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Pure Summoner Necromancer Endgame Guide

Last Updated: March 28th 2024

Season 3 - ConstructD-Tier

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Want a low-maintenance "afk" build that still clears everything with ease? The Pure Summoner Necromancer may be just what you are looking for! It is the perfect build for anyone looking for a more hands-off approach to gaming. This Necromancer is a pure summoner which relies almost exclusively on the damage of its Minions, fulfilling the ultimate undead army general fantasy. No Shadow Damage here! With the Lucky Hit proc of Ring of Mendeln, your Minions do incredible burst damage!

NOTE: Ring of Mendeln is required for this build to progress during Late Endgame successfully.

The best Minions for this build are Skeletal Warriors - Reapers, Skeletal Mages - Bone, and Golems - Iron; they all deal Physical Damage to enemies. Applying Vulnerable with Corpse Tendrils multiplies your legion's damage. Your undead soldiers can power through any and all endgame content, but are particularly effective against high mob density.

Bone Storm is the Pure Summoner Necromancer's ultimate defense, providing consistent shielding with Aspect of Shielding Storm and Osseous Gale Aspect. Go forth and command your army from the frontlines to empower them further with Hellbent Commander!

Pure Summoner Necromancer Endgame Gear

This build guide assumes you have a Level 50 Character and finished the Campaign. Level up with our Summoner Necromancer Leveling Guide. If you are looking for a different Necromancer playstyle, check out all of our Necromancer Guides.

DifficultyEasy
SpeedfarmingAverage
NM DungeonsAverage
BossingAverage
DefenseStrong

Season 3 - Season of the Construct

In Season 3, you obtain the Seneschal Construct through the Season Questline, then collect Governing Stones or Tuning Stones to add attacks and augment them to support your build. Only certain Tuning Stones work with a particular Governing Stone. Look at the bottom of any Tuning Stone tooltip to see if it is compatible with your Construct's currently equipped Stones. Lastly, they can be leveled up by getting duplicates to max out their power. Check out our full Season 3 guide for more information.

  1. Tempest - Incredible single-target attack with fast attack speed.
    1. Efficiency Support - Increases your critical strike chance tremendously.
    2. Breaking Support - Provides you with Vulnerable and additional instant Barrier destrruction.
    3. Arcing Support - Spreads your Breaking Support and therefore Vulnerable on multiple enemies.
  2. Flash of Adrenaline - Permanent damage multiplier after a certain Governing Stones and Tuning Stones level.
    1. Duration Support - Helps making the combo permanent.
    2. Tactical Support - Helps making the combo permanent.
    3. Safeguard Support - Provides additional Damage Reduction and can also be up permanently.
Pure Summoner Seneschal Construct Setup

Alternative Stones

Many other options are possible to support this build, including different Governing Stones to apply the effects. Feel free to experiment!

  1. Poison Support - Increases your Seneschal Construct's damage.
  2. Mockery Support - Helps defensively by taunting the enemies and grouping them on your Seneschal Construct.

If you are lucky enough to get either Evernight or Genesis from Uber Malphas, you want to swap them in on your Construct for their powerful effects. Evernight will be part of the Tempest combo instead of Arcing Support, while Genesis will become part of the Flash of Adrenaline combo instead of Safeguard Support.

Skill Tree & Gameplay

  • Corpse Tendrils is the best CC option in the game. Therefore you reduce its Cooldown by incorporating +xx Ranks from gear. Furthermore Corpse Tendrils does not consume a Corpse and should therefore be used before you consume the last available corpse.
  • Raise Skeleton needs to be used on available Corpses to always maintain your maximum number of Minions. While you are at the maximum number of Minions, use this skill to buff your minions' damage by 30% for 8 seconds and instantly heal them for 25% of their Maximum Life.
  • Decrepify instantly forces your Minions to engage in combat instead of waiting for other attacks to land first. Decrepify applies a powerful CC effect that also causes Lucky Hit procs to reduce Cooldowns on your Skills. Prioritize casting this on any new monsters, or when it runs out. This also greatly reduces incoming damage and makes kiting monsters easier.
  • Bone Storm gives you a reliable source of Barrier in combination with Shielding Storm, as well as additional Damage Reduction and Crit Chance.
  • Blood Mist is your get out of jail free card. While you are Immune reposition yourself to gain an advantage.
Pure Summoner Necromancer Late Endgame Skill Tree
  • Inspiring Leader and Hellbent Commander boost the offensive power of all of your Minions tremendously. Stay healthy and close to your Minions for best results.
Pure Summoner Necromancer Skill Usage Demo

Book of the Dead

There are 3 different Minion types you can choose to summon or sacrifice, located in the Book of the Dead. The Pure Summoner Necromancer chooses to utilize Skeletal Warriors - Reapers for additional Corpse generation, Skeletal Mages - Bone for maximum damage and Golems - Iron for more AoE damage.

Book of the Dead

IMPORTANT:

Your Minions gain 30% of any Stats, Buffs or bonuses the Necromancer gains for itself. If you have +10% Vulnerable Damage on a Ring, your Mages gain +3% Vulnerable Damage. BUT if a tooltip references the Minions directly, or the Stat refers to Summons/Minions, they receive 100% of that bonus.

For example, in the case of Abyssal the Necromancer AND the Minions deal 10% additional Non-Physical Damage. Your Minions do NOT gain 30% of the 10% you inherit from that Glyph. If an effect increases the damage a target takes (Revenge) that applies to the Minions with 100% effectiveness.

Learn more details about this class specialization in our full Book of the Dead Guide.

Resource & Cooldown Management

Decrepify has the chance to trigger off of every damage instance including all of your overlapping Damage over Time (DoT) effects. It even triggers from monsters attacking you and the Thorns damage you may have on a Shield. This level of Cooldown management allows for realiably expecting for any and all Skills to be available when needed, even in crucial moments.

Grim Harvest fuels the low Essence cost of Decrepify. Grim Harvest passively refills your Essence which means you never have to worry about your Essence generation.

Paragon Board

Carefully check your Paragon Boards to ensure correct board rotation. Glyphs go from a radius of 3 to 4 when they reach level 15!

← Scroll to Level →

Level the Paragon Board by scrolling. Each step optimizes progression.

Glyphs

You need to level up your Glyphs to increase their power and activate their Additional Bonus with the surrounding nodes. Glyphs have a radius of 3 by default, this increases to 4 at Glyph level 15. Complete Nightmare Dungeons to obtain Glyph experience.

Glyph Leveling Priorities

Level 15

  1. Deadraiser
  2. Control
  3. Exploit
  4. Mage
  5. Warrior

Level 21

  1. Deadraiser
  2. Control
  3. Exploit
  4. Warrior
  5. Mage

Also check out our dedicated in-depth guides to learn more about Paragon Boards and Glyphs.

Endgame Progression & Variants

When you start diving into the Endgame Pure Summoner Necromancer you don't have all the tools available to achieve the Best in Slot versions. In this section, we guide you through different progression points to give you a smooth transition from our Leveling Guides to the final build version.

Progression Goals

Many of your Skill choices depend on what Legendary Aspects and Unique items are available to you. While everyone has access to the same Codex of Power Aspects, the progression might be different for everyone!

  1. Unlock the following Aspects in your Codex of Power:
  2. Find the following Legendary Aspects either as a random drop or by gambling with Obols:
    • Frenzied Dead - Gamble Focus.
    • Blood-soaked - Gamble Focus.
    • Blood Getter's - Gamble Boots.
    • Occult Dominion - Gamble Boots.
    • Hardened Bones - Gamble Pants.
    • Shielding Storm - Gamble Pants.
  3. Acquire the following Unique items either as a random drop or by farming specific Boss drops.
    NOTE: You cannot gamble Unique items with obols!
    • Ring of Mendeln: This item enables the full potential of the build. Your Minions are far less effective without the burst damage from its Lucky Hit proc.
    • Razorplate: Can be used for a Thorns-focused approach on gear, Paragon, and in your Book of the Dead.
      NOTE: This approach is not the most efficient or optimal. It is a fun item that amplifies your Minion's Thorns damage.
  4. If you're lucky enough to obtain the following Uber Uniques, they're useful for the build:
    • Harlequin Crest lacks the "+xx% Total Armor" roll needed to cap your Physical Resistance and forces you to give up Shielding Storm to use it effectively. It's not recommended that you force your build to adapt by making room for this item.
    • The Grandfather is useable in a Speedfarm / Unique Glyph Leveling setup due to its insane Critical Strike damage scaling capabilities. Replace Frenzied Dead on your gloves with Reanimation.
    • Doombringer is not recommended for use because making room for this item means getting rid of mandatory Aspects.
    • Andariel's Visage has the same disadvantages as Harlequin Crest.

Learn more details and how to farm Legendary Aspects and Uniques in our General Farming Guide.

Progression Setups

Starter
Early Endgame
Late Endgame
Gauntlet
Nightmare Dungeon Push

Once you have completed the Leveling Guide, only the Codex of Power Aspects are guaranteed. With this setup you can farm the Legendary Aspects you need for the next progression point.

Gear

Imprint the following Aspects onto your gear:

  • Aspect of Disobedience (Helmet)
  • Aspect of the Protector (Body Armor)
  • Unyielding Commander's Aspect (Gloves)
  • Eluding Aspect (Boots)
  • Aspect of Reanimation (Amulet)
  • Aspect of Grasping Veins (Ring)

    Avoid imprinting Offensive Aspects on Weapons early on, as they are often replaced. Click on the Early Endgame tab to see what it takes to transition from this Starter Leveling Build to the Endgame approach.
Starter Gear

Skills

Allocate Points into Army of the Dead and its upgrades instead of Bone Storm and its upgrades before acquiring Aspect of Shielding Storm. Aspect of Shielding Storm is key to making Bone Storm more effective than Army of the Dead.

Starter Skill Tree

Gameplay

Use Army of the Dead regularly to empower your Minions and to revive them when most of them have died.

In this setup, you have access to all Legendary Aspects, allowing you to pilot a much stronger version of this build. Many of these Aspects and better versions of Codex of Power Aspects on the Starter Build must be found.

Gear

Imprint the following Aspects onto your gear for even more power:

  • Aspect of Disobedience (Helmet)
  • Aspect of Hardened Bones (Body Armor)
  • Blood Getter's Aspect (Gloves)
  • Aspect of Shielding Storm (Pants)
  • Viscous Aspect (Boots)
  • Aspect of Reanimation (Weapon)
  • Osseous Gale Aspect (Off-Hand)
  • Aspect of Frenzied Dead (Amulet)
  • Blood-soaked Aspect (Ring #1)
  • Aspect of Grasping Veins (Ring #2)
Early Endgame Gear - Endgame Transition

Skills

Refer to the Standard Final Skill Tree. There are no changes between this Skill Tree and that of the Final Endgame Build. Once you acquire Aspect of Shielding Storm, it is time to put Points into and use Bone Storm instead of Army of the Dead.

Early Endgame Skill Tree

In this setup, you have access to Ring of Mendeln and all Legendary Aspects imprinted into high Item Power gear, unleashing the strongest version of this build. Be prepared to grind to attain this level of power!

Gear

The star of the final setup is Ring of Mendeln. Once you acquire it you can replace Blood-soaked Aspect from the Early Endgame build. This item alone makes a Pure Summoner worth playing in the endgame.

Remember to fully upgrade your gear at the Blacksmith and to Enchant stats for your dream rolls at the Occultist! Once you are at this stage of gear progression, you want to find perfect 4/4 rolls on your gear and maximum rolls on Aspects.

Note: There are no changes in optimal Skills, Paragon, and Gameplay between Early Endgame and Late Endgame for the Pure Summoner Necromancer.

Late Endgame Gear

The Gauntlet variant is designed to provide the highest damage possible, while constantly moving at high movement speed.

Gear

  • It is incredibly important to squeeze every little bit of damage out of your gear. You can accomplish that by incorporating stats on gear pieces which usually prioritize damage reduction or utility such as your Chest or Helmet slot.
  • Make sure you are Movement Speed capped at 200% total Movement Speed. If you are not, you use +% Movement Speed After Killing an Elite on Boots and if that is not enough you also run it on the Amulet.
  • Since Shrines will be present during your Gauntlet runs, Shrine Buff duration on Boots and Amulet are highly important.
Gauntlet Gear

Skill Tree

  • Min/maxed to absolute fastest version possible.
Gauntlet Skill Tree

The Standard Build featured at the top of the guide is suitable for success in Nightmare Dungeons up until Tier 80. Before you go into how to push Tier 100 NM Dungeons, make sure to avoid the following Afflictions.

AVOID THESE Nightmare Dungeon Afflictions

  • Monster Critical Resist - Makes all enemies much more tanky with how much your Minions rely on Critical Strike Damage.
  • Melee Defenders - This stat makes monsters tanky on a close quarters combat build.
  • Monster Barrier - It is difficult for your Minions to break through monster Barrier to deal damage.
  • Monster Vulnerable Resist - Noticeably prolongs fights against high HP Elites and Bosses.
  • Monster Physical Resist - Makes monsters resist your Minions' Physical Damage. This makes the dungeons take significantly longer.

Pushing the highest Tier Nightmare Dungeon requires a more tanky build. You make a few Gear, Book of the Dead, and Gameplay adjustments below. Remember to run an Iron Skin Elixir if you are going for the achievement!

Gear

  • Use a Shield instead of a Focus for maximum survivability. This requires sacrificing Osseous Gale Aspect, and means somewhat lower Bone Storm uptime. This is fine though since in many cases you want to stay well behind your Minions against monsters this strong!
  • Put Aspect of the Protector on your Shield for another reliable Barrier. You can never have too many!
  • Prioritize Defensive Stats on your gear wherever possible such as Total Armor, Maximum Life and Damage Reductions.
T100 NM Dungeon Gear

Book of the Dead

Change out your Golems - Iron (Upgrade 1) for Golems - Blood (Upgrade 1) to increase your tankiness.

Gameplay

Keep your distance from dangerous monsters and let your Minions do all the heavy lifting. Tactically use Bone Storm only to maximize your Barrier. This means sacrificing a majority of your Minions' bonus damage from Hellbent Commander, but it is worth it for the sake of survival.

No changes to Skills, Paragon, or Glyphs are necessary to complete a Tier 100 Nightmare Dungeon.

Hardcore Adjustments

Hardcore requires you to build into more defenses. Here are some tips to successfully navigate the Pure Summoner Necromancer through potentially dangerous situations:

  • Equip a Shield instead of a Focus. Find a Shield with multiple Damage Reduction rolls and place an additional Defensive Legendary Aspect on it.
  • Swap Golems - Iron (Upgrade 1) for Golems - Blood (Upgrade 1) to increase your tankiness.
  • Make sure to stack more survivability stats on your Chest, Pants and Amulet by using Maximum Life, Damage Reduction and Total Armor stats.
  • In the Paragon Boards, select additional Armor and Maximum Life Nodes in Rare clusters whenever possible.
  • Distance yourself from dangerous monsters as much as possible and let your Minions take care of them from afar. You can initially engage with Bone Storm active to maximize your survival with Barrier from Aspect of Shielding Storm, and then immediately back out of tough situations.
  • Only farm Nightmare Dungeons with monsters that are about the same level as your character until you have high defensive stats on all of your gear, and are comfortable farming higher difficulty content.

Check out our dedicated in-depth guide to learn more survival tricks in Hardcore

Build Scaling & Stat Priorities

Learn about the important build scaling mechanics and stat weights.

Damage
Defense
  • Critical Strike Chance: Stacking xx% Critical Strike Chance helps your Minions successfully crit as well as your sources of instantaneous damage.
  • Vulnerable: Minions gain 100% of your Vulnerable damage bonus. This makes it an incredibly important stat for both of your primary damage sources. Stack as much of it as you can!
  • Crowd Control: Decrepify helps you out with Crowd Control by giving you a big slow and a chance to stun.
  • Attack Speed: Increased Attack Speed increases the rate you cast all of your Skills. It decreases the length of time before Tendrils is on the field and how quickly you can cycle through your Skill Rotation. It's a high value stat. Minions gain 30% of your bonus Attack Speed.
  • Don't Get Hit: Make use of your range advantage and hit enemies from afar. By stutter stepping on the edge of your range, you can avoid most projectiles that come your way.
  • Armor: A great deal of defenses comes from your Armor. The Aspect of Disobedience can help to increase the effectiveness of it. Make sure to get as much Armor on your gear possible.
  • Damage Reduction: In all of its forms, this stat is important to stack after Armor. Since you apply a continuous stream of Shadow DoT, you gain access to a unique DR type. Damage Reduction from Enemies That Are Affected by Shadow Damage Over Time wins the world record for longest stat line that can save your life.
  • Unstoppable: You only have one way to gain Unstoppable and that's from Blood Mist. Cooldown Reduction helps to "scale" this defensive mechanic by making it available more often.
  • Fortify: Necrotic Carapace allows you to passively gain Fortify while the Reaper Warriors generate Corpses from their attacks.
  • Resistances: As an Intelligence main stat class, the Necromancer naturally accrues a lot of Elemental Resistances. Make sure to reach the 70% cap in World Tier 4, and use Maximum Resistance buffs against particularly deadly enemies and content.

Our Damage Explained article explains how to scale your Offense.
Learn all you need to know to scale Defense with our Defense Explained Article.

Stat Priorities

Choosing the right stats for your gear can make or break your build. You don't always find perfect stats (also known as affixes or modifiers) though, and you may need to make a tough choice between two good pieces of equipment. Use the following list of priorities to compare your gear and pick the required stats.

  • Helm: Shielding Storm
    1. Maximum Life
    2. +xx% Total Armor
    3. Cooldown Reduction
    4. Lucky Hit Chance while You Have a Barrier
    5. All Stats
    6. Intelligence
  • Chest Armor: Disobedience
    1. Maximum Life
    2. +xx% Total Armor
    3. Damage Reduction from Close
    4. Damage Reduction
    5. Maximum Minion Life
    6. Damage Reduction from Distant
  • Gloves: Blood Getter's
    1. Attack Speed
    2. Lucky Hit Chance
    3. Critical Strike Chance
    4. All Stats
    5. Intelligence
  • Pants: Hardened Bones Implicit: Potion Grants Barriers
    1. Maximum Life
    2. +xx% Total Armor
    3. Damage Reduction from Close
    4. Damage Reduction
    5. Damage Reduction from Distant
  • Boots: Occult Dominion Implicit: Max Evade Charges
    1. Movement Speed
    2. Elemental Resistance
    3. +xx Ranks to Corpse Tendrils
    4. All Stats
    5. Intelligence
  • Amulet: Frenzied Dead
    1. +xx Ranks of the Hellbent Commander Passive
    2. Movement Speed
    3. Minion Attack Speed
    4. +xx% Intelligence
    5. Cooldown Reduction
  • Rings: Ring of Mendeln Prioritize a high roll on the unique effect, Lucky Hit Chance, Minion Attack Speed and Maximum Minion Life in this order.
  • Otherwise Look For: Grasping Veins & Unyielding Commander's
    1. Maximum Life
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Minion Maximum Life
    4. Lucky Hit Chance
    5. Damage to Close Enemies
    6. Vulnerable Damage
  • Main Hand: Reanimation Implicit: Lucky Hit Chance (Wand)
    1. Intelligence
    2. All Stats
    3. Vulnerable Damage
    4. Damage to Slowed Enemies
  • Off-Hand: Osseous Gale Implicit: Cooldown Reduction (Focus)
    1. Critical Strike Chance
    2. Maximum Minion Life
    3. Cooldown Reduction
    4. Lucky Hit Chance
    5. Lucky Hit Chance while You Have a Barrier
    6. All Stats
    7. Intelligence

This build benefits the most from the following consumables:

  • Elixirs: Heady Assault Elixir
  • Type I Incense: Sage's Whisper
  • Type II Incense: Soothing Spices to cap Resistances, Reddamine Buzz
  • Type III Incense: Chorus of War

FAQ & Mechanics

Once a guide is released, many players have questions on why and how we are approaching certain choices. In this section you can find the answers to the questions that have been asked the most.

Can Minions Clear Endgame Content?

What Stats Improve Minions?

Can This Build Work Without Ring of Mendeln?

Mechanics

Learn all you need to know about how to scale this build in the endgame.

Corpse Tendrils

Ring of Mendeln

Video Guide

Pure Summoner Necromancer Guide

Hungry for more Guides?

Summary

  • This build dominates with Ring of Mendeln. Before acquiring Ring of Mendeln, enjoy the nice chill slow push.
  • Lead your undead army on the frontlines to make the most of Hellbent Commander. Bone Storm with Aspect of Shielding Storm enables you to survive under the toughest conditions.
  • Decrepify is your best friend. Use it as often as possible on as many enemies as possible to lower the cooldowns of all your other essential Skills.
  • Focus on buffing your Minions as much as possible with your Skills, stats on Gear, Aspects, and Paragon.
  • Happy blasting 🚀!

Credits

Maintained by Chronikz

Originally written by DarkHumility
Reviewed by MacroBioBoi

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