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Path Of Exile Witch guide: beginner build for Necromancer

How to make a summoning start as the Witch.

There are a bunch of classes to choose from in Path Of Exile, but here’s the best Witch class to go for at the beginning. Of course, go for what you enjoy, but if you want a bit of guidance on the best Witch build to start with, we’ve got you covered.

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If you’re looking for an easy start in Path Of Exile, look no further than the Witch. She’s a spellcaster who deals lots of damage at range, letting you stay out of the firing line and dish out punishment from afar. The Necromancer route is a great path to go down for beginners, as it allows you to get minions to deal the bulk of your damage.

Here’s a great route you can go down to make a start as the Witch in Path Of Exile.

Necromancer Witch build

Despite her high individual damage potential, one of the best ways to play with the Witch is by raising minions to do all your dirty work for you!

Necromancy, with abilities like Raise Zombie and Summon Skeletons, is a very viable way to play, especially for new players who might want to rely a bit more on AI than their own mechanical skill. It worked for me.

For this build, you want to heavily rely on the Raise Zombie gem, a gem that’ll let you raise corpses from the dead to fight for you. Remember, you have to have available corpses near you to use this, or the spell won’t work.

Necromancer passive skills

For new players, the giant skill tree can seem overwhelming. It’s okay though, just start small. You want to be looking for skills that buff your minions. At the very beginning of the tree, select ‘Energy Shield and Mana Regeneration’, as this’ll both protect you and give you more mana to summon minions as they die on you. From there, go up and to the right to upgrade your minion health and damage.

Click the ‘search here’ bar at the top of the screen and type ‘minion’ to highlight the areas of the skill tree you’ll want to be targeting, and try not to waste your skills if you’re not going towards minion buffs. After this first bit, you’ll want to start unlocking skills to the left. The following skills should be the ones you aim for within the skill tree, unlocking in the most efficient way possible to reach them:

  • Redemption - increases damage and minion movement speed, attack speed, cast speed, and accuracy
  • Gravepact - increases minion damage, attack speed, accuracy, and gives minions a 5% double damage chance
  • Righteous Army - increases minion maximum life, life regen, minion damage, and minion life regen

When you eventually complete the Labyrinth, make sure you pick the Necromancer Ascendancy skill tree and seek to gain the following skills:

  • Unnatural Strength - +2 to all minion skill gems' level
  • Plaguebringer - consuming corpses increases you and your minions' area-of-effect damage, and with corpses nearby your damage given is raised while damage taken is decreased
  • Bone Barrier - offers physical damage reduction per minion, increased recovery rate of life and energy shield per minion, and minion max life

Raise Zombie Support Gems

Here’s the gems you want to be using and levelling up throughout your build, ideally with 6-link equipment (meaning 6 gems are used and working together). If you don’t have enough gem sockets, make sure you’re keeping hold of the top ones on this list:

  • Raise Zombie - raises a zombie from a nearby corpse. Needs corpses to function
  • Deathmark Support - allows your minions to target specific enemies and deal extra damage to marked target
  • Feeding Frenzy Support - makes minions more aggressive, also giving chance to get damage and speed buffs on hit
  • Minion Damage Support - increases damage dealt by minions, obviously
  • Melee Physical Damage Support - increases physical damage from attacks made by the supported melee skill
  • Added Fire Damage Support - adds extra fire damage to supported skills (zombie attacks)

Of course, there are all kinds of gems you can use to change your Raise Zombie ability for the better, so this list isn’t the be all and end all. The most important thing is your zombies doing all your work for you, and anything past that is a bonus.

For a beginner especially, don’t sweat it! You can always change your gems, whilst passive skills are harder to tweak later on.

Other skills to use

As well as Raise Zombie, you should be looking to build out a few other spells on your Necromancer. Here are a few to try and use to maximise the benefit of your minion-summoning upgrades:

  • Summon Skeletons - creates skeletons for a short period of time to fight for you, no corpses needed
  • Carrion Golem - summons a golem that strikes with strong melee attacks and is strengthened by other minions
  • Raise Spectre - summons a defeated enemy as an allied minion
  • Desecrate - summons corpses and a patch of desecrated ground, dealing chaos damage to all enemies
  • Ball Lightning (with Curse On Hit Support) - creates a slow-moving ball of lightning damage, which curses enemy minions hit by it

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Path of Exile

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About the Author
James Law avatar

James Law

Former Guides Writer

James was part of Rock Paper Shotgun's guides team from 2020-2021, bringing his expert knowledge about FPS games, Hearthstone, Path Of Exile and more from his time at Metabomb. He's also a dab hand at Hitman 3, and making his own jam - things which may or may not be related to one another.