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Reaper Summoner Necromancer Build

Reaper Summoner Necromancer Build

One of the most unique Minion/Summoner build that utilizes a single powerful Minion that feeds on other Minions to boost its stats

Summon Reaper
Necromancer Build

Updated for Patch 3.15

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Guide notes
July 22, 2021
-Concept build initiated
July 29, 2021
-Updated for Patch 3.15
July 30, 2021
-Added gameplay video


Patch 3.15 introduced a new Skill Gem that's supposed to have a heavy impact on the Necromancers meta. Summon Reaper is a Minion that deals Physical Damage, you can command him to perform a Dash-Attack. Another special aspect of it is that you can have only one Reaper at all times, the Reaper weakens your other Minions and can consume them to heal and empower himself, making it obvious that you should center your build around him rather than using him as an addition to a casual Minion Build. Reaper offers one of the most unusual Minion playstyles, which till now was based on leading an army of other Minions that did crazy stuff all around your screen, making it harder to control. With Reaper, it is the complete opposite, you are going to focus on boosting a single Minion that should deal massive damage and clear all the content on its own. Because of its characteristics, you are still going to summon other Minions, but most likely in order to boost your powerful Reaper or provide other utility bonuses. 

This build is a pure Physical Version - your Minions, empowered by Brutality and Impale, with already increased chance to Bleed and increased its effectiveness is the most obvious way to play this build. The version presented here also uses Aspect of the Avian and Saqawal's Nest for more damage. A lot of damage comes from Cluster Jewels - the build will benefit a lot from Notables such as Rotten Claws or Renewal. These Jewels can get ridiculously expensive so the guide will consist of two Final Skill Trees - one version with no place for Cluster Jewels, and one with Cluster Jewels socketed in. Your main line of defense separating you from dying is your Life Pool - seek to increase your Maximum Life to a point of 6k. With Steelskin, Fortify, High Block Chance, Armour, instant Enduring Cry, and Minions taking the hits for you, the character is really hard to kill.

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1. Gameplay

This build can be compared to a standard Life Minion build, but instead of summoning plenty of Minions, you will be using one powerful Reaper that will deal significantly more damage. You will be required to constantly resummon other types of Minions, but for the purpose of utility buffs and feeding your Reaper to boost his stats and heal him. Your main role is still going to be boosting your Reaper via Auras, Curses, Offering Spells, and increasing your own defenses to stay alive for example by having instantly cast Enduring Cry while Reaper reaps through the content. A single Reaper is not that good in dealing with a lot of enemies at once, it's good with killing Bosses and Rare opponents in a single hit of his manually casted skill. To deal with trash enemies you should use Skeletons - link them with Feeding Frenzy Support to make them aggressive. Skeletons will serve additionally as an empowerment source for your Reaper.

This video was recorded on a level 94 Necromancer on Standard League. We had a total of +3 Minion/Physical Spell Skill Gem upgrades on the Rare equipment and a very few Minion DPS/Speed/Movement Speed bonuses, which puts this build halfway through to its final form. Either way, it allows you to kill most of the Bosses in the game while having a lot of space for potential improvements. Just do understand, it's a good Boss killer build, but the clear speed will be lacking regardless of your investments

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • very high Single-Target Damage
  • decent clear speed
  • reliable defenses
  • Cluster Jewels are expensive
  • there's a lot of active Skills, gameplay includes pressing more than four buttons


3. Leveling tips

You can start leveling using your Summon Skeletons, you'll put your points in generic Minion nodes on the Skill Tree anyway. Your Defense will consist of Maximum Life so don't ignore this stat. There are Unique Items that will help you during the leveling process, most of them are listed below. Summon Reaper can be equipped at level 26, before that you have to really on Skeletons. Use Essences of Fear to quickly craft an Item with Minion-boosting mods.

Suggested leveling Gem setups:

Summon Skeletons setup
Summon Skeletons Summon Skeletons - Skeletons are a good way to support your Reaper, they are expendable and do not require a corpse to spawn
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - increase the Melee Physical Damage of your Skeletons
Maim Support Maim Support - use Maim to slow down your opponents and deal more Physical Damage with your Skeletons
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - your Skeletons will deal more damage
Curse setup
Vulnerability Vulnerability -  Cursed enemies will receive more Physical Damage with an increased chance to Bleed
Reaper setup
Summon Reapoer Summon Reaper - You'll be able to directly control your Reaper's slashing attacks, which will be undoubtedly useful
Brutality Support Brutality Support - use Brutality to boost the physical Damage of your Reaper
Impale Support Impale Support - Reaper can use some Slashing Attacks, which can apply Impale
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - makes your Reaper deals more damage, but it reduces his Maximum Life by a quarter


Kill all three Bandits for two additional Skill Points

Leveling Skill Trees:

26 Points Skill Tree
Take Enduring Bond, Lord of the Dead, and Death Attunement

60 Points Skill Tree
Allocate Righteous Army, Gravepact, Constitution, and Devotion


Recommended leveling items:

SidhebreathSidhebreath - Really cheap and common Amulet that's beneficial for Minion builds
(20-30)% increased Mana Regeneration Rate
+25% to Cold Resistance
Minions have (10-15)% increased maximum Life
Minions have (10-15)% increased Movement Speed
Minions deal (5-9) to (11-15) additional Cold Damage
(15-10)% reduced Mana Cost of Minion Skills
SkullheadSkullhead - another cheap item, this Helmet offers all the stats that you need during leveling phase
(60-80)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(50-70) to maximum Life
+(50-70) to maximum Mana
+(10-20)% to all Elemental Resistances
Minions have +10% Chance to Block Attack Damage
Minions have +(300-350) to Armour
Minions Regenerate 2% of Life per second
Tabula RasaTabula Rasa - Tabula is a Body Armour that allows you to link any 6 Gems as soon as level 1
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:

110 Points Final Skill Tree (Final Skill Tree without Cluster Jewels)
86 Points Final Skill Tree (after you Obtain Cluster Jewels and refund some of the Passive)
117 Points Path of Building (PoB) link

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Mindless Aggression
  2. Unnatural Strenght
  3. Mistress of Sacrifice
  4. Plaugebringer


Major God: Soul of Lunaris: 1% additional Physical Damage Reduction for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%; 1% increased Movement Speed for each nearby Enemy, up to 8%

Minor God: Soul of Garukhan: +5% chance to Evade Attack Hits if you've taken a Savage Hit Recently


5. Final Gems links

[DPS] Summon Reaper setup
Summon Reaper Summon Reaper - The core ability of the build - a single Minion that's can be controlled by the player. It deals Physical Damage, has a high chance to cause Bleeding, and increased damage with that Ailment. 
Minion Damage Support Minion Damage Support - it lowers your minion Maximum Life but grants him a lot of Damage in return, definitely worth linking
Brutality Support Brutality Support - Reaper deals more Physical Damage - that includes Bleed Damage. He's now limited only to Physical Damage and that's fine - he won't suffer from Reflected Elemental Damage.
Impale Support Impale Support - Repaer's Attacks and Skills will pally Impale on Hit which is the best addition to a fully Physical build
Predator Support Predator Support - Reaper will deal more damage in general and even more damage to the target you manually marked as a prey
Melee Physical Damage Support Melee Physical Damage Support - The Attacks performed by the Reaper are Melee and it is the best Gem to increase Melee Physical Damage. It lowers Attack Speed by 10%.
[UTILITY] Summon Skeletons setup
Vaal Summon Skeletons Vaal Summon Skeletons - Skeletons serve as consumable units to sacrifice for Reaper to boost his Damage, and to quickly dispose of the smaller minions roaming around you. They require no corpse and can be spawned in bulk.
Maim Support Maim Support - increases the physical damage dealt by Skeletons and causes them to Maim their victim - it slows them down
Feeding Frenzy Support Feeding Frenzy Support - makes your Skeletons aggressive - they can dash to the nearby enemies to quickly slain them.
Melee Splash Support Melee Splash Support - Skeletons are mostly used to deal with the large packs of weak monsters so it's natural to improve their attacks by adding more splash damage
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash and Steelskin setup
Enduring Cry Enduring Cry - a warcry that you can use to quickly regenerate a huge portion of your Maximum Life, it's instant when combined with Call to Arms
Increased Area of Effect Support Increased Area of Effect Support - it's completely optional - it only increases the range of Enduring Cry
Steelskin Steelskin - the Guard Spell that increases your defense, it's a buff that mitigates the damage you're receiving from hits determined by the Gem Level
Lifetap Support Lifetap Support - linked Skills use Life instead of Mana - you can link it with the rest of this setup or just with one of the Gems, depending on your preferences
[MOBILITY] Mobility setup
Fortify Fortify - a buff that works in a similar fashion to Steelskin - when applied you take 20% less Damage from hits.
Faster Attacks Support Faster Attacks Support - Shield Charge is snow significantly faster, rendering you more mobile
Flame Dash Flame Dash - you can use Flame Dash alongside Shield Charge, Flame Dash is faster and allows you to teleport over cliffs and rocks
Shield Charge Shield Charge - The main mobility Skill - it not only applies Fortify Buff to you but Vulnerability Curse to your opponents - it should be located on your ring as a Warlord's Suffix
[UTILITY] Flesh offering, Desecrate and Carrion Golem setup
(in "Trigger" Wand)
Bone Offering Bone Offering - More Block Chance against Attack and Spell Hits for you and your Minions. If you need more damage, swap it with Flesh or Spirit Offering.
Desecrate Desecrate - Use Desecrate to create a pile of corpses that can be used to cast the Offering Spell, and to activate Plaguebringer Keystone from your Ascendancy Skill Tree
Summon Carrion Golem Summon Carrion Golem - This Golem grants your other Minions additional flat Physical Damage, be sure to keep him alive
[UTILITY] Auras setup
Pride Pride - an Aura that makes the enemies in range take more Physical Damage, and after staying for more than 4 seconds in the Aura's Area of Effect, they will take even more damage
Summon Skitterbots Summon Skitterbots - Skitterbots Chill and Shock nearby enemies which increases your damage against them and decreases their mobility
Enlighten Enlighten Support - linked Spells reserve less Mana

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6. Gear Setup

As with most of the Minion builds - your focus will lie on increasing your Minion Damage. Reaper doesn't use Spells, just Attacks, so increasing Minion Spell Damage is pointless. To stay alive seek Maximum Life and Elemental Resistance mods, your Body Armour, Boots, Gloves, and Jewelry are the primary source of these stats. The Helmet is an important part of the Necromancer's gear - you can find useful mods there that will increase the damage of socketed Minion skills. This build requires around 240 Intelligence and 110 Dexterity - look for these Attributes on your gear. There are no Unique Gear parts that are necessary for the build to run - it makes the build cheap to assemble, but expensive to min-max.

Our recommended items will:

  1. Cap your resistances at 75%
  2. Provide you with enough DPS and Life to start mapping

Stat priorities on items:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Minion Damage
  4. Dexterity and Intelligence
  5. Chaos Resistance
rare helmet(Helmet) Rare Bone Helmet - It's not that important as in other Necromancer's builds to have +3 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems, your main source of damage will be the Reaper, which is set up in the Body Armour. Nonetheless, it's a nice addition to your Skeleton's Damage, but your focus should be Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances.

Min. requirements:
+1 to Level of Socketed Minion Gems
+70 to Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Socketed Gems are Supported by Level 20 Minion Life
Elemental Resistances
Chance to Block Spell Damage
Chaos Resistance

Helmet enchantments:
Reaper Damage/Vulnerability Curse effect
wand(Weapon) Rare Wand - +1 to Level of all Minion Skill Gems is one of the best mods you can find on a Wand, try to get one that also increases your MInions Damage. Automatically Triggered Skills are very useful particularly on a build where you already have other buttons to press - you control your Repaer's Attacks.
Min. requirements:
+1 to Level of all Minion Skill Gems
Minions deal 50% increased Damage
Trigger a Socketed Spell when you Use a Skill, with a 8 second Cooldown (crafted)
Optional affixes:
+1 to Level of all Spell Skill Gems
Minions have 15% increased Attack Speed
Minions have 15% increased Cast Speed
Quiver(Shield) Rare Shield - The Shield is used only to provide you with more Life and Resistances and Block Chance for Spell and Attack Hits. You can additionally craft some Attributes you need such as Dexterity or Intelligence.
Min. requirements:
+100 to maximum Life
+100% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Chance to Block
increased maximum Life
increased Effect of your Curses
additional Physical Damage Reduction
Victario's Charity(Shield) Victario's Charity - It's a decent option for a Shield, you can increase the Damage of your Reaper by providing him with Power and Frenzy Charges. The Defensive Stats are not that bad, definitely a shield worth keeping.
+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
Body Armour(Body Armour) Rare Body Armour - Seek a Strenght-based Armour - most of you Support Skill Gems there are Red and 2 or 3 are Blue. It's your Main Source of Armour and Life, but other mods also can be useful, for example, Additional Curse, Quality, Elemental Resistances, or Minion Life.
Min. requirements:
+100 to maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
You can apply an additional Curse
Minions have increased maximum Life
additional Physical Damage Reduction
reduced Attribute Requirements
Saqawal's Nest(Body Armour) Saqawal's Nest - The recommended Body Armour, the condition to use it is that you need to have a source of Aspect of the Avian. You can find it on Saqawal's Talons - the boots from this set, or as a Ring Suffix. This choice for a Body Amour is for a more offensive playstyle - it gives little to no Maximum Life. The aspect of Avian grants either a chance to deal Double Damage or more Movement Speed, these two buffs are alternating in 4 seconds intervals.
+(25-75) to all Attributes
+(30-40)% to Lightning Resistance
(10-6)% reduced Mana Reserved
100% increased Aspect of the Avian Buff Effect
Aspect of the Avian also grants Avian's Might and Avian's Flight to nearby Allies
+(120-150) to Evasion Rating and Energy Shield
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - a generic Life and Resistances are enough to consider a pair decent enough, but if you have some spare currency, there are some mods that will definitely increase your survivability
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Cannot be Frozen (crafted)
Mana Regeneration while moving
Unaffected by Burning/Chilled/Shocked/Desecrated Ground
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - There is one Redemer's Prefix that increases your Minion's Damage, but other than that, Gloves doesn't offer many mods that could be of use. Prioritize Maximum Life and Elemental Resistances.
Min. requirements:
+60 to maximum Life
+60% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Minions deal increased Damage
Stygian Vise(Belt) Stygian Vise - Stygian Vise is probably the best choice for a belt, no Unique seems to fit this build better. Look for Maximum Life and  Resistances. With Hunter's influence, you can score a mod granting you more Life.
Min. requirements:
+70 to Maximum Life
+50% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
increased maximum Life
Minions have increased maximum Life
Chaos Resistance
Darkness Enthroned(Belt) Darkness Enthroned - it is really easy to find some good mods on Ghastly Eye Jewels - these Abyss Jewels are specifically made for Minon builds so you might as well put this belt on after you find a pair
Has 2 Abyssal Sockets
75% increased Effect of Socketed Jewels
Amulet(Amulet) Rare Amulet - Maximum Life, Elemental Resistances, and Attributes are the mods you should seek on your Amulet. Additionally, +1 to Level of all Intelligence Skill Gems can be used to further increase your Reaper Gem level.
Min. requirements:
+60 to Maximum Life
+40% to Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
+1 to Level of all Intelligence Skill Gems
Minions have increased Movement Speed
Chaos Resistance
Recommended Anointments:
Ravenous Horde
Ring(Ring) Rare Ring - Again, strive for Life and Resistances for these are the most valuable stats in this build. Vulnerability on Hit mod in one of the Rings is important since that's the only way to apply the Curse. It can be done with Flame Dash or Shield Dash. 
Min. requirements:
+40 to Maximum Life
+20 to Dexterity or intelligence
+30% to Elemental Resistances
Curse Enemies with Vulnerability on Hit, with increased Effect
Optional affixes:
Grants Level 20 Aspect of the Avian Skill (if you have Saqawal's Nest)
Chaos Resistance
Minions have increased Movement Speed
Minions deal increased Damage
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - They should provide extra Life, Elemental Resistances, Minon Damage, and Attributes - especially Intelligence and Dexterity. Cobalt Jewel is the best base to look for Minion mods.
Min. requirements:
7% increased Maximum Life
Optional affixes:
Minions deal increased Damage
Elemental Resistances
Minion's Attack speed
Abyss Jewel(Jewel) Abyss Jewels - As with other Rare Jewels - focus on Life, Resistances, and Attributes. "Minions deal increased Damage if you've used a Minion Skill Recently" is a highly recommended mod. Look for Ghastly type of it.
Min. requirements:
+30 to Maximum Life
Minions deal #% increased Damage if you've used a Minion Skill Recently
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Fortress Covenant(Jewel) Fortress Covenant - There is a spot Between Elemental Equilibrium and Quick Recovery where you can put this with no penalty, it increases your Minion's Damage and Chance to Block.
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
Quickening Covenant(Jewel) Quickening Covenant - Increases your Minions Mobility, Attack Speed, and Chance to Dodge bot Attack and Spell Hits.
Minions have (12-16)% increased Attack Speed
Minions have (12-16)% increased Cast Speed
Minions have (10-12)% chance to Dodge Attack Hits
Minions have (10-12)% chance to Dodge Spell Hits
Notable Passive Skills in Radius are Transformed to
instead grant: Minions have 25% reduced Movement Speed
Large Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Large Cluster Jewels - These can get extremely expensive, but if you manage to get all three of the Notables listed below, your damage will skyrocket
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Renewal
1 Added Passive Skill is Rotten Claws
1 Added Passive Skill is Vicious Bite
Medium Cluster Jewels(Jewel) Medium Cluster Jewels - Renewal increases Minion's chance to deal Double Damage, with combined with the rest of the gear is now around 40%. Feasting Fiends increases the Life and Damage of your Minions while also granting them Life Leech.
Recommended affixes:
1 Added Passive Skill is Feasting Fiends
1 Added Passive Skill is Renewal
 Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - It's an optional Flask, use it or a Magic Granite Flask with increased Armour during Flask effect for more Armour
+1500 to Armour
+(8-12)% Chance to Block Attack Damage during Flask effect
+(4-6)% Chance to Block Spell Damage during Flask effect

Other suggested Flasks:

  1. Bubbling Divine Life Flask of Heat (Freeze immunity)
  2. Alchemist's Quicksilver Flask of Adrenaline (increased Mobility)
  3. Perpetual Quartz Flask of Warding (Immune to Curses)
  4. Silver Flask of Staunching (Immune to Bleeding)
Rumi's ConcoctionLife FlaskSilver Flaskquicksilver flaskquartz flask

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If you have any other build requests please leave that in the comments below. We are always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

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