Minion Necromancer, Are They Viable At End Game?

I am 91 and I am having an awful time in empowered echoes. I am running a fire pet set up. I have 5 skele archers, 5 skele mages, 2 fire wraiths and 1 fire golem. I am also casting volatile dead for added damage. All my resist are capped at 75, I have 1275 hit points and my shield is around 750. I could take some damage and hp from my army but I’m afraid that will cripple me. Anyone have any suggestions?

You have to run dreadshade full stop.

Sorry thats just how necro works, dreadshade gives your minions way to much power to just not use.

it gives 60% more damage to all minions inside, armor, as well as attack/cast speed and it even gives them flat damage.

Other then that, skeleton archers/mages are extremely squishy and thus feel really bad. They are viable, you just have to deal with them dying all the damn time.


Building off of what @DiceDragon skeletons really seem to shine when you are using them as disposable minions (Sacrifice/Golem/Abom). I’ve found that you’ll need atleast 800% increased minion health to keep them from being 1-shotted. (I’ve only gotten to 200 corruption with minions like this.)

I would recommend going LL/Ward for Necro since its the most easily scaleable in the necro tree. If you want to go HP then you’re gonna need at minimum 2K health minimum and about 50% DR from armor and that’s going to be harder to gear for as a necro than just going ward.

Maxed resistances will only get you to 0% increased damage taken and I believe the monster level will shred resistances anyways. EHP is what’s going to keep you alive.

I think there are three builds for necro minions that are pushing beyond 500 corruption but none of them are a typical zoomancer style build. (Flame Wraiths/Wraithlord/Golem)

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Yea it is a shame whenever a skill becomes mandatory for a build. Dread shade need some competition for pet buffs and should be balanced against taking another pet over taking dread shade. As it is you have to use it.


I am running a pure fire pet build. Turret wraiths, Archers, Golem and Mages all fire. And of course I run dread shade cause it’s mandatory. Like you I used to run zombies but you just cant do it. I have 1.3k life, 2.3k ward, i am running corruption 255 very smoothly with a few deaths.

I only began playing at launch so take my feedback with a grain of salt.

I guess the answer depends on what you consider end game. One of my necros is running a phys/necrotic setup with Aaron’s Will - golems, melee mages and wraiths. I still need a bunch of gear and better-optimized blessings, but can do 150s now. The build is definitely capable of 200.

My main necro is running Wraithlord. Technically that’s still a minion setup, but it’s capable of way higher pushing than my minion army setup. I’ve just been slowly farming my monos up into the 200s without breaking a sweat. I’m guessing it can push into the 400s. Likely higher if I switch to my low-life setup. I don’t love the low-life build though because it’s tougher to deal with the Wraithlord’s tendency to drift off to nowhere.

I am running close to the same setup as you. I had to drop zombies and replace with dread shade to push.

This build can do 300 monos with limited deaths. You do have to move out of bad stuff and move away from enemies though.

Thanks guys for the feedback. Guess I will drop zombies ;(.

Oh one more thing. Go to the market and find a scepter with + flat spell damage. Try to get melee and spell, then spell and bow on the same time. Massive power boost to mages, and fire wraiths. Much bigger than reach of the grave.

I’m currently using this build: Myriad - Myriad0 - Character Profiles - Last Epoch Tools

At this state, it’s going really well for me and I do think minion builds are viable endgame. I haven’t pushed more than 170 corruption since I’m trying to get better rolls on my blessings but I’ve been able to do 155 wave arena.

I could do much better with dread shade but I’m lazy so this is the build.

The tips I would give you are:

Stack int and ward retention. 2000 combined hp is too low for monoliths. Try to use %missing health gained as ward boots/gloves (could also use exsanguinous), stack int and spec into ward retention in your tree.

I advise against letting go of zombies. Zombies offer too much utility and damage (and fun imo). They grant you ward, execute enemies, mark them for death and deal good damage by exploding and summoning vanguards that also explode and deal good damage if you specced into the explosion node in skeletal mages.

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build looks great. I need a lazy build as I only have 1 hand. now to work out how to make legendaries lol

Outside of Aaron Golems and Wraithlord, minions struggle a lot past Corruption 200-300+. It is almost impossible to keep them alive vs. most of the AoE attacks. When they get high enough, you just can’t scale defense enough.

If you have a build ypu expect them to die, you do great. Outside of that, they get nuked too fast if you need them to be permanent. Golems do okay because of the threat generation and the layered stacked armor buffs.

Wraithlord just spawns so many it doesnt matter.

I go for 1200% minimum.

Dread Shade + Infernal Shade (buff spec) + Lich’s Scorn = good times. +78 Flat cold damage for all Minions; especially good for Cold-based Minions due to the other great buffs from the catalyst (1% Cold pen per Intelligence for example). And then you can use Infernal as a spot buff for 6 of your Minions, giving them significant attack/cast speed on demand.

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@Ghostlight How are you balancing minion damage/minion health on your gear? I’m having a lot of trouble pushing past 800% increased life for them without tanking their offensive capabilities!

I’m running Frozen Light / Eyes of Formoso / Lich’s Scorn/ Boneclamor. Using chaos bolts to proc frozen vengeance (that little bit of dex from Boneclamour makes it work!) and stack frost bite, and using zombies to proc some infernal shades for Lich’s Scorn. Very fun so far and we’ll see how far in corruption I can go.

I don’t think I am. My Cold ranged Minion build - which is the only Necro build I have that uses a permanent army - I have not touched for months and months so it’s very out of date - no Chaos bolts back then! Taking a quick look at it, shows I only have 800% increased Minion Cold damage and 1100% health (broke my own rule there). Would you call that balanced?

Obviously I try to get Minion Damage AND Minion health on every slot that can take it, but if there ever a choice, I would always take Health.

Apogee is a great idea, I never even thought of that, however you can only put one of the flat Minion spell damage buffs on it because it a sword, as I recall. Axes can take two, for the record. I don’t rate Eyes of Formosus; I have a Death Rattle in there and plenty of Minion crit from idols and affixes.

Explain that one for me please. I thought it had to be a melee attack to proc it?
EDIT: Never mind I see how you did it.

Have you tried the Revolution node in Chaos Bolt? When you mentioned it, I assumed that was the reason you specced into it. Needs Mana investment though.

I will have to go back and try Chaos bolts at some point, and see if it buffs Minions better than the 6 Infernal Shades + Dread combo.

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Yes, minion flat damage affixes are stuck with either melee/spell or melee/bow and I was lucky to get both of those on a frozen light slam.

I got about 800% for health/damage right now.

I was watching a video from Boardman21 and he spoke about how revolution is currently bugged and not applying to minions properly unfortunately. I don’t think I could sustain mana that way either with my current gear!

I hate you.

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Then I question your use of Chaos Bolt? Is it doing anything for you other than proccing Frozen Vengeance? Yes that proc is amazing but so is Dread + 6 Infernals. Question becomes… is 65 flat cold dmaage for Minions better than the more and frenzy from Vengeance?

I guess you could have both and replace Volatile Zombie with a Bees idol. That could actually work amazingly well. EDIT: Wait that’s Primalist only isn’t it? Any way a Necro can make bees that isn’t those daft gloves? Bees + Apogee is great.

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I’m also using chaos bolts to give all my minions 100% chance of inflicting frostbite. Getting that extra chance to freeze with Formoso is still enough to interrupt boss attacks. (Though I know eventually with corruption scaling of health that freeze will stop working.)

I’m holding onto working with freeze because I just love it thematically until I hit a wall which then I will switch over to infernal shades. After all, yes-- I’ve seen the damage with just shade + 3 infernals. :rofl:

I sacrificed a goat and three LP2 Apogees to get that slam!!

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