worth every Chaos Orb it costs
+(20-40) to Strength
+2 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems
Minions have 20% increased maximum Life
Your Strength is added to your Minions
+1 to maximum number of Zombies per 300 Strength
With 1000 or more Strength, 2% of Damage dealt by your Zombies is Leeched to you as Life
Rare helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - a helmet with triple resistances will cost just a couple Chaos Orbs. It's a decent pick, however, you will lack a lot of DPS in higher level areas
Min. requirements:
+2 Levels to Socketed Minion Gems
75 maximum Life
15% Fire Resistance
15% Lightning Resistance
15% Cold Resistance
Astral Plate(Body Armour) - Rare Armour
Min. requirements:
40 Strength
60 maximum Life
40% Fire Resistance
40% Cold Resistance
Pledge of Hands(Weapon) Pledge of Hands - one of the best in slot items for SRS setup, and a rather budget-friendly option. Just aim for at least 4-5 sockets depending on your budget
18% Chance to Block
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 30 Spell Echo
(120-160)% increased Spell Damage
100% increased maximum Mana
Rare Staff(Weapon) Rare 6L staff from Divination Cards - you can get a very cheap 6 Linked Staff for around 12 Chaos Orbs. Simply buy the Dark Mage Divination Cards. After you get the Staff you can try to get +2 Level to socketed Gems in it, and possibly some additional Mana/Cast speed, etc. (just don't overdo it when crafting, it's not worth it)
Min. requirements:
+2 Levels to Socketed Gems
Optional affixes:
increased Cast Speed
increased Mana Regeneration Rate
maximum Mana

require 6x Divination Card The Dark Mage
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - we should be able to cut currency expenses a bit by taking dual-res boots and belt. Also at least 20% increased movement speed is recommended
Min. requirements:
Strength
50 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
20% increased Movement Speed
Heavy belt(Belt) Rare Belt - if for some reason there aren't too many interesting and cheap belts available, just remove the STR attribute requirement
Min. requirements:
Strength
90 maximum Life
25% Fire Resistance
40% Lightning Resistance
Astramentis(Amulet) Astramentis - this is pretty much one of the best options if you are using The Baron helmet. It grants terrific attribute bonuses, which also makes you forget about attribute requirements on most Gems and items
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+(80-100) to all Attributes
-4 Physical Damage taken from Attacks
Bisco's Collar(Amulet) Bisco's Collar - it's not exactly a "budget-friendly" amulet. However if you can afford one, and can live without the additional stats and DPS, this amulet will surely pay up. It provides one of the best Item rarity/Item quantity bonuses in the entire Path of Exile
(12-20)% increased Rarity of Items found
(100-150)% increased Rarity of Items Dropped by Slain Magic Enemies
(35-50)% increased Quantity of Items Dropped by Slain Normal Enemies
Diamond RingDiamond Ring(Rings) Rare Rings - preferable with Increased Minion Movement Speed crafted
Min. requirements:
55 maximum Life
33% Cold Resistance
18% Lightning Resistance
Optional affixes:
increased Minion Speed (Essence crafted)
ES Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - simply get the highest Life you can afford and is currently available
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
29% Fire Resistance
32% Cold Resistance
22% Lightning Resistance
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - if you are building your character on a tight budget, you should forget about Minion Damage. Simply stick to Life and Strength Attribute
Recommended affixes:
increased maximum Life
Minions deals increased Damage
Minions have increased all Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Minions have increased Chance to Block
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - a great defensive and inexpensive flask
+3000 to Armour
(14-20)% Chance to Block during Flask effect
(6-10)% Chance to Block Spells during Flask effect
Other suggested Flasks:
  1. Experimenter's Quicksilver Flask of Heat (immunity to freeze and chill effects)
  2. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (bleeding immunity)
  3. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Curing (poison immunity)
  4. Saturated Eternal Mana Flask of Iron Skin (increased Armour)
Rumi's ConcoctionQuicksilver FlaskLife FlaskLife FlaskMana Flask


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Let us know if you would like to see a viable, end-game version of this build. This build can deal incredible damage while maintaining amazing clear speed and Life pool at the same time. If you can afford to invest some extra Exalted Orbs into your character, and if you like minion-based builds, it's something for you. 

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