Path of Exile

I played 6 different minion builds this league and this is what i found.

So this league has been a lot of test for myself and i wanted to delve into minion builds and test what was the "best" version of minions, so this league I have played the following.

  • Minion instability SRS / Skelton
  • Normal Zombies with 2 carrion (glancing blows with wand / shield, +1 number of zombie's helmet and amulet)
  • Baron Zombies
  • Spectres Necromancer (Redemption Sentry)
  • Carrion Golem Elementalist (2 cold iron points)
  • Aura Stacking Necromancer with Carrion Golem. (low-life)

After playing each of them i think i have some information on how each of them play and what is the "best" for each aspect of play, i have some category's that i will be sorting the builds into from best to worse.

Braindead / mindless gameplay

This is basically could I play this build after a long play session and no sleep, or if i was watching a film on the other monitor.

  1. Aura Stacking Necromancer with Carrion Golem. – You get loads of defence so can just be sitting and getting hit with no issue and we do not need to do extra actions to support our minions as our aura do that.
  2. Carrion Golem Elementalist – we get lots of regen and physical defence from our stone and chaos golem so can tank some damage but not as much as the aura stacker. We also do not need to run summon skeletons or or any offering for the build as carrion golems are still insane.
  3. Baron Zombies – once you hit 1000 STR you hit piles of leech allowing you to even out heal some map bosses, and a chunky poll of ES to go along with it. You also have lots of bodies covering the screen so enemy's are more likely to hit them instead of you. Normally you run summon skeletons on this build but with the duration being so high it is a small issue keeping it up.
  4. Zombies with 2 carrion – the only real level of defence you have is life regained on block and a high block chance it is strong but not quite standing on burning ground and tanking it type sustain. Using an offering is very useful but is quite easy to keep up so does not require constant attention.
  5. Spectres Necromancer (Redemption Sentry) – this type of build normally runs EE and some way to reduce enemy resistance so you need to be using your EE skill to keep up optimal damage and its not as easy as just using a trigger wand for this.
  6. Minion instability SRS / Skelton – you only deal damage while using your skills, so you need to actually pay attention.

Clear Speed

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Basically do they have good AOE and other ways to clear packs fast while mapping

  1. Aura Stacking Necromancer with Carrion Golem. – you have 4 or 5 carrion golems that have an almost 0 cooldown on there AOE attack and due to necro giving attack speed for each aura you can reach 8+ attack's per second with spike attacks that cover half the screen.
  2. Carrion Golem Elementalist – carrion golem covering half the screen in spikes is just really good you have a bit less attack speed than an aura stacker but you can have more golems so it is only slightly slower.
  3. Spectres Necromancer (Redemption Sentry) – these spectres with GMP and Fork become gods at clearing the main issue is the limit of not being able to run GMP and Fork in an optimal setup and there is no way to get minion's supported by Fork on a helmet for example. The clear is insane but is still very slightly worse than carrion golems as you can not use multi-strike or scale the AOE from the passive tree on them. With Unending Hunger the clear is the best better than aura stacker but this effect is real up on multiple spectres at the same time while mapping.
  4. Minion instability SRS / Skelton – they have decent movement speed and the explosion can clear a pack as they are a decent size explosion. But you need to stop moving between packs to summon.
  5. Zombies with 2 carrion – running a 2nd carrion golem gives you some more clear from the spikes but since zombies are your main 6-link they do not have the same clear as 6-link carrion, the zombies have some decent AOE from the slam attack but its hard to get it with constant up time outside of alt quality gems. And you can run more minion attack speed and minion movement speed than a baron can as they need to focus on STR.
  6. Baron Zombies – you have piles of zombies however they also body block each other from getting to enemy's and since they do not have dash/leap ability's have no way to deal with enemy's across a gap or on a higher level.

Bossing / Single target

This is the how fast can you phase sirus section

  1. Aura Stacking Necromancer with Carrion Golem. – simply 100% to impale , 40% crit chance over 200% crit multi with several attacks a second is massive damage.
  2. Spectres Necromancer (Redemption Sentry) – you can swap to a single target setup without GMP + the bonus damage from EE, curses ect you kill bosses super quick.
  3. Minion instability SRS / Skelton – once you get a good amount of minion life and a decent attack speed this absolutely destroys bosses with each pop dealing possibly 20k at low investment under 1ex and getting tones of pop's every second, you can also scale this damage in many ways however it drops to 0 while dodging mechanics.
  4. Carrion Golem Elementalist – for whatever reason carrion golems still deal massive damage even after the nurf's and the golem effect from elementalist scales the carrion golem damage buff on zombies making them deal more single target.
  5. Zombies with 2 carrion – good amount of zombies, golems for maim a decent impale chance just good single target.
  6. Baron Zombies – similar issue to clearing with soo many zombies they get stuck on each other and all your STR is taking away from getting minion damage nodes.
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Cost effectiveness / day 1 league start viable

simply is it cheap to set-up but also has a good level of clear and single damage for its cost.

  1. Minion instability SRS / Skelton – this build can be done with a 4 – link, the clear and damage is not the best however it is soo cheap you could fully gear it for under 10c on day 1 of league as its mainly minion life you need.
  2. Zombies with 2 carrion – I have done this build already as 2 league starts, around the time you get to act 4 pick up the extra golem node and now you have, 2 golems ,2 spectres for frenzy charges, 6 or 7 zombies by the time you enter act 5. The build does not need any specific items and even the +1 zombie helmet is a craft and can use a tabula for most of the game as the shield nodes giving ele res and necro giving res from the ascendancy you can hit res cap really easy with trash tier gear. The main cost comes when you start looking for those trigger wands and good %life on block shields.
  3. Carrion Golem Elementalist – anima stone, primordial might ect are all quite expensive to buy early, however once you do get those items you have a really amazing build with defence and offense on a lower budget than either an aura stacker or a spectre build.
  4. Baron Zombies – requires a few unique items than can be really costly early on in a league, and once you start to push it can become expensive with requiring really good STR roll's and increased attribute on items. In my opinion you would be better playing non-baron and then transitioning into it later once you have currency if you want to go that style. And even when you start to push the STR above 1,500 you are probably still getting worse damage than some other options for minion builds around the same price.
  5. Aura Stacking Necromancer with Carrion Golem – this is really strong, however once you start looking at 5ex + just for the 6-link shav's it is getting costly for a league start and trying to level as an aura stacker on league start is really bad as you lack life or minion damage nodes. But you can run the build to some effect using a Solaris Lorica that might be 1-2ex for a 6 – link.
  6. Spectres Necromancer (Redemption Sentry) – spectres can be really good however with the new level nurf's you need to get a bit more life than in prior leagues, with the cost of +1 spectre chest or the 1ex + helmets and a shield with power and frenzy charges as you can not run support spectres that cost starts going really high for not the best AOE or best single target option in the game. However if you have multiple EX to invest this can still be a decent build just not recemented to league start as you will be at 3 spectres for a long time.
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What are your opinions on this ?

Thanks for reading


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