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Skeletal “Roid” Mage Necromancer Guide

Last Updated: February 21st 2024

Patch 1.0

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Arriving with the sound of rattling bones and a biting cold wind, this chilling Skeletal Mage Necromancer raises and commands a single Summon Skeletal Mage Archmage. This formidable Undead Spellcaster wields the power of Cold to unleash a flurry of jagged Ice Shards upon any foe that dares face them.

Infuse your Minion with additional power by casting Chaos Bolts to give it Revolution, leveraging the power of your own Maximum Mana to bolster your Minion's damage dealing capabilities. Use Dread Shade and Infernal Shade to buff your Cryomancer's Cast Speed, Movement Speed and Damage tremendously while guaranteeing its Ice Shard always Crits. The build also has great mobility and utility with Transplant.

This setup doesn't require any Unique items to function. However Items like Death Rattle, Lich's Scorn, Ribbons of Blood, Exsanguinous, and Last Steps of the Living take the build to the next level.

Overall this frigid Necromancer is an amazing build capable of crushing all the content in the game, even in Hardcore. If you are looking for a Cold based summoner that wants to sit back and watch the destruction unfold as enemies are pelted with an icy hailstorm, this is the perfect build for you!

End Game Gear Planner - Click To Open Full Planner

This article assumes you have a Level 70 Character.
Reach Level 70 with our Necromancer Leveling Guide.
If you are looking for a different playstyle, check all our Build Guides!

Pros
  • Low Maintenance
  • Great Screen-Wide AoE
  • Minion is Immortal Unless One-Shot
  • Satisfying Progression of Damage Scaling with Better Gear
Cons
  • Some Buff Management
  • Minion AI Can Be Frustrating
  • Good Sustain Requires Low-Life Gear
  • Misusing Cooldowns Significantly Lowers Damage

Skills

Summon Skeletal Mage

Summon Skeletal Mage is the core of this build, all other Skills revolve around pumping up the damage of your Archmage. Take Cryomancers and Frost Lich early to ensure that a Cyromancer is always summoned. Archmage gives you a single Mage to stack with buffs. Grey Merchant combined with Egoism from Dread Shade sustains your Mage's HP. Increase your AoE with Splintered Dominion. Further increase DPS with Gravetide and Forbidden Arcana which adds a Damage Multiplier based on your own Maximum Mana.

Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Skill Tree Progression

Alternative Skills & Tips

Passives

Passives provide powerful effects that dictate the playstyle of a Class and its Masteries. Remember to allocate Passives on the first half of all Masteries regardless of the one you chose.

  1. Take Nodes with Intelligence, Health, Vitality, and Ward Retention.
  2. Taking Forbidden Knowledge and Unnatural Preservation helps cap your Resistances.
  3. Use Aegisfall and Moonlight Pyre to boosts your Mage's DPS substantially.
  4. Take Spiteful Decay in the Warlock tree after unlocking Dread Shade to bring your Chaos Bolts online.
  5. Frantic Summons provides a good amount of Cast Speed for both you and your Mage.
  6. Grab River of Bones to keep your Summon Skeletal Mage's alive.
  7. Take the Intelligence from Heresy and Occultist's Mind to boost your Ward Retention and Mage's Cold Penetration with Lich's Scorn. The Maximum Mana also contributes more damage through the Mage's Forbidden Arcana.
Click the Nodes at the bottom to see Passive Tree Progression

Make sure to complete the Campaign to get all your Passive Points.

Gameplay

This Skeletal Mage Necromancer wants to stand behind their Summon Skeletal Mage while it goes berserk against its enemies. Your Infernal Shade lasts indefinitely thanks to Soulfire, so after applying it once you only need to maintain Dread Shade and the buff from Chaos Bolts. When you find yourself in a tight spot, Transplant can get you out of trouble and apply an extra layer of Defense through Bone Armor.

Skill Usage/Rotation

  • Summon your Summon Skeletal Mage.
  • Buff your Mage with Infernal Shade, then Dread Shade, and finally Chaos Bolts.
  • Use Transplant to teleport out of danger or refresh the Bone Armor it provides.
  • Command and direct your Summon Skeletal Mage into battle with the "A" key. If you're looking for speed, feel free to lead the charge as your Summon Skeletal Mage mows down any threats which come into view.
  • Refresh Dread Shade and Chaos Bolt's Revolution buffs when they expire. The Dread Shade is tracked above the top left of your Skill Bar when active, and the Chaos Bolt's buff appears as a faint blue glow at the feet of your Mage.

Mapping

  • Transplant on Cooldown towards the objective.
  • Keep your Mage close, within running distance in case you get overwhelmed.
  • Use the "A" key to redirect your Mage to prioritize key targets.
  • Let the Summon Skeletal Mage kill enemies as you cruise through the Echoes.
  • Don't stop to attack while the Haste provided by Transplant is active.
  • When enemies are closing in on you, stand on or near your Summon Skeletal Mage while it clears out the packs of enemies.

Bossing

  • Take advantage of all your buffs and keep them active as much as possible.
  • Your main priority is dodging Boss attacks without straying too far from the Mage and resetting its AI.
  • Save Transplant for dangerous telegraphed Boss attacks.
  • If you anticipate the Mage dying to a telegraphed attack, hold on to your Dread Shade to preserve the Cooldown until you resummon after the attack.

Advanced Skill Tips

Learn more about how to maximize your gameplay in the Build Scaling section of this guide.

Gear

Gearing in Last Epoch revolves around finding Items and then using the powerful Crafting System to enhance them. As long as an Item has Forging Potential left, players can upgrade or modify their Affixes up to Tier 5. However, the powerful Exalted Tier Affixes are drop only and can't be modified by players.

Using the correct Item Bases allows you to make use of their amazing Implicits, this is fundamental for gearing efficiently. Combine Implicits, Passives, Idols and Blessings to cap your Resistances and other defensive layers, while fitting as much Health related Affixes or Endurance Threshold into your gear as possible. Plan ahead for your next upgrades and consider the final Empowered Blessings of your build while gearing. Finish up by farming Uniques with Legendary Potential and Sealing Affixes into Exalted Items to unleash all of your build's power!

Here are the Stat Goals for this build:

  • Capped Resistances
  • Capped Critical Strike Avoidance
  • 2500 - 5000+ Health
  • 40% - 50%+ Armour
  • 400%+ Ward Retention
  • 4000 - 15000+ Ward
  • 65 - 100+ Intelligence
  • 80% + 150% Cast Speed
  • 500 - 1000% Increased Minion Health
  • 40% - 70%+ Movement Speed

Gear Progression

Starting Gear
Advanced Gear
Low-Life Transition
End Game Gear
BIS Gear

Milestone 1
Aim for good Item Bases with two valuable T5 Affixes. The Defensive rolls on T5 Suffixes are very important at this stage as they can easily cap all your Resistances when combined with Item Implicits, Idols, Blessings or Passives. Get a Sceptre with double T5 offensive Suffixes as soon as possible.

Milestone 2
Make sure your Critical Strike Avoidance is capped. Remember that Woven Flesh is always an option early on. farm it by killing the Abomination in the Fall of the Outcast Monolith Timeline.

Milestone 3
Fit as much Health into your gear as possible. Hybrid Health and Health are extremely valuable, but can be hard to find early on. Use regular flat Health until you find them.

Milestone 4
Aim for T5 Level of Summon Skeletal Mage on your Relic to invest more Points into its Skill Tree.

Starting Gear Planner

Milestone 5
Fight Exiled Mages and keep an eye out for T3+ Experimental Ward per Missing Health on Gloves, the higher the better. Hold onto this item for when you switch to Low Life later after acquiring Exsanguinous and Last Steps of the Living. This Experimental Affix is an extremely valuable addition to your Ward generation later on.

Milestone 6
While you look for this basic set of gear, start farming your Empowered Blessings and look for any Idols that can help you cap all your Resistances momentarily or boost your Health - plug in whatever your build needs at the moment to more safely farm for better Gear. Look for a Large Immortal Idol with Minion Chance To Apply Mark For Death On Hit to increase the Damage enemies take.

Milestone 1
When all your core Defenses are covered, start working on scaling Summon Skeletal Mage with Intelligence, Mana, Minion Melee and Spell Damage, and Minion Spell and Bow Damage.

Milestone 2
Get Chance to Apply Frailty on Hit to decrease the Damage enemies deal to you. This Ailment is really important and should always be kept in mind.

Milestone 3
Farm Lich's Scorn and Last Steps of the Living. They are both common drops from Formosus the Undying in the Blood, Frost and Death Timeline, and are deterministically farmed there. Lich's Scorn boosts your Mage's DPS as you stack Intelligence. You need Last Steps of the Living before your swap to Low Life.

Milestone 4
Get a Death Rattle to increase your Summon Skeletal Mage's DPS. Get it by targeting the Unique Amulet Echo Rewards in the Age of Winter Monolith Timeline.

Advanced Gear Planner

Milestone 5
As you finish up your Empowered Blessings keep a decent Health pool, capped Resistances, Endurance and Critical Strike Avoidance. Your goal is to have items with 4 valuable T5 Affixes, also known as T20. Keep an eye for Large Immortal Idols with %Health Prefix and useful Suffixes.

Milestone 6

The final step before making your swap to Low-Life is finding an Exsanguinous. Use a combination of target farming Chest Echo Rewards in the Blood, Frost and Death Timeline, and using Rune of Ascendance on Chest Armor.

Milestone 1
Before Swapping to Low Life, make sure you have T3+ Experimental Ward per Missing Health on Gloves, Last Steps of the Living, and Exsanguinous.

Milestone 2
When you swap to Low Life double check to be sure your Resistances are capped or close and your Critical Strike Avoidance is capped. At this point, Endurance is no longer useful for you as it does not reduce damage taken against Ward.

Milestone 3
From this point forward, focus on stacking your Intelligence and Health stats. Intelligence will greatly increase your Ward through the Ward Retention it provides, and Health will scale the amount of Ward you generate through the Experimental Ward per Missing Health on Gloves, Last Steps of the Living, and Exsanguinous - enjoy the sustain you now have!

Advanced Gear Planner

Milestone 1
Upgrade your T20 set up with Exalted items, high value Sealed Affixes or ideally both. Obtain the Affixes included in the Planner, but prioritize the indicated Item Bases for their Implicits. Make sure to Seal highly efficient low tier Affixes. Ward and Ailment Cleansing on Potion Use is a must have for Belts.

Milestone 2
Get Ribbons of Blood with Legendary Potential. Farm it by killing the Abomination in the Fall of the Outcast Monolith Timeline. Aim for the Affixes shown in the Planner for the Legendary Potential slots. This item is not mandatory for the build but the raw HP it provides is very valuable.

Milestone 3
Finish your Large Immortal Idols with %Health Prefix and Minion Chance To Apply Mark For Death On Hit, Health, Ward Retention or Chance To Fear On Hit Suffixes. You also want Stout Lagonian Idols with %Health Prefix and Resistance or Health Suffixes.

End Game Gear Planner

Milestone 4
Farm Death Rattle, Last Steps of the Living, and Exsanguinous with Legendary Potential. Aim for the indicated Affixes in the Planner for each slot. Legendary Last Steps of the Living is a common drop and can be farmed for Legendary Potential easisly. Death Rattle is another that appears commonly with Legendary Potential. Legendary Exsanguinous is slightly more rare, but not impossible to find - keep farming the Chest Echo Rewards in the Blood, Frost and Death Timeline while you look for your Last Steps of the Living.

Milestone 1
Keep upgrading your gear with Exalted Items with Sealed Affixes. Get every stat in the right place and in the correct Item Base. Min/Maxing your gear in Last Epoch can be pushed to the extreme as Items with multiple Exalted Affixes are technically possible.

Milestone 2
Get as close to perfect rolls for all your Empowered Blessings and find all your desired Idols with the best in slot Prefixes and Suffixes.

Milestone 3
Continue farming Death Rattle, Ribbons of Blood, Last Steps of the Living, and Exsanguinous with the maximum Legendary Potential you can find.

Milestone 4
Continue farming for Lich's Scorn with a high roll on Cold Damage with Spells and Attacks

Milestone 4
Feel free to experiment with any crazy Unique, Legendary or Experimental Items that you might craft, trade or find! The possibilities are endless!

BIS Gear Planner

Learn the basics for crafting gear with our Beginner Crafting Guide.
Check our Unique Item & Set Farming Guide and learn how to get them!
Want to know more about Legendary Items? Check our Legendary Guide!

Blessings

Completing a Timeline in the Monolith of Fate lets you choose one of several randomized Blessings from its unique pool. Their benefits are permanent and persist even outside of the Monolith of Fate.

Empowered Blessings are a fundamental part of all builds, so getting the correct ones for each is key.

The sooner you reach Empowered Monolith, the faster you can start farming your desired Blessings!

End Game Blessings
Normal Blessings
Empowered Combat Blessings
Empowered Drop Rate Blessings

Normal Blessings are not important as they are eventually replaced by Empowered Blessings. However they can still be a great source of Resistances, Critical Strike Avoidance or Life Leech for your build early on.

Pick up these Normal Blessings on your way to Empowered:

  • Echo of Solarum
  • Memory of Light
  • Bastion of Divinity
  • Survival of Might
  • Resolve of Humanity
  • Persistance of Will
  • Bulwark of the Tundra
  • Protection of Heorot
  • Resolve of Grael
  • Heart of the Caldera
  • Embers of Immortality
  • Body of Obsidian

Note: Don't target farm Normal Blessings. Get to Empowered Monolith as fast as you can.

Reaching Empowered Monolith unlocks all the level 100 Timelines and the ability to farm Empowered Blessings. Unlike Normal Blessings, these need to be farmed until you get the desired ones for your build. It is extremely important to get this set up as fast as possible to free up affix slots on your gear. Remember, the more value you get from your Blessings, the easier it is to craft efficient gear!

These are the core Combat Empowered Blessings for this build:

  • If you are lacking Critical Strike Avoidance, start with Grand Survival of Might. A high roll on this Empowered Blessing can be combined with a single high rolled T5 Critical Strike Avoidance to cap it.
  • If your Critical Strike Avoidance is taken care of, your next priority becomes Grand Resolve of Grael. Getting a high roll on this frees up two Suffix slots on your gear.
  • Grand Memory of Light and Grand Body of Obsidian offer additional Defense.
  • Finally, look for a high roll on Grand Light of the Moon to boost your Summon Skeletal Mage's damage through Forbidden Arcana and Revolution.

These Empowered Blessings are flexible and depend on your current needs and goals.

These are valuable Empowered Drop Rate Blessings for this build:

  • Grand Sight of the Outcasts is very valuable to help you find Large Immortal Idols with %Health Prefix and Minion Chance To Apply Mark For Death On Hit, Health, Ward Retention or Chance To Fear On Hit Suffixes. Once you find all your Idols, switch to the Grand Winds of Fortune and focus on Uniques instead.
  • Take Grand Embrace of Ice to help you farm for your Legendary Exsanguinous.
  • Lastly, farm Grand Savior of the North to find more Scepters.
  • The remaining Empowered Blessings revolve around Affix Shard drop rate, and are largely up to player preference. Grand Comfort of the End is a good option for finding Minion Melee and Spell Damage, Minion Spell and Bow Damage, Hybrid Health and Health. Grand Hope of the Beginning is another good option for finding Class Specific Prefixes for your future characters.

Learn how to farm Blessings fast with our Advanced Monolith Strategies.

Idols

Idols grant your character bonuses when equipped in the dedicated Idol Container. Unlock all the slots of your Idol Container by completing the Campaign and some of its Side Quests. Remember that some Idols are Class specific and you won't be able to equip them with other non-compatible Classes.

These are the Idols recommended for this build:

  • Get 4 Large Immortal Idols with %Health Prefix. For the Suffixes you need at least 1 Minion Chance To Apply Mark For Death On Hit. The rest of the Suffixes are more flexible; Health, Ward Retention or Chance To Fear On Hit are all valuable. The Fear can keep enemies off you and your Mage long enough to for it to DPS them down.
  • You also want 4 Stout Lagonian Idols with %Health Prefix and Resistances or Health Suffixes. Acolytes can get an absurd amount of Health just from Idols.
  • You might need extra Resistances out of your Idols early on, so keep an eye for anything useful until you get your final setup.
End Game Idols

Other useful Idol Affixes

Make sure to complete the Campaign to get all your Idol Slots.
Learn how to be efficient with Idols with our Advanced Idols Setups Guide.

Build Scaling

This Skeletal Mage Necromancer maintains Dread Shade, Infernal Shade, and Revolution from Chaos Bolts on a singular Summon Skeletal Mage Archmage in order to create a map-clearing monster. The build also gains a large pool of Ward through high Ward Retention, Ward per Missing Health and Maximum Health to ensure that you live long enough to watch your Summon Skeletal Mage's absolute destruction of your enemies.

Damage
Defense
  • Dread Shade, Infernal Shade, and Revolution from Chaos Bolts must be maintained on your Summon Skeletal Mage to achieve it's highest DPS.
  • Minion Power: Your minions gain Minion Power based on your Character Level. By level 100, they deal 45% More Damage and take 45% Less Damage (Multiplicative with other modifiers).
  • Minion Flat Spell Damage: Minion Melee and Spell Damage, Minion Spell and Bow Damage, Lich's Scorn, and the Necromancer Passive Moonlight Pyre all work to increase the base damge your Mage does.
  • Cold Penetration for Minions: This is a multiplicative damage source, you get this from Lich's Scorn and Cold Penetration and Minion Cold Penetration on your Scepter.
  • Intelligence: Summon Skeletal Mage gains 4% Damage per point of Intelligence. This also scales the Cold Penetration you get from Lich's Scorn. Additionally, each point of Intelligence provides 4% Ward Retention.
  • Minion % Spell Damage: Anything that increases Minion Spell Damage is welcomed.
  • Minion Spell Critical Strike Chance: Dread Shade's Egoism Node grants 100% Crit Chance to your Mage while it's active.
  • Minion Critical Strike Multiplier: Increases the Damage your minions Crits deal. Get as much as you can! Death Rattle provides tons on its own. Also, the Necromancer Passive Blades of the Forlorn
  • Maximum Mana: The more Maximum Mana you have, the more damage your Summon Skeletal Mage does through Forbidden Arcana and Revolution. We take this on every Prefix we can, and also get some from Intelligence via the Warlock Passive Occultist's Mind.
  • Level of Summon Skeletal Mage: Get this Prefix on your Relic to invest extra Points into its Tree.
  • Chance To Shred Armour on Hit: Each stack of this Ailment reduces enemy Armour by 100 for 4 seconds and stacks infinitely. Enemies have 0 Armour by default and it can go into the negatives. At -1000 Armour a target takes 23.7% increased Physical Damage, while at -4000 Armour it takes 57.2%. This applies at 70% effective also for your Mage's Cold Damage. With the amount of hits the build has, the stacks ramp up quickly.
  • Mark for Death: This Ailment that reduces All Enemy Resistances by 25%, causing them to take extra Damage. Get it from a Large Immortal Idols with Minion Chance To Apply Mark For Death On Hit.
  • Bone Armor: Transplant provides this buff. It grants Flat Armor and Damage Reduction.
  • Armour Mitigation: This build can get decent Armour. Just with the implicit Armour from your gear, Transplant's Bone Armor, Grand Body of Obsidian and Grand Bulwark of the Tundra Blessings you reach 40%+ Mitigation.
  • Ward: A shield above your Health that is generated by certain effects, rapidly decays over time and is protected by Armour Mitigation. Your Ward is generated thanks to the combination of your Experimental Ward per Missing Health on Gloves, Exsanguinous, and Last Steps of the Living. The build can reach more than 15k Ward with investment.
  • Ward Retention: Reduces the rate of Ward decay.
  • Intelligence: Each point of Intelligence provides 4% Ward Retention.
  • Vitality: Each point of Vitality grants 6 Flat Health, 1% Poison Resistance and 1% Necrotic Resistance.
  • Health: This build can stack an insanely high Health pool that is very effective when combined with all the other defensive layers the build has. Acolytes have access to Large Immortal Idols with %Health; not all Classes have access to these amazing Idols! The more Health you have, the more Ward that can generate through Ward per Missing Health.
  • Chill and Slow: Are Ailments that greatly reduce the Action and Movement Speed of your enemies. They are must haves on most builds, especially once you reach hard content with insane speed modifiers.
  • Frailty: This Ailment reduces the Damage dealt by enemies by 6% for 4 seconds. Stacks 3 times. Apply it with Chaos Bolts.
  • Ward and Ailment Cleansing on Potion Use: Cleanse all Ailments on Potion use.
  • Chance To Fear On Hit: The Fear provided by the Large Immortal Idols helps keep enemies far away. Apply it with Chaos Bolts.

Our Damage Explained Article covers all you need to know to scale Damage.
Learn all you need to know to scale Defense with our Defense Explained Article.

Loot Filter

Loot Filters are critical in Last Epoch. Making sure you highlight all the related valuable Item Bases, Affixes, Uniques and Idols is crucial to ensure your character's progression. As your gear gets better, remember to hide the rules that are no longer useful to avoid screen clutter.

Here is the Endgame Loot Filter for this build:

Learn how to load and make Filters with our Loot Filter Guide.

Video Guide

COMING SOON

Summary

  • This Skeletal Mage Necromancer maintains Dread Shade, Infernal Shade, and Revolution from Chaos Bolts on a single Summon Skeletal Mage Archmage, to create a monstrous Damage Dealer. It has good AoE, amazing Single Target DPS and great Survivability thanks to its multiple defensive layers.
  • This is a single Summon Skeletal Mage Archmage build, using Cryomancers.
  • Use Transplant to evade telegraphed attacks, move or refresh the buffs it provides.
  • This setup doesn't require any Unique to function. However Items like Death Rattle, Ribbons of Blood and Lich's Scorn take the build to the next level.
  • Generate a steady amount of Ward sustain with this build's Low-Life setup, using Experimental Ward per Missing Health, Exsanguinous, and Last Steps of the Living.

Credits

Written by VisionGL.
Reviewed by LizardIRL, Tenkiei.

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