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Flaming Skeleton Archers Necromancer Build

Flaming Skeleton Archers Necromancer Build

Powerful Minion build based on the new alternative Summon Skeleton Gem which summons Skeletal Archers instead

Flaming Skeleton Archers
Necromancer build

Updated for Patch 3.12

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Estimated budget: medium
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Guide notes
October 6, 2020
-Build created


Patch 3.12 introduced new Alternative Quality versions of various Skill and Support Gems which open up new interesting build options like the following Skeleton Archer Summoner. Our recommended setup makes them fire fiery projectiles which have amplified damage when passing through Flame Wall (yet another newly added Spell Gem). Overall, this build is nothing exceptionally powerful, but if you get the Gem early on, leveling is very easy, and in the end-game, it offers very good clear speed, solid defenses, and sufficient single-target damage to take down most of the Bosses in the game. This build has its own unique theme which makes it very fun and enjoyable to play. 

You can also check our other Path of Exile builds in this article: Best PoE Builds by Odealo


1. Gameplay

This is a typical Summoner type of build that relies on your Minions to deal all the damage and kill enemies. Our recommended setup should let you summon 9 Zombies and 10 Skeleton Archers, which combined should offer several Million DPS. Zombies are quite tanky, but they will provide very important buffs including Feeding Frenzy and increasing your Archer's Fire Damage via Combustion debuff. Most of the damage your Minions are going to inflict will be of the Fire Element. By using Flame Wall, you can further increase the damage of projectiles fired by Skeleton Archers. You can also use Sniper's Mark against Bosses for some extra DPS or Flammability Curse - with extra Curse from Body Armour, could potentially let you cast both. Overall, this build offers very good clear speed with tons of Projectiles firing around the screen.

For the defenses, this build offers a high Life Pool (between 5,000-6,000) and very high Block Chance - approximately 70%/50% without Glancing Blows which combined with Blood Offerring's Life Recovery on Block, makes you quite tanky even against end-game Bosses in high-level Heists.

0:08 Tier 15 Castle Ruins
0:47 Tier 15 Marshes
1:27 Tier 16 Lair of the Hydra
1:52 Tier 16 Maze of the Minotaur
2:16 Tier 16 Sunken Temple

This video was recorded on a level 93 Necromancer on the Heist League using rather an budget equipment. We had 10 Skeleton Archers at approximately 200k DPS each, and additional 9 Zombies at around 90k DPS each

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • fun to play
  • very easy to level up if you can afford the Gem itself
  • solid AoE clear speed and decent single-target damage
  • solid defenses with high Life and Block Chance
  • can do most Map Mods
  • requires an expensive Skill Gem that's not easily obtainable
  • limited single-target damage


3. Leveling tips

Leveling as a Summoner is smooth and easy. You can pick any type of Minions for that purpose, and preferably Skeleton Archers if you can afford the Alternative Quality Gem itself called Phantasmal Summon Skeletons. We have leveled up our own character with Zombies and Skeleton Archers in 6-link Ashred which makes it several Chaos Orbs for an extremely powerful 7-linked set up at the very start of your adventure. 

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Raise Zombie
Raise Zombies Raise Zombie - you will get this Gem right after you finish the first Quest and enter Lioneye's Watch. Zombies are used to tank monsters right from the start and deal a moderate amount of damage
Minion Life Support Minion Life Support - core Support Gem for Zombie Minions
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - grants more Minion Damage to your Raging Spirits
Summon Skeleton setup
Phantasmal Summon Skeletons Support Phantasmal Summon Skeletons Support - the core Spell used in this build. It will summon several Skeleton Archers with each cast which will deal massive projectile damage and offer insane clear speed
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support - adds a ton of Fire Damage based on your Skeleton's Physical DPS. It can be granted by Ashrend Unique Body Armour
Greater Multiple Projectiles Support Greater Multiple Projectiles Support - increases the number of Projectiles greatly increasing your clear speed
Utility Gems
Anger Anger - the best Aura for this build which adds a ton of extra damage for your Minions
Flame Wall Flame Wall - adds additional Fire Damage to projectiles that fly through it. It's not a substantial bonus but makes this build feel more complete and fun to play
Convocation Convocation - recalls all your Minions to your current location allowing you to progress faster through areas and making it easier to position your Archers behind the Flame Wall


We recommend killing all the Bandits for two additional Passive Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

33 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Lord of the Dead 2) Enduring Bond 3) Heart and Soul 4) Death Attunement

63 Points Passive Tree
Priorities: 1) Spiritual Command 2) Redemption 3) Righteous Army 4) Gravepact 5) Constitution

Recommended leveling items:

Sidhebreath Sidhebreath - the single best leveling Item for this Summoner build. It grants very high Minion Damage and Movement Speed bonuses and helps you greatly with Mana Management on lower levels
(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
PraxisPraxis - if you are having problems with your Mana when spamming Skeletons this basically solves it entirely. It can be also used on low-level Maps before you get a more reliable way to reduce the Mana Cost of your Skills
+(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
AshrendAshrend - the best Body Armour for this build. I have personally got a 6-linked one 1 week within the Heist League for 6 Chaos and had an overly powerful 7-linked setup in it
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 10 Added Fire Damage
(80-100)% increased Evasion Rating
+(30-50) to maximum Life
+(40-50)% to Fire Resistance
Cannot be Ignited
(10-15)% increased Physical Damage with Ranged Weapons
-(7-5) Physical Damage taken from Attack Hits
Victario's FlightVictario's Flight - grants very high Movement Speed bonus both to you and your Minions
+15 to Dexterity
+15 to Intelligence
(100-150)% increased Evasion Rating
5% increased Movement Speed
(5-10)% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
10% increased Movement Speed
10% increased Movement Speed for you and nearby Allies


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

115 Points Final Skill Tree - doesn't include Passives from Cluster Jewels - refer to PoB for such details
115 Points Path of Building(PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Mindless Aggression
  2. Unnatural Strength
  3. Plaguebringer
  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] Phantasmal Summon Skeletons
Phantasmal Summon Skeletons Phantasmal Summon Skeletons - allows you to summon Skeletal Archers that are the primary source of DPS in this build
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - increases your Minions DPS greatly
Greater Multiple Projectiles Greater Multiple Projectiles Support - increases the number of your Archer's projectiles, increasing your clear speed greatly
Added Fire Damage Support Added Fire Damage Support -  core Support Gem for this setup which adds extra Fire Damage based on the base Physical Damage. You should also consider getting Divergent Gem which offers additional Physical to Fire conversion
Damage on Full Life Support Damage on Full Life Support - this build utilizes Blessed Rebirth and multiple Renewal Passives which makes your Skeletons stay on Maximum Life most of the time making it one of the best Support Gems for this setup
Elemental Focus Support Elemental Focus Support - greatly increases Elemental Damage and makes your Skeleton Archers unable to inflict ailments. This helps them not to override the Combustion debuff your Zombies are supposed to inflict
[UTILITY] Raise Zombie
(Socketed in Elder Helmet)
Raise Zombie Raise Zombie - Zombies are very tanky but at the same time they deal solid Melee Damage and increase your overall DPS via Feeding Frenzy debuff and Combustion
Combustion Support Combustion Support - increases Fire Damage dealt by your Zombies, and makes them debuff enemies they Ignite, reducing their Fire Resistance
Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support - makes your Zombies aggressive but also grants you the Feeding Frenzy buff which increases the Speed of all your Minions
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support
Gems from Helmet:
Minion Life Minion Life Support - increases your Zombie's Life
Immolate Support Immolate Support - adds a lot of extra flat Fire Damage against Ignited enemies (and most will be)
Dash Dash - recommended Movement Spell which increases your mobility
Second Wind Support Second Wind Support - adds extra Dash Charge and increases its cooldown recovery speed
[UTILITY] Convocation
Convocation Convocation - recalls all your Minions to your current location and grants them increased Life Regeneration. It lets your progress faster and helps position your Archers behind the Flame Wall
[UTILITY] Flame Wall
Flame Wall Flame Wall - projectiles which fly through the Wall will have extra Fire Damage added, which slightly increases the DPS of your Skeleton Archers
[UTILITY] Sniper's Mark
Sniper's Mark Sniper's Mark - Sniper's Mark increases Projectile Damage dealt to marked enemies, making it the recommended Curse for this build. You can also use Flammability instead which can target more enemies
[UTILITY] Offering, Desecrate, Wave of Conviction
(in Wand which triggers socketed Spells)
Bone Offering Bone Offering - increases your and your Minions' chance to Block Attacks and Spells. Will also grant strong Life Recovery whenever you block
Desecrate Desecrate - creates a pile of Corpses which are consumed for your Offering and to summon Zombies. It also basically guarantees you benefit from the Plaguebringer bonuses
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - applies Fire Exposure to enemies. In order to guarantee it, it's recommended to get some Added Fire Damage to Spells on your Wand
Anger Anger - the best Aura for this build which adds a ton of extra flat Fire Damage to your Minions' Attacks
Generosity Support Generosity Support - increases the effect of your Anger Aura but makes it apply only to your Minions
[UTILTY] Carrion Golem
Carrion Golem Summon Carrion Golem - grants your Minions added flat Physical Damage making it the best Golem for this Summoner character
Empower Support Empower Support - increases the level of your Carrion Golem and the flat damage it adds to your other Minions
Flesh and Stone Flesh and Stone - an amazing defensive Aura which reduces your chance of getting Hit and the damage you take from enemies further away when you use it in the Sand Stance
Clarity Clarity - you should use a low-level Clarity (between 1-5) to increases your Mana Regeneration Rate

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5. Gear Setup

Below you will find the recommended gear for this Zombie/Skeleton Archer Summoner Necromancer build. This build is based mainly on standard Rares with Life and Resistances so you can adjust the items to your current budget, however, Victario's Charity, Elder Helmet is highly recommended, and you need to calculate the quite high Phantasmal Summon Skeleton Gem cost. 

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Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances 
  2. Give you enough DPS/Life/Mana to start mapping successfully

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Strength
  4. Cast Speed
  5. Mana/Mana Regeneration Rate
Helmet(Helmet) Elder Helmet - the best Helmet for this build which can give you a second 6-link setup for your Zombies, greatly increasing their overall performance in this build
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
Socketed Gems are Supported by level # Minion Life
Socketed Gems are Supported by level # Immolate
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
+# to Level of Socketed Minion Gems
Helmet enchantments:
Skeletons deal 40% increased Damage
Flame Wall grants 31 to 47 Added Fire Damage to Projectiles
Rare Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - the best and most well-rounded option. You are looking to get the highest possible Life here and on extra Skelly
Min. requirements:
100 maximum Life
+1 to maximum number of Skeletons
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Maximum Life%
Convoking Wand(Weapon) Convoking Wand - the best possible option for a Minion build as it can offer the best Minion modifiers
Min. requirements:
+1 to Level of All Minion Skill Gems
Minions deal 50% increased damage
Trigger Socketed Spell when you use a Skill
Optional affixes:
Added Fire Damage to Spells
Minions have increased Attack Speed
Victario's Charity(Shield) Victario's Charity - one of the best Shields for this build. It grants decent defensive stats and generates Frenzy Charges for your Minions, greatly increasing their DPS. At the same time, it's very cheap
+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
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - just aim for some Movement Speed bonus (at least 25%) and the highest defensive stats you can afford
Min. requirements:
70 maximum Life
25% increased Movement Speed
70% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chaos Resistance
Boot enchantment:
Regenerate 2% of Life and Mana per second if you were Hit Recently
18% reduced Mana Cost of Skills if you've been Hit Recently
Stygian Vise(Belt) Rare Belt - preferably Stygian Vise for the extra Abyssal Socket
Min. requirements:
90 maximum Life
90% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Maximum Life%
Chaos Resistance
Darkness Enthroned(Belt) Darkness Enthroned - if you can afford expensive Abyss Jewels this is potentially the BiS Belt. Also, Skeletons have higher added damage effectiveness, so two powerful Abyss Jewels can boost them significantly
Has 1 Abyssal Socket
Has 1 Abyssal Socket
75% increased Effect of Socketed Jewels
Rare Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - just Life, Attributes, and possibly Minion Damage will do here. Obviously, you can also try getting extra Mana/Mana Regen or Resistances
Min. requirements:
60 maximum Life
Minions deal 30% Increased Damage
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Mana/Mana Regeneration Rate
Recommended Anointments:
Ravenous Horde
Rare Ring(Rings) Rare Rings - with high Life and Elemental Resistances
Min. requirements:
65 maximum Life
40 Dexterity
85% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Non-channeling Skills have -# to Total Mana Cost
Minions have increased Movement Speed
Grip of the Council(Gloves) Replica Grip of the Council - the BiS Gloves which add a ton of extra Fire Damage to your Minions
+30 to Strength
+(30–50) to maximum Life
+(20–40)% to Fire Resistance
Minions have 10% reduced maximum Life
Minions have +40% to Fire Resistance
Minions gain 20% of Physical Damage as Extra Fire Damage
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - mainly for defensive stats
Min. requirements:
80 maximum Life
40 Strength
80% Total Elemental Resistances
Large Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - our suggested build uses two Large Cluster Jewels - obviously with the Minion Damage bonus. You definitely want to get Raze and Pillage and Renewal on both - since your Minions will be mostly on Full Life, the chance to deal double damage is extremely powerful 
Recommended Passives:
1 Added Passive Skill is Call to the Slaughter
1 Added Passive Skill is Raze and Pillage
1 Added Passive Skill is Renewal
Medium Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - you can use between 2-4 Medium Cluster Jewels. Again, you want Renewal on all of them, and at least one Blessed Rebirth, so that your Skeletons are always on Full Life for 4 seconds after being summoned
Recommended Passives:
1 Added Passive Skill is Feasting Fiends
1 Added Passive Skill is Renewal
1 Added Passive Skill is Blessed Rebirth
Small Cluster Jewel(Jewel) Small Cluster Jewels - if you need extra Life, Small Cluster Jewels with the Fettle Passive are the way to go
Recommended Passives:
1 Added Passive Skill is Fettle
Fortress Covenant(Jewel) Fortress Covenant - grants very high bonus damage to your Minions and increases their Block Chance which helps them to stay on full Life thanks to Bone Offering's bonus. At the same time, if you socket this Gem in a Cluster Socket, the negative part will be ignored
Minions deal (35-45)% increased Damage
Minions have +(10-12)% Chance to Block Attack Damage
Minions have +(10-12)% Chance to Block Spell Damage
Notable Passive Skills in Radius are Transformed to
instead grant: Minions take 20% increased Damage
Anatomical Knowledge(Jewel) Anatomical Knowledge - adds a ton of extra Life if socketed to the left of Witch's starting point (just below Quick Recovery)
(6-8)% increased maximum Life
Adds 1 to Maximum Life per 3 Intelligence Allocated in Radius
Ghastly Eye Jewel(Jewel) Rare Abyss Jewels - since Skeletons gain 50% more added Damage, It's recommended to get as much added Physical and Fire Damage to Minion Attacks here. You can easily use between 4-6 Abyss Jewels in this build
Recommended affixes:
maximum Life
Minions deal additional Physical/Fire Damage
Optional affixes:
increased Minion Damage if you have used a Minion Skill recently
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - grants bonus Armour Rating and Block/Spell Block chance, giving you extra defenses
+3000 to Armour
+(14-20)% Chance to Block Attack Damage during Flask effect
+(6-10)% Chance to Block Spell Damage during Flask effect
Suggested Flasks:
  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Staunching (Bleeding immunity)
  2. Experimenter's Silver of Heat (Freeze and Chill immunity)
  3. Experimenter's Quartz Flask of Warding (Curse immunity)
  4. Ample Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Movement Speed)
Rumi's ConcoctionDivine Life FlaskSilver FlaskQuartz Flask Quicksilver Flask

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