All of my friends are dead...and I have a laser. [Spellbinder] []

Hey everyone! This build has been a long time coming on the forums and in video form, and by a long time coming, I mean about two weeks. This is my current Albrecht’s Aether Ray character, he’s a continuation of the AAR build despite being a class change from the Sorcerer. The reason for this change is that the Spellbinder combo suits AAR much better than the Sorcerer combo and provides all the necessary defenses for running the beam.

So, before the explanation, the Grim Tools:

Video Guide:

I’ve wanted to run something like this for a while and it was the first thing I knew I’d run with the expansion. Albrecht’s Aether Ray, despite its current drawbacks and weaknesses, is still probably my favorite ability in the game. Building it while building one of my favorite archetypes, the Necromancer, is something I’ve been wanting since the idea of a Necromancer being put into this game first came up.

The Defense
I’ll start off with the Spellbinder’s amazing defensive set-up, as it is the cornerstone of making this build work. We’ve brought Maiven’s Sphere of Protection to its softcap, Mirror of Ereoctes to its softcap, Star Pact to an odd-numbered overcap, and Mark of Torment to its maximum overcap with the current gearing. These four abilities plus a caster off-hand, allow the Spellbinder to maintain an amazing amount of damage absorption over the course of a fight. You can start with casting either Mirror or Mark to get the absorption going depending on the situation, and with enough Cooldown Reduction, the Mythical Necrolord’s Gaze, or both, you can keep a rotation between Mirror and Mark, reducing the amount of damage coming at you by a crazy high degree. On top of all this, we have Siphon Souls, granting us a constant and reliable self heal. All around, the Spellbinder has a great defensive setup that allows for multiple builds to be made, with multiple variations within those builds.

The reason I’m using Albrecht’s Aether Ray isn’t because it’s a stellar ability as of writing this guide. I’d actually rate it as one of the worst in the game right due to the high number of drawbacks and its low damage output relative to said drawbacks. I currently have a whole thread detailing ideas on how to fix this, so I won’t bring a buff to AAR rant to this thread, beyond this sentence. I’m using AAR because it’s my favorite ability, plan and simple. It also helps that the Necromancer brings amazing synergy with its Aether damage support along with the reliable and consistent defense I mentioned above.

So, the main thing you have to understand about the skeletons in this build is that they are not a main source of damage or a main source of tanking. I have to stress that while this build uses hybrid elements between a caster build and a pet build, it is not a strict pet build and shouldn’t be considered a pet build beyond adding in a little support just so the skeletons can remain upright until they’re resummoned. The skeletons serve three primary purposes.

The first is that they’re a mobile, continuous DoT.
The skeletons will deal damage while they’re alive, regardless of their type, that damage won’t be higher than a couple thousand a shot, but there are eight of them. Think of them as eight, moving Mortar Traps, constantly chunking in their damage, adding that damage to your main damage.

The second is that they’re a distraction.
They’ll mitigate damage, provide a psuedo “bone wall” to keep enemies away from you, and they’ll soak damage. Despite not being true tanks, this role is important because the less damage you’re taking, the more often you’ll live through encounters.

The third purpose to the skeletons is that they act as a bomb delivery system.
I’ve attached Arcane Bomb to the skeletons and they love handing out these treats to all the enemies. You have eight skeletons ready to pass around these bombs, which will directly enhance your damage. It’s not uncommon for me to cast them next to the thing I want to kill, in full disregard for the skeletons’ re-lives just to get bombs planted so I can beam down the target.

I want to mention one last thing about skeletons.
They are disposable.
In this build, the skeletons are completely and utterly disposable. You should never, ever care about them. You should absolutely keep them as close to the number cap as possible, but they should never be treated like actual pets in this build. Skeletons aren’t like the Hellhound or Briarthorn, where you want them alive and healthy for as long as possible; they’re on a really short cooldown, they die easy, they are replaceable. In fact, I’ll often times cast the ability on cooldown even if I’m not in a fight just to refresh three of them because its three “fresh” bodies to use. Oh, and I don’t care about type, for the most part. Archers and mages are a little more prefered but ultimately, it doesn’t matter which skeletons come out, they have their jobs, as listed above, everything else is irrelevant.

Star Pact vs. Reckless Power
Despite this build being an Aether Ray build, I’m not using Reckless Power. For exclusive skills, especially for exclusive skills in the Arcanist class, the percent damage, to me, have become mostly irrelevant. When you’ve got 1800% in your main damage, another 140% doesn’t seem all that necessary compared to 12% more Cooldown Reduction. That’s the primary reason for that choice, CDR is incredibly important to Spellbinder survival, more than dealing a bit more damage. I’d actually consider stacking more if I didn’t have the Mythical Necrolord’s Gaze and its 2 second duration increase to Mark of Torment.

Other Abilities
Inner Focus, Iskandra’s Elemental Exchange, Nullification, Arcane Will, Mental Alacrity, Olexra’s Flash Freeze, Spectral Binding, and Spectral Wrath all serve to buff and enhance the characters in a variety of ways. Inner Focus and Spectral Binding for OA, Spirit, Health, and damage; Nullification for the self cleanse, enemy buff removal, and reducing enemy elemental damage; Arcane Will as a 1-point dps buff that happens virtually every fight; Mental Alacrity and Iskandra’s for energy management; and OFF for some close range crowd control.

Notable Equipment
The gearing for this character in incredibly flexible. Hell, I still have gear on him that’s going to probably get replaced in the future, but is there because I don’t have anything better yet. So, I’ll point out some of the gear I find more necessary.

Mythical Aethereach: Pretty much the BiS gloves for an AAR character.

Mythical Necrolord’s Gaze: This helmet is amazing for this character. The increased duration of Mark of Torment allows you to more easily rotate between it and Mirror. The rest of the stats are pretty good too, including that +1 to Necromancer skills. The alternative for this slot would be something with CDR on it, as you want to rotate your two damage reduction abilities as much as possible and as cleanly as possible.

Wrath of the Ascendent (dps) or Spark of Reality (defense): Depending on whether you want more damage or more defense, these two scepters are the options. Wrath for the resistance reduction and skill cost reduction, Spark for the armor on Spectral Binding (and OA on Arcane Will, which is also pretty sweet damagewise). I’ve run them both and both are really great.

Mythical Reaper of the Accursed: A great hybrid off-hand that hits all the right points. It’s got a +1 to Necromancer skills, it focuses your damage type, bonuses to Mirror, bonuses to pets, and it gives you 10% OA whenever you use Mirror, turning the defensive powerhouse into an offensive tool! It even comes with a Defy Death proc, which are always powerful.

Eternity: This relic is king for a build like this, possibly king for the Arcanist-combined classes. The cooldown reset is just too powerful to pass up on, shortening the times between your defense abilities. This couples excellently with your already high CDR as a caster running Star Pact.

Mythical Band of Eternal Haunt: This ring is not in the Grim Tools above, but I don’t have the Mythical one yet. It’s another stack of Aether resistance reduction.

Alternative Gearings
Diviner’s Vision
This set could potentially work as a whole set. I’ve got the chest and shoulders but that’s more because I’ve got nothing better for those two slots presently (I’m thinking maybe Valdaran’s Shoulders for the +3 AAR bonus and the Necrolord’s Shroud for the chest piece). If I were to run this set, I’d probably put a greater emphasis on the pets. I think the set is more oriented towards doing a pet build in the Spellbinder combination that happens to be able to hit hard with burst damage from Devastation. I think I’d probably swap out AAR for Callidor’s Tempest in this case and maybe run Callidor’s with the Wrath of Agrivix transmuter. I’d also consider a weapon with CDR built in, just to make sure you can pour out more skeletons, rotate the burst damage, and keep yourself as protected (btw) as possible.

No Skeletons
If you don’t want to run skeletons with a build like this, I recommend gearing in Iskandra’s Unification. The set has always worked well, it provides that CDR on its helmet and amulet, along with several self-buffs to enhance your damage. I’d probably shoot for a 4-piece set-up with it, using the chest, shoulders, and amulet as the core, and using the helmet or off-hand depending on what you have available. The mythical version of Outcast’s Secret would work here as an option as does the Mythical Tome of LIes and its Spellbinder focused +skills.

Black Scourge Covenant
I mean, you can run this, if you want.
I’ll be silently (and not so silently) judging you though.

In this build, I’m using a Devotion layout that supports the overall theme of the build.

Aetherfire (Devastation): Easily picked up early, potent throughout the game.
Arcane Bomb (Raise Skeletons): Skeletons love giving out gift boxes to all the nice little ghouls and boils of Cairn.
Raise the Dead (Albrecht’s Aether Ray): MOAR SKELINGTONS. These guys serve the same purpose as the undead listed above, though they scale with your damages and can’t quite get into the holiday spirit of gift box delivery. Total body count of dispoable re-people: 14.
Time Dilation (Siphon Souls): I’ve mentioned repeatedly how important CDR is to this build, so it should be no surprise I’m running this. It’s on Siphon Souls since that can hit bosses, unlike OFF, which means you can get a double Siphon off regardless of what you’re fighting, but you can also reset your defense options easily.
Shield Wall (???): I don’t have this ability, but I have a spare point for it. I haven’t done the Hidden Path as of posting this guide, but I’m thinking of taking one of the points from that and putting it in Ill Omen, specifically to be able to cast this and get the armor buff. The constellation, however, is great even without the ability being active.

2:1-ish, Physique:Spirit. You need Spirit up a bit to get more Energy Regeneration. Cunning is virtually useless here. Physique is, as always, the most important.

Don’t play it, so I don’t know.

Weapon: Deathguard Blade
Off-hand: Codex of Malligosta
Head: Necrolord’s Gaze
Shoulders: Fabius Shouldguard
Chest: Death’s Vestments
Gloves: Redeemer Handguards (I think)
Pants: Aleksander’s Legguards
Boots: Infantry Greaves

All of my friends are dead…and I have a laser.

I’m currently playing almost this exact build now, except that I wasn’t planning to pick up the skeletons. Everything else is almost exactly the same.

So far, it’s been a blast. Siphon Souls works well to help stay alive. I’m only level 45, but the character has been a lot of fun.

I was considering making a write up, but now I don’t need to.

You can’t complain about AAR and then post an AAR build!


I think someone who played one enough to make a guide, should know whether or not they need help or not.

Part of the reason I created mine is to put see first hand if they need help or not.

I love the concept of using skeletons for proccing a devotion that does not scale with pets. Might steal you that idea and try it with low cooldown celestial powers like aetherfire or wendigo’s mark. WM heals the player right? Even if procced by a pet?

that makes no sense. If you had read the build you would’ve seen how he points out the bad state that AAR is in and why he decided to make a build regardless. I’d love to downvote this inadequate and unhelpful response…

To the build: I’m playing an aether and a chaos AAR build at the same time. My conclusion so far: the aether version is more reliable not because it’s aether but because of the additional tankiness the necromancer provides (mark of torment, siphon souls)
Comparing it to other builds though, it falls behind quite drastically. A caster druid can be played virtually by just running past all enemies and just dropping winds and totems. He is far superior in clearspeed and can easily get the same single target dmg as AAR. Which probably is the single biggest problem: AAR isn’t the best ability at what it probably was supposed to be the best ability at: single target dps

Channeling in itself is so problematic, especially given the abundance of ground effects in AOM. every stun interrupts the damage. Casters have to be half-tanks in GD anyway, but channeling casters have to be fullblown tanks, because they can’t kite. And AAR doesn’t have any kind of leech through weapon damage. I think one of the inherent problems of channeled abilities is that they all need to provide leech. Also, every tiny pebble on the ground blocks the beam, every torch, every branch, rock … it’s tedious…

Currently I would say you really have to like the ability to go through all the drawbacks it has. So many other abilitys have comparable or superior damage output without all of the drawbacks

I personally love the AAR effect. I like casters in general. That’s my main draw, and early on, at least until the 50-60 mark, they are awesome damage dealers. Unfortunately, they don’t scale well to the high level (at least in the past). I’m looking forward to seeing what some of these +damage to AAR items do for the damage.

I just killed Log a few minutes ago, at level 47 with 33K DPS. It is fun early on. But you have to be on your toes, as you aren’t a tank, have no ADCTH, and drain energy fast.

That said, I have a 55 Vindicator I have on hold, that is also a wrecking machine, and can face tank almost anything. He still had half the DPS at the same level, though in reality, it may be 3/4’s once you factor in procs.

Evidently sarcasm, even when explicitly stated (and quoted) is missed.

Made some slight changes to the build. Reduced Mark of Torment to 1 point investment (8 after +skills). The damage absorb and duration do not scale well at all with rank beyond rank 6 (for whatever reason), and you already get a much more powerful +2 seconds to its duration from your gear anyways. So I moved those points to Conversion for better CC resists and Callidor’s Tempest/Transmuter for another form of Crowd Control for yourself. I’ve found transmuted CT very powerful when combined with Siphon Souls (use SS first!). Also maxed out Nullification, but that’s a me-thing. :slight_smile:

Despite the above, the vast majority of the build is solid and has few areas of weakness, if you’re quick enough with your fingers to react to a Physical burst.

Shame about Aetherreach. :stuck_out_tongue:

You had the apparent sarcasm note in spoiler, not quotes, so you don’t see it unless you move the mouse over it. Besides, I had no idea what /s meant. /sarcasm is usually what is used.

Anyway, good to see you weren’t serious. There is no way to know if something is sarcasm or not on a forum post, unless made extremely obvious, or marked as such.

I dunno… looked like sarcasm to me even without the /s the pic made it obvious he was just poking fun at Wolf :rolleyes:

Anyway, I started messing with Ill Omen, and this skill is very good. It spreads like wild fire, and every time is spreads, it procs any “On Hit/Crit” skill you have. This can be a great way to spread devotion procs, such as Acid Spray, Arcane bomb or what ever.

Edit: It appears to use devotions each time it ticks or spreads. In a congested area, with the mobs terrified, I saw twin fangs firing off every second for 10 seconds. And yeah, I’m messing with using twin fangs as a ADCTH replacement for now. I’m not sure how I’ll land. I have a Mythical codex that has a heal on it too and another with a resist debuff.

Spellbinder has been the most fun I’ve had in this game in a long time. Necro/Arcanist synergize so well together.

…how many of these things do you have?!

I think it does but it doesn’t heal enough back to you. I had Aetherfire on them but it didn’t work as well. Devastation is awesome for it though. I think anything that’s a non-damage-based Devotion ability works great with them.

I agree. AAR’s biggest problem is the low amount of damage it outputs given the drawbacks. I wonder if I should make another thread bitching about it? Actually, I’m going to put a link in the main post here.

Also, don’t listen to Ceno. Nobody does. :rolleyes:

Yeah, the scaling needs to be jacked up a lot in the higher levels. 16+ on AAR, Drain Essence, and Flames should all have massive scaling at 16+ and 12+ on modifiers.

I’ll have to test the Mark at 1-point, given you aren’t the first person to mention this. I was trying to eeck out as much reduction as I could, but if it’s more efficient and the character doesn’t die as a result, I’ll change it.

I was thinking of grabbing up either Callidor’s with Wrath or Ill Omen to attach Shield Wall to with the points I’m missing from doing the Hidden Path, which I still gotta do with this guy. I’ve noticed that SS/OFF/Pants Explosion actually kills most things, so maybe having control over that will make that a reliable bit of crowd clear.

Thanks Ceno!


I was thinking about Twin Fangs or Wendigo’s Mark but I don’t have the point spread for it, but using them on Ill Omen sounds like a great idea. Ill Omen’s one of those skills I’ve found intriguing because even though it’s a terrify effect and those can be annoying, it’s got that movement speed reduction, so they don’t run away as fast. I think it might make for a good bit of crowd control to keep enemies off you. I’ll have to test it later!

Thanks for the comments guys!

I’m playing a fairly similar build, except I make do without AAR and put a bigger emphasis on my pets. Currently wearing Beastcaller’s head, shoulders and chest with the plan to upgrade those to Deviner’s whenever I find them. I’m also going to enjoy the Mythical Aethereach, shooting for a >1 second CD Reap Spirit with a summon limit of 3.

As for devotions, I’ve gone with Hungering Void, Rattosh and his Staff, Lantern and Widow. Rattosh improves my summons by quite a bit, reducing relevant resistances for their damage as well. Widow on Reap Spirit allows me to place the mine myself, used as an initiator while also spawning the Spirit to draw aggro. Skellies spread Rattosh’s Mark. Don’t feel as if I really need Hourglass, and my current devotion path overall feels better - and gives more power to my minions. If anyone has any ideas on how to improve my devotion setup, I’m all ears:

Gameplay is pretty much: Reap Spirit whenever possible -> Flash Freeze -> Siphon Souls -> Devastation against big packs/elites -> Watch as skellies and spirits swarm the survivors.

As you say, Spellbinder has so much synergy it’s crazy. Haven’t had this much fun in GD in a long time. Anyone looking for a caster/summoner hybrid should try it out - as long as you don’t mind respawning skeletons. :stuck_out_tongue:

Asking the right questions

its always a pleasure see your builds (and your videos), i study it :stuck_out_tongue: and i supose to use when create my necro.


Awesome build, actually half-way through it.

Got most of the stuff waiting in stash except for chest and it’s great 7.5 ER, will have to keep Owl or similar until then.
So you can handle all that energy regen only through stuff? It’s the first time I do an AAR char without any energy devotion.

How is the energy sustain pre-bis gear? Just got this guy to lvl 20 and wondering how the best way to progress him is and gearing in the early lvls. I’m not a fan of lvling as a different build than switching into it at a later time when the gear has been amassed, and just wondering how this will perform. Thanks for any response!

At 20, it might not be your only attack. I can’t remember when I went full AAR, it might have been 20, but it might have been 25. I used a flintlock bolt component for greater firebolt for the early levels.

Anyway, to be able to maintain AAR early on, you need use or find a few things:

  1. find an offhand with the suffix “of the Oracle”. This will give you -10-15% energy cost.
  2. put points into Mental Alacrity. This is good for -19% skill costs.
  3. At level 27, put a focused prism on your amulet.
  4. There are a bunch of relics with -8-10% skill energy cost reduction.
  5. Look for greens with AAR bonuses, some of which include - skill energy costs.
  6. Use Ectoplasm in your jewelry for added energy regen.
  7. Put 2 points into the Owl devotion tree.

Items 1, 2, 6 and 7 are available to you now.

I often just use AAR, in the early levels, as a Hero/Boss killing machine, and use (Greater) fireblast from components until 20-25.

Awesome, thanks for the response!

And when you find that Of the Oracle offhand, hold on to it. It’s great for high energy builds. I found a level 10 version that I use a lot.