[Build] Low Life Sacrifice Mages Necromancer (Wave 260+) 0.8.1d

Hi guys !

I wanted to share with you a build I made a long time ago wich is now more than viable with recent minion buffs. I almost never play arena but I managed to clear wave 264 (currently rank 4 necro) with this build on my first and only run. I’ve been too greedy and I died like an idiot by running into melee range, so it can push a lot higher with better gameplay and gear.

It clears Monolith maps and bosses easily aswell, and it’s a really fun build to play with a bit more active gameplay than other minion builds :slight_smile:

This build is based around the Underlings node in Skeleton Mage tree which allows them to sacrifice our skeleton warriors to deal physical damage, buffed by 50% (multiplicative) thanks to the Merciless node in Bone curse tree. We can spam summon skeleton and they will explode as soon as they reach ennemies, dealing big damage in a large area, making this build quite strong for clearing timelines and arenas. It’s probably not as fast as other minion builds for killing bosses, but it stills destroys them :slight_smile:

the builds uses Bone golem as a retaliation tank thanks to the Bone nova spec and the huge Bone curse physical buffs it grants him.

And finaly, we use dread shade to buff minion damage and our own armour as long as we stay inside.

The build uses a lot of passives granting you ward when minions/ennemis dies and different defensive layers making it very tanky : I have around 4.3k ward base and I can usually maintain around 5k+ ward with decent or capped resistances, 96% crit avoidance, a bit of endurance and 30-40% armour with dread shade. However, you’re not immortal and still need to avoid dangerous stuff, but you can stay in melee most of the time without an issue.

Here’s a timeline run to showcase gameplay :

Here’s my current gear. I’m using a lot of uniques and Exanguinous/Last step of the living are required to play low life, but the build works without it if you want to play as life based when starting. Same for Death rattle and reach of the grave : these are not required, but they will greatly boost your dps.

LE planner : Necromancer, Level 98 (LE Beta 0.8.1d) - Last Epoch Build Planner






Summon Skeleton

Summon Bone Golem

Summon Skeleton Mage

Bone Curse

Dread Shade

I hope you enjoy and let me know if you have any suggestion :slight_smile:

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Hi there! Just started tinkering with this and it’s ridiculously fun. One question though – Is it not worthwhile to spec into the Sacrifice tree? Do your mages not benefit from your tree? Thanks in advance, you made an insanely fun build!

No, your minions don’t use your specialised version of the skill they only use the basic version.

Ahhh, that’s a bummer. Makes sense why the build specs into base crit chance then. Next question would be why take Cryomancers and Death Knights – Don’t they overwrite each other? I seem to be only summoning Death Knights since I took that node second.

Im not quite familiar with minion behavior in LE, but do they teleport to you after a certain distance like minions in PoE? Im asking because the clearspeed seems rather slow. Im used to PoE where you can basically just run through the map and the minions clear everything around you. (yes, PoE is a terrible example on how to get addicted to a fast clearspeed)

No, they just run after you & ignore mobs.

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I’m glad you enjoy it ! :slight_smile:

For mages, I take crymancer for the damage buff and death knights for easier pet management (since they all run into melee), so you can target all pets at once with bone curse and benefit more from ward on ennemies death and dread shade aura. In arena, i removed death knight so they become range and survive better against melee mobs in higher waves without loosing dps.

Oh neat! Makes sense, hadn’t considered that. I’m just finishing up the story for passive points, so I haven’t taken it into the arena yet. Thanks for the response! I’ll definitely give it a try – I’ve been just using the Death Knights in the story so far.

Clear speed is usually slow with pet builds in this game compared to poe where everything is all about speed :stuck_out_tongue:

Good build. I built something similar after finding a really good exalted skeleton scepter (T6 minion spell dmg). I found your build and there were a lot of things you were doing better than me that I adopted. With pretty good gear I’m rocking 5800 stable ward with up to 7K ward during a fight with capped resists, 100% crit immune, and a decent chunk of damage. I’m level 87 and deathless still (have only done timelines, no arena).

I have a few suggestions:

First, and the biggest suggestion is the weapon. Most minion builds don’t have good options with the current selection of mods and therefore Reach of the Grave is BIS.

This build benefits from “generic minion damage”, “minion physical”, and “minion spells”. The weapon i’d recommend is a:

  • Skeleton Scepter with 60-65% minion damage implicit
  • T5 Increased Minion Spell Damage Suffix. (89-122%)
  • T5 Increased Minion Physical Damage Suffix (89-122%)
  • Cast speed prefix if you can. It’s the only valuable prefix.

You may need to set a loot filter to shatter these mods if you don’t have them.

Assuming you only craft on a perfect implicit base, this will get you around 276% with average rolls. A good set of rolls can go as high as 309%. If you manage to get a T6+ like me you can push it even higher (353% for mine):

This will far outperform reach of the grave’s 70-120% increased. The reach of the grave cast speed loss is insignificant (since your DPS is usually limited to player cast speed in how fast you can summon skeletons and not your mage’s cast speed). Death knights also don’t cast other spells besides sacrifice. The leech loss is noticeable, but not terrible when you have River of Bones providing leech on crit.

My other suggestions are minor (some of which you may be doing):

  • Drop 1 point in Rite of Undeath. At 9/10 points (with 2/5 points in unnatural preservation) this puts you at exactly 75% necrotic resists. You lose 3% all elemental resist, but you should be able to gear around that.
  • Blades of Forlorn is really important for the first 3-4 points due to chill chance. After about 3 points you’ll start reliably chilling to three stacks so quickly that further chill chance has little benefit. The crit multi is still good, but with a good rolled Death Rattle is less important. I’d recommend moving four points out of Blades of Forlorn and put them instead into Aegisfall (armor shred) and Cling to Life (minion resist + vitality). Armor shred has no stack limit while chill has a stack limit of 3.
  • Try and get int on every piece of gear, i can’t stress this enough for this build as it scales everything for you. All your skills scale off int, your ward retention rate scales off of int, and the raw armor you get from dread shade is based off of your int. I’m sitting at 74 int and 425% ward retention and could push it further with better gear
  • Just like int, try to get lots of life and % life rolls on gear.
  • Don’t undervalue minion health like me at first. I found my minions dying a lot when I didn’t pick up any. (e.g. the final boss in age of winter’s storm would wipe them all out since they moved too slow to get out of it). 150%-250% should be your goal. “Increased minion damage” becomes increasingly less valuable especially if you follow my scepter advice.
  • Potion Health converted to Ward is undervalued. Without any conversion, potions basically damage you (you gain a bunch of health thereby losing ward regeneration causing ward to drop at the same time as health before it bounces back to stable amount). Once you get about 30% potion to ward then potions basically don’t hurt you anymore allowing you to freely run over them for Exsangunous buff. I ran it on a belt prefix for a while and then later got a 30% ward retention+36% potion conversion 4x1 idol.
  • Not a big deal, but I spec’d my Summon Skeletons slightly differently. I only have two points in Unbound Necromancy (meaning the skill costs 10 extra mana) and I pathed to Marrow Walkers. This gives a 7th skeleton and a little extra movespeed to them. It’s not a big deal, but with 3 points in Mind Catcher, I don’t have any mana problems (you get 10 mana back every time you cast + have three skeleton’s explode). As long as you aren’t re-summoning all your mages+golem at same time or casting skeletons away from a target, mana shouldn’t be an issue. Having a 7th skeleton is just a little extra quality of life in case I do cast away from target (and there is a delay in them exploding). You can also pick up an 8th and 9th on the tree, but I found there were more useful things on tree to take.
  • Tower of Bones is far better than I thought it would be. Even with timeline mod “enemies focus on player” the enemies run right past me to get to my golem.
  • I will often change my skill bar to replace Dread Shade with Transplant. (I do NOT respecialize). This lets you more quickly speed run through timelines where you don’t need the damage/survivability. You can always change the skill bar back to Dread Shade when you want it.
  • Ivory mask is really good for minion adaptive damage with all your scaling. You will probably want T5 life %, a second T5 suffix, and T5 int. Crafting a fourth T5 mod item can be really hard, so a fourth REALLY good mod is shared critical strike. The T1 mod is a whooping 45% crit chance (it only goes up by 6% each additional tier making higher tiers not as necessary). This means a triple T5 item + one T1 mod is really good. Note that this means you won’t be able to get +2 golem, but I think that is less important. The crit will also help your minions in leeching more if they dropped Reach of Grave and Dread Shade isn’t active on them.
  • A single 2% base crit idol does a lot for when dread shade isn’t active.

Hi ! Thanks for you suggestions ! Everything is pertinent and it looks like you pushed the build even further :stuck_out_tongue:

My gear is not great and far from being fully optimized : I can, indeed, gain much more defense and dps by stacking more health/int and it shouldn’t be too difficult to cap resistances. I’m just playing with what I had in my stash and didn’t really tried to min-max yet ^^

Reach of the grave is a great starting weapon and it’s very easy to get early so that’s why I’m still using it right now but yeah, a good crafted skeletal sceptre is much stronger in terms of dps (yours is nice !). you don’t really need the leech or cast speed for minions with this build so i’d definitely go with the sceptre.

You’re right concerning minion health aswell. Once you reach around wave 250, you pets starts to get shred and since their survivability is based on a fixed percentage of their health leeched, they won’t die as long as they don’t get one shot (wich is the case in higher waves) so it might be a good idea to invest a little bit more into it from gear or skill tree.

I’m actually trying Potion health conversion to ward on another build and it’s really awesome if you can get 100% but not necessary for this build tho ^^ It’s more like a “bonus” stat than a priority since we already have a nice ward generation and while it can be anoying to auto pick potions, i didn’t really feel the need for this ^^

For the skill tree you can, of course, tweak it as you want if you need more dmg, defense,etc… Mine is just a good starting point I guess :slight_smile:

I’m in the middle of leveling an acolyte and switched to this build once I got enough points for sacrifice and the extra skeletons and I’ve been really liking the gameplay.

I do have some questions about the suggestions you gave, specifically, your first two points mentions taking out points in the necromancer passives, but I’m not quite sure where those points should go. Do you have any suggestions?

Dance with death in Lich looks tempting since this is a low-life build but I wasnt sure if damage increase would affect the minions, do you know? Putting those points into Lich also unlocks Aura of Decay, would that be a good alternative to dread shade?

To answer your dancing with death question, it does not effect your minions so it won’t do anything to this build.

To answer the aura of decay/dread shade question. I think dread shade is hard to drop. The node Martydom (armor for each intelligence) is absolutely bonkers for this build as it gives you and all your minions a solid 2000-2500 armor (puts me at around 30-45% mitigation depending upon minion life). The rest of the dread shade bonuses are pretty good too. Dread shade is annoying, but if you use autocast w/ numlock its not too bad.

Here is my current build at lvl 87: Necromancer, Level 87 (LE Beta 0.8.1e) - Last Epoch Build Planner

I’m not sure which skill points you’re referring to or what you haven’t taken. Compared to the original poster, I value Aegisfall much higher (since there is no cap on how much armorshred you can do) and Blades of Forlorn much lower (given once you get a little chill, you don’t need more, and the crit multi isn’t as big of a deal if using Death Rattle). Given you are primary physical damage, armorshred is really good.

Recommended order of points is as follows:

  • 30 in Acolyte
  • 5 in Risen army (unlocks second row)
  • 5 in Reclamation of Souls (unlocks third row)
  • 3 in Cursed Blood. Then another 2 in either Cursed Blood or Risen Army (unlocks fourth row)
  • 8 in Aegisfall. Then another 2 in either Cursed Blood or Risen Army (unlocks fifth and sixth row)
  • 1 in Franctic Summons. 4 in Tyrant. (unlocks seventh row)
  • 5 in River of Bones and 5 in Moonlight Pier (unlocks eighth and ninth row)
  • 8 in Crippling insight (Lich)
  • 5 in Rite of Undeath (unlocks final row)
  • 1 in Disciplines of Necromancy
  • 3 in Heresy and 2 or 3 in Blades of Forlorn (to get reliable chills and a small amount of dps)
  • 5 more in Moonlight Pyre to max out
  • 4 more in Rite of Undeath (leaving it at 9/10 which gives you a perfect 75% necrotic resists without any gear for necrotic resists). If playing hardcore you might want to do this sooner.
  • 4 more in Tyrant to max out and 8 in Cling to Life
  • Build is pretty much finished at this point (lvl 88). Everything else is just icing on the cake: Put remaining points into Blades of Forlorn/Cursed Blood/Risen Army for a little extra DPS. Or potentially put a point or two in Tyrant’s legion if you want another skeleton. Or maybe even Elixir of Hunger. Or rotting army to prevent them from dying as fast from the poison from dread shade.

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