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Volatile Dead Spellslinger Necromancer build

Volatile Dead Spellslinger Necromancer build

Insanely fast Spellslinger build with massive AoE DPS and clear speed

Volatile Dead
Spellslinger Necromancer
Starter build

Updated for Patch 3.16

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Estimated budget: high
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Guide notes
September 19, 2020
-Updated for Patch 3.12
December 11, 2021
-Updated for Patch 3.16
December 17, 2021
-Updated gameplay video


Spells linked to Spellslinger Support will reserve Mana based on their Mana Cost and will be cast whenever you attack with a Wand. It's a very similar mechanic to Poet's Pen, but you can use several Spells with it, and they can be Supported by a regular number of Gems. It's one of the most powerful Spell Caster builds in the game, offering Millions of realistic DPS while offering an extremely fast-paced play-style. This is a low-life build based on Shavronne's Wrappings Body Armour and very high base Energy Shield bonuses from upgraded Discipline.

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1. Gameplay

Volatile Dead is one of the two Spells triggered with Wand attacks, the second one being Desecrate which creates corpses for the VD to work properly. Supporting both of them with Spell Cascade we can create massive amounts of Volatile Dead's fiery balls and Corpse Explosions. This makes for this build's tremendous single-target DPS, and as Volatile Dead's spheres chase down enemies, it's also in the Top Tier when it comes to clearing areas fast. For the Wand Attack, we use Frenzy which will also generate Frenzy Charges for additional DPS bonuses. Supporting it with Combustion and Power Charge on Critical will also give it additional utility bonuses, generating Power Charges as well, and debuffing enemies with -19% to Fire Resistance. This build also utilizes high Block Chance, allowing you to effortlessly farm any content in the game. While fully buffed, with Blood Offering and Rumi's Flask, you should have over 60% Chance to Block Attack Damage and nearly 50% Chance to Block Spell Damage. 

This video was recorded on a level 94 Necromancer on Standard League with 8less than 7,000 Maximum Energy Shield and approximately 70k Hits with Volatile Dead Spell (that does not include corpse explosion/Detonate Dead damage)

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2. Build's PROS & CONS

  • insane DPS AoE DPS
  • one of the best Map farming builds on low and mid Tiers
  • high defenses thanks to solid Energy Shield base and very high Block
  • Top Tier clear speed
  • one of the most enjoyable playstyles
  • expensive
  • reliant on Cluster Jewels to reach reasonable Energy Shield


3. Leveling tips

Leveling with Spellslinger is extremely smooth and easy. It becomes available at level 24 when you complete the Tolman Quest. From that point onwards, completing the storyline is a piece of cake. You will deal massive damage with Volatile Dead regardless of your equipment. To reach level 24 you can use anything you want, from Zombies, Summon Raging Spirits, to casting Freezing Pulse manually. It's entirely up to you, and the first 24 levels shouldn't be any problem regardless of your final choice. 

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
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
Volatile Dead setup
Volatile Dead Volatile Dead - your primary source of DPS. Volatile causes nearby corpses to explode dealing a portion of its DPS to nearby enemies and creates fiery Spheres that chase down enemies for extra damage
Spell Cascade Spell Cascade Support - makes the supported Spell repeat itself in the area around the original location, increasing the number of Corpses affected and balls created
Spellslinger Spellslinger Support - casts Supported Spells whenever you attack with your Wand
Desecrate setup
Desecrate Desecrate - creates piles of Corpses that explode whenever you cast Volatile Dead
Spell Cascade Spell Cascade Support
Spellslinger Spellslinger Support
Clarity Clarity - grants increased Mana Regeneration which might be extremely useful on lower levels
Anger Anger - grants very high bonus DPS to your Spells and Attacks. If you are still using Raging Spirits, it will affect them as well
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - grants high bonus Fire Spell Damage, and makes slain enemies burn nearby targets for a percentage of your overkill damage, increasing your clear speed

You should kill all the Bandits for two additional Passive Skill Points. If you have a very high-level character you can also switch to Alira for additional Critical Strike Multiplier

Leveling Skill Trees:

35 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Arcanist Dominion 2) Cruel Preparation 3) Purity of Flash 4) Spiritual Aid

66 Points Skill Tree
Priorities: 1) Heart of Flame 2) Undertaker 3) Blood Siphon 4) Elemental Focus 5) Written in Blood

Lvl. 65+ Energy Shield/Low-Life Tree - what you should have after switching to Shavronne's Wrappings and Prism Guardian and Crown of the Inward Eye

Recommended leveling items:

SidhebreathSidhebreath - a very cheap Amulet that helps a lot with Mana Management and gives you extra Minion Damage. Works perfectly with Summon Raging Spirits
(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. One of the best leveling Wands for Summon Raging Spirits
(15-19)% increased Spell Damage
+1 to Level of Socketed Gems
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 1 Spell Echo
+(10-30) to Intelligence
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
GoldrimGoldrim - one of the best leveling Helmets in the game which offers a lot of Elemental Resistances and will work for many many levels
+(30-50) to Evasion Rating
10% increased Rarity of Items found
+(30-40)% to all Elemental Resistances
Reflects 4 Physical Damage to Melee Attackers
Level Requirement reduced by 100 (Hidden)
Victario's FlightVictario's Flight - a very useful Boots which grant very high bonus Movement Speed and a solid Mana Recovery mechanics. This pair also increases the Movement Speed to your Raging Spirits if you decide to use them while leveling
+15 to Dexterity
+15 to Intelligence
(100-150)% increased Evasion Rating
15% increased Movement Speed
(5-10)% of Damage taken gained as Mana over 4 seconds when Hit
10% increased Movement Speed for you and nearby Allies


4. Final Skill Tree, Ascendancy Points, and Pantheon

Final Skill Tree:

117 Points Skill Tree (Doesn't include Cluster Jewel) 
123 Points Path of Building(PoB) link 

Ascendancy points:

Preferably in that order:

  1. Plaguebringer
  2. Corpse Pact
  3. Commander of Darkness
  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] Volatile Dead setup
Volatile Dead Volatile Dead - your primary source of DPS. Volatile causes nearby corpses to explode dealing a portion of its DPS to nearby enemies and creates fiery Spheres that chase down enemies for extra damage
Spellslinger Support Spellslinger Support - mandatory Support Gem in this build. It causes Supported Spell to be triggered whenever you attack with Frenzy. Spells that you want to be triggered will Reserve Mana
Spell Cascade Support Spell Cascade Support - another core Gem for this setup. It increases the number of Corpses affected by each cast (increasing the number of explosions and fiery balls created)
Inspiration Support Inspiration Support - It significantly reduced Mana Cost which is important for this build, it will increase your Elemental Damage as well
Detonate Dead Detonate Dead - you can Detonate more Corpses with this Spell for increased Damage
Elemental Focus Elemental Focus Support - grants very high bonus Elemental Damage but makes supported skill unable to inflict ailments
[UTILITY] Desecrate
Desecrate Desecrate - creates piles of Corpses which you use for Volatile Dead's explosions
Spell Cascade Support Spell Cascade Support - allows you to create more Corpses with each Cast
Spellslinger Support Spellslinger Support - same as Volatile Dead, you need Desecrate to be cast at the same pace to maximize your DPS
Enlighten Support Enlighten Support - this setup doesn't reserve much of your Mana, but you can further increase your Reservation Efficiency with Enlighten
[DPS] Frenzy
Frenzy Frenzy - the recommended Attack Skill for this build which should be used on level 1 to minimize the Mana Cost. It will also generate Frenzy Charges, Power Charges, and debuff enemies via the recommended Support Gems listed
Combustion Support Combustion Support - causes enemies Ignited by Frenzy to have reduced Fire Resistance
Culling Strike Support Culling Strike Support - damaging enemies below 10% Life with linked Skill will instantly kill them
Barrage Barrage Support - makes you attack repeatedly with Frenzy in quick succession. Again, you don't need to upgrade this Gem at all to reduce Dexterity Requirements
(socketed in Prism Guardian)
Zealotry Zealotry - increases your Spell Damage and Spell Critical Strike Chance. A great DPS Curse for this build
Anger Anger - grants very high added Fire Damage to Spells and Attacks
Vaal Discipline Vaal Discipline - grants very high bonus Energy Shield. You can try to get a level 21 Discipline (you could skip the Vaaling part then or if you can afford it, just get a Lvl 21 Vaal Discipline) as it's one of the primary sources of Energy Shield for your character
[MOBILITY] Flame Dash
Flame Dash Flame Dash - the recommended Movement Skill for this build. It allows you to progress faster through Maps and avoid big Attacks and Spells from Bosses
Second Wind Second Wind Support - increases the number of available Flame Dash's charges and reduces its cooldown
Faster Casting Support Faster Casting Support
[UTILITY] Herald
(disable in case of Mana Reservation issues)
Herald of Ash Herald of Ash - increases your Fire Spell Damage and Causes AoE explosions whenever you kill enemies
[UTILITY] Gems socketed in crafted Wand
(those will be triggered by the Wand's crafted affix)
Bone Offering Bone Offering - increases your Chance to Block Attack and Spell Damage greatly boosting up your defenses
Wave of Conviction Wave of Conviction - applies Fire Exposure to enemies, reducing their resistance to Fire Damage
Flammability Flammability - recommended Curse for this build which grants the highest DPS bonus out of all available Curses

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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. You should acknowledge that this build is rather expensive and doesn't offer much flexibility in terms of equipment. A lot of items here and mandatory, and the number of required Uniques somewhat force you to get standard Rares with high Resistances and Attributes in other slots. Be mindful that all the automatically-triggered Spells cost Mana, you will need to seek mods to reduce the Mana Cost of Skills. 

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. Energy Shield
  2. Elemental Resistances
  3. Fire/Elemental Damage
  4. Reducing Mana cost of Skills
Crown of the Inward Eye(Helmet) Crown of the Inward Eye - the BiS Helmet for this build. It grants very high bonus Mana, Energy Shield, and DPS at the same time
333% increased Armour and Energy Shield
(9-21)% increased maximum Life, Mana and Global Energy Shield
Transfiguration of Soul
Transfiguration of Body
Transfiguration of Mind
Helmet enchantment:
Skills Supported by Spellslinger have 30% increased Cooldown Recovery Speed
Volatile Dead Consumes up to 1 additional corpse
Shavronnes Wrappings(Body Armour) Shavronne's Wrappings - a must-have for every Low-Life build out there
(3-10)% increased Spell Damage
(100-150)% increased Energy Shield
10% faster start of Energy Shield Recharge
+(30-40)% to Lightning Resistance
Reflects 1 to 250 Lightning Damage to Melee Attackers
Chaos Damage does not bypass Energy Shield
Rare Wand (Weapon) Rare Crafted Wand - you are looking to get high Flat Added Fire Damage to Spells, Spell/Elemental Damage, and an empty affix to trigger Spells socketed into it every 8 seconds
Min. requirements:
Adds min. 50 Fire Damage to Spells
50% Increased Fire/Elemental Damage
Trigger a Socketed Spell when you Use a Skill, with a 8 second Cooldown
Spells Triggered this way have 150% more Cost (crafted)
Optional affixes:
Critical Strike Multiplier
Gain % of Elemental Damage as extra Chaos Damage
Prism Guardian(Shield) Prism Guardian - a must-have. It gives you Blood Magic for all Socketed Auras and reduces their Mana Reservation Cost. Also, it increases the level of all Auras, giving you more Energy Shield and DPS bonuses
+12% to all Elemental Resistances
+2 to Level of Socketed Aura Gems
Socketed Gems have Blood Magic
Socketed Gems have 25% reduced Mana Reservation
+(20-30) to Dexterity
+25% to all Elemental Resistances
Rare Boots(Boots) Rare Boots - aim for the highest possible Energy Shield and Resistances to boost up your defenses
Min. requirements:
220 Energy Shield
25% increased Movement Speed
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Freeze Immunity
Sin Trek(Boots) Sin Trek - a quite decent and inexpensive alternative. They also give you some extra Dexterity for all your Attribute Requirement needs
+(20-30) to Dexterity
+(20-30) to Intelligence
(80-100)% increased Evasion Rating
+(100-150) to maximum Energy Shield
30% increased Movement Speed
Enemies Cannot Leech Life From you
Boot Enchantment:
Adds 45 to 68 Fire Damage if you've Killed Recently
Regenerate 2% of Life per second if you were Hit Recently
Crystal Belt(Belt) Rare Belt - can provide the highest possible defensive bonuses
Min. requirements:
50 Energy Shield (100 If you go for Crystal Belt)
100% Total Energy Resistances
Optional affixes:
Abyssal Socket
Fire/Elemental Damage
Bated Breath(Belt) Bathed Breath - a decent and inexpensive option, though it will definitely miss out on Resistances
+(9-20) to maximum Energy Shield+(15-25) to Intelligence
10% increased Damage
+(20-30) to maximum Energy Shield
20% increased maximum Energy Shield
50% increased Energy Shield Recharge Rate
Presence of Chayula(Amulet) Presence of Chayula - the BiS option for most of Low-Life builds. It grants insane amounts of extra Energy Shield and extremely important Stun Immunity
+(10-16) to all Attributes
30% increased Rarity of Items found
+60% to Chaos Resistance
Cannot be Stunned
20% of Maximum Life Converted to Energy Shield
Opal Ring(Rings) Rare Rings - if you can't afford proper Circle of Anguish Rings, just go for Rares with high defensive stats. Possibly Opal Rings for some extra DPS bonuses. Rare Rings make it much easier to match all the Attribute Requirements in this build
Min. requirements:
40 Energy Shield
20% Elemental/Fire Damage
Optional affixes:
Elemental Resistances
Circle of Anguish(Rings) Circle of Anguish - you can boost the effect of your Herald of Ash, increase your Fire Damage, or Fire Resistance with this Ring on, it's the best option to boost your Damage
+(20-30) to Strength
Adds (20-25) to (26-35) Fire Damage
+(20-30)% to Fire Resistance
<Two Random Herald of Ash modifier>
Rare Gloves(Gloves) Rare Gloves - simply aim for high Energy Shield and Resistances
Min. requirements:
180 Energy Shield
100% Total Elemental Resistances
Optional affixes:
Spell Damage (Fingerless Silk Gloves)
Cobalt Jewel(Jewel) Rare Jewels - you will try to get Energy Shield and at least one damage Boosting modifier
Recommended affixes:
maximum Energy Shield
Critical Strike Multiplier
Optional affixes:
Minion Damage
Abyss Jewel(Jewel) Rare Abyss Jewel - flat Added Fire Damage has a great effect in this build, and if you are going Stygian Vise you will have no other option there
Recommended affixes:
maximum Energy Shield
Added Fire Damage to Spells
Optional affixes:
Critical Strike Multiplier
Damage if you have killed recently
Conqueror's Efficiency(Jewel) Conqueror's Efficiency - to lower mana Cost of Skills and increase Mana Reservation Efficiency use this Jewel
3% reduced Mana Cost of Skills
4% increased Skill Effect Duration
4% increased Mana Reservation Efficiency of Skills
Replica Conqueror's Efficiency(Jewel) Replica Conqueror's Efficiency - to lower Mana Cost of Skills significantly, use this Jewels
4% increased Skill Effect Duration
+5 to Maximum Rage
Non-Channelling Skills have -9 to Total Mana Cost
Unnatural Instinct(Jewel) Unnatural Instinct - this Jewel, socketed to the bottom-right of Witch's starting point (right below Melding) will grant insane bonuses including 15% Maximum Energy Shield, 18% Maximum Mana, 9% Maximum Life, and increase the Life of Corpses created by Desecrate
Allocated Small Passive Skills in Radius grant nothing
Grants all bonuses of Unallocated Small Passive Skills in Radius
Watcher's Eye(Jewel) Watcher's Eye - Anger and Zealorty modifiers can increase your Damage significantly, look for increased Damage and Fire Penetration
(4-6)% increased maximum Energy Shield
(4-6)% increased maximum Life
(4-6)% increased maximum Mana
<Two or Three random aura modifiers>
Atziri's Promise(Flask) Atziri's Promise - this is one of the best utility Flasks for this build which grants an insane DPS bonus
+35% to Chaos Resistance
2% of Chaos Damage Leeched as Life during Flask effect
Gain (5-8)% of Physical Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Gain (5-8)% of Elemental Damage as Extra Chaos Damage during effect
Cinderswallow Urn(Flask) Cinderswallow Urn - another great utility Flask that is nearly mandatory for this build. It grants amazing bonuses which include potent Energy Shield Recovery, Onslaught, and DPS bonus
+90 to Maximum Charges
Recharges 5 Charges when you Consume an Ignited corpse
(175-200)% increased Charges per use
Enemies Ignited by you during Flask Effect take (7-10)% increased Damage
Veiled Suffix
<One of the three modifiers>
Rumi's Concoction(Flask) Rumi's Concoction - a great defensive and inexpensive Utility Flask which increases your Block Chance and Armour Rating
+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. Sulphur Flask with random ailment removal
  2. Quicksilver Flask with Bleeding immunity/removal
Atziri's PromiseCinderswallow UrnRumi's ConcoctionSulphur FlaskQuicksilver Flask

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