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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
Starter build


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Summon Raging Spirit (SRS) based builds are extremely easy and fun to play. Summon Ragin Spirits has a very low gear requirement 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.

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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 recast it frequently, as well as, take Passives that increase Skill Effect Duration. For the defenses, this build utilizes high Life Pool, and Meat Shield Zombies, which will prioritize enemies that are targetting you. Also, the new Plaguebringer Passive reduces nearby enemies damage by 10% if there is a Corpse nearby

0:06 Tier 16 Pit of the Chimera
0:29 Tier 16 Maze of the Minotaur
0:57 Tier 16 Forge of the Phoenix
1:37 Tier 17 Uber Elder

This video was recorded on a level 90 Necromancer using a Crafted Rare Staff and the Baron Helmet in Patch 3.8

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • budget-friendly and allows the player to get to the mid-tier mapping with ease
  • 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 appropriate Gems easier
  • good damage and clear speed
  • no expensive gear requirements which make it a great League Starter build
  • can do all most Map Mods
  • getting to end-game will require significant currency investment, a 6L might be expected to dish out enough DPS
  • nearly impossible to complete No Mana Regen Maps


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 very 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 which also increases your Zombie's DPS
Minion Speed Support Minion Speed Support - quite useful for the Zombies, which makes them intercept enemies faster
Summon Raging Spirit setup
Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit - your main DPS spell, that you will be using starting at level 4. 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 Attacks, this is a significant DPS boost for them
Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support - grants extra AoE damage
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 becomes available at level 24)

You should kill all the Bandits for two additional Passive Skill Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

34 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Lord of the Dead 2) Enduring Bond 3) Quick Recovery 4) Aligned Spirits 5) Potency of Will

69 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Gravepact 2) Devotion 3) Righteous Army

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
(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 another four-linked 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. It 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-casters 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 it. SRS might cost a lot of Mana in a six-link 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:

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

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Mindless Aggression
  2. Unnatural Strength
  3. Mistress of Sacrifice
  4. Plaguebringer


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] SRS setup
(socketed in the Staff with + to Gem levels)
Summon Raging Spirit Summon Raging Spirit - your core DPS. You need to recast it frequently since Raging Spirits have a limited duration
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - well-round offensive Support Gem for all Minions
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - another excellent Support Gem for SRS
Unleash Support Unleash Support - stores extra Charges and when you cast Raging Spirits, more Spirits are created for each Charge
Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support - gives your Raging Spirits AoE which greatly enhances your clear speed
Empower Support Empower Support - can increase your Summon Raging Spirits by up to 7 levels if you can invest in level 4 Empower and the +2 Craft
[UTILITY] Flesh Offering/Desecrate/Curse
Flesh Offering Flesh Offering - gives your Minions (and also yourself with reduced effect) a very high bonus to Movement, Attack, and Cast Speed when you consume a Corpse
Desecrate Desecrate - creates piles of Corpses which you can use to Raise Zombies, cast Flesh Offering or just benefit from Plaguebringer
Punishment Punishment - the best Curse for this build which increases your Minions Physical Damage and Attack Speed
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support - increases the Cast Speed of all Supported Spells. It's very useful since all three need to be cast manually
[DEFENSE] Raise Zombie setup
(in Body Armour)
Raise Zombie Raise Zombie - they play an exactly same role as during leveling phase. We just add Meat Shield Support to make them more defensive and stay close to you
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. Maim also slows down affected enemies
Meat Shield Support Meat Shield Support - makes your Zombies defensive and reduces their damage taken
Deathmark Support Deathmark Support - increases your Zombies Damage, and allows you to Deathmark enemies which will override your Zombies defensive behavior and have them Attack the market target. This is preferably used against tougher Bosses
Hatred Hatred - the best offensive aura for this Summon Raging Spirits build
Dread Banner Dread Banner - gives your Minions a chance to Impale on Hit, which is a slight DPS buff, but also reduces nearby enemies' Accuracy Rating
Increased Duration Support Generosity Support - this Support Gem improves the effect of linked Auras and makes them only affect your Minions
[MOBILITY] Leap Slam
Leap Slam Leap Slam - the recommended Movement Skill for this build. Since you also benefit from Increases to Minions Attack Speed, it's quite fast
[UTILITY] Carrion Golem
Carrion Golem Summon Carrion Golem - the best Golem for Minion builds which gives them extra flat Physical Damage
Cast when Damage Taken Support Cast when Damage Taken - will automatically resummon your Golem when you take enough damage
Steelskin Steelskin - great Guard Skill which absorbs a lot of incoming damage when triggered by CwDT GEm

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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. Also, 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 - one of the best Helmets for this build. If you chose to go with The Baron make sure to stack as much Strength as possible on your equipment
+(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
Bone Helmet(Helmet) Rare Helmet - with Bone Helmet being the best option. It can increase your Minion Damage globally and provide high defensive stats
Min. requirements:
75 maximum Life
75% Total Elemental Resistances
18% Minion Damage
Helmet enchantment:
Summon Raging Spirit has 18% chance to summon an extra Minion
Summon Raging Spirit has 30% increased Duration
Astral Plate(Body Armour) Rare Armour - offers solid defensive stats and additional Strength. You can use pretty much anything you want in this slot
Min. requirements:
40 Strength
100 maximum Life
40% Fire Resistance
40% Cold Resistance
Femurs of the Saints(Weapon) Femurs of the Saints - offers most of the stats we need in the weapon slot including +2 to the level of Minion Gems Socketed. It's also very cheap
+18% Chance to Block Attack Damage while wielding a Staff
+2 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems
Minions deal (60-80)% increased Damage
+1% Chance to Block Attack Damage per Summoned Skeleton
2% increased Attack and Cast Speed per Summoned Raging Spirit
Regenerate 0.6% of Life per second for each Raised Zombie
30% increased Mana Regeneration Rate per Raised Spectre
Rare Staff(Weapon) Rare multi-crafted Staff - this is the best in the slot. Self-crafting one shouldn't cost more than 5 Exalted Orbs, but this still will be considered the most expensive item in this build
Min. requirements:
+2 Levels to Socketed Support Gems
Socketed Gems are Supported by level # Fortify
20% Cast Speed
Minions deal 60% Increased Damage
Minions have 25% Increased Attack Speed
Minions have 25% Increased Cast Speed
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - again, prioritize defensive stats, Strength, and Movement Speed bonus
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
30% Lightning Resistance
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Heavy belt(Belt) Rare Belt - can provide the highest possible Strenght bonus
Min. requirements:
55 Strength
60 maximum Life
30% Fire Resistance
30% Lightning Resistance
Darkness Ethroned(Belt) Darkness Enthroned - this is a cheaper option, however, proper Abyssal Jewels may cost a fortune. You will want them to have high flat Added Damage, Life, and Strength bonuses
Has 1 Abyssal Socket
Has 1 Abyssal Socket
50% increased Effect of Socketed Jewels
Astramentis(Amulet) Astramentis - one of the best options for the Amulet Slot. Since it's also relatively Cheap when compared to Rare Amulets with High bonus Attributes, we recommend sticking to Astramentis
+(10-16) to all Attributes
+(80-100) to all Attributes
-4 Physical Damage taken from Attacks
Two Stone Ring(Rings) Rare Rings - with high Strenght attribute and defensive stats. Essence Crafted once with proper stats would be the BiS, but also extremely expensive
Min. requirements:
35 Strength
60 maximum Life
75% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Cast Speed
Maximum Mana
increased Minion Speed (Essence crafted)
Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - preferably Strength base for extra Armour and Strenght bonus
Min. requirements:
45 Strength
60 maximum Life
60% Total Elemental Resistances
Command of the Pit(Gloves) Command of the Pit - pretty much the best in the slot. They increase your Minions Accuracy Rating, give you additional Abyssal Socket and extra Life
Has 1 Abyssal Socket
(6-10)% increased Cast Speed
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
With a Ghastly Eye Jewel Socketed, Minions have +1000 to Accuracy Rating
With a Hypnotic Eye Jewel Socketed, gain Arcane Surge on Hit with Spells
Cobalt Jewel(Jewels) Rare Jewels - you will try to get Life and at least one damage Boosting modifier
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
Minions deals increased Damage
Optional affixes:
Cast Speed
Abyss Jewels(Jewels) Rare Abyss Jewels - these can provide the highest possible Minion DPS bonus, but they are also more expensive 
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
Minions deal additional Physical Damage with Attacks
Optional affixes:
Minions have increased Attack Speed
Minions have increased Movement Speed
Efficient Training(Jewels) Efficient Training - each of those when socketed in the Witch's section will grant between 70 and 90 bonus Strength
+(16-24) to Strength
Intelligence from Passives in Radius is Transformed to Strength
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - a great defensive and inexpensive Utility 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 Adrenaline (increased Movement Speed)
  2. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Bleeding immunity)
  3. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
  4. Ample Silver Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
Rumi's ConcoctionQuicksilver FlaskLife FlaskLife FlaskSilver 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

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