In-depth PvP Bone Nec Guide by Xombie


Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
In-depth PvP Bone Nec Guide
by Xombie

In-depth PvP Bone Nec Guide v1.051 updated October, 23, 2007
updated October, 23, 2007
1. Introduction
1a. About me​
1b. Why a bone necro?​
1c. Author’s note​
2. Stats
2a. Starting stats​
2b. Stats​
2c. Vita nec vs dr/block nec​
3. Skills
3a. The “regular” skill layout​
3b. The “BM” skill layout​
3c. Overview of the skills​
3d. Hotkeys​
4. Breakpoints
4a. What are breakpoints?​
4b. Faster Cast Rate​
4c. Faster Hit Recovery​
5. Equipment
5a. Checklist​
5b. Helms​
5c. Armor​
5d. Belt​
5e. Boots​
5f. Gloves​
5g. Rings​
5h. Amulet​
5i. Weapon​
5j. Shield​
5k. Switch​
5l. Charms​
5m. Example Setups​
6. Dueling
6a. Basics​
6b. Versus specific classes​
6c. Team duels​
7. My bone nec
8. Credits and Special Thanks

1. Introduction

1a. About me
Hi, I’m Andrew and I’ve been playing necros for pretty much my whole D2 “career”. I NvN’ed with the OTC/PCC/AoC necros during 1.09. PvPWest + Temple for 1.10+.

1b. Why a bone necro?
I’m sure most players knows why a bone necro is dominant in pvp but for the minority who do not know, I’ll explain why. A bone necro is considered a caster-type of character and because of this they have good fcr breakpoints. In addition, their main attacks are not able to be completely nullified. Sure there are random pieces of equipment with small amounts of magical resist or magical absorb, but the bone spells will still be very effective. Furthermore, the curse tree can be of great aid during team duels and the summoning tree provides the nec with some extra protection versus other players in pvp. Once you add up all these factors, the necro turns into a monster in the Blood Moor with good killing power and good survivability.

1c. Author’s Note
This guide was written for GM dueling “rules”. The GM rules may differ between realms so keep in mind I am from West. 4Lo, 4Vex, etc. I will assume you will be able to afford most of the gear I list.

This guide is already posted on another site which would explain why it's version 1.5.

I'm aware some of my videos are awful. I hate running Fraps and converting videos.

2. Stats

2a. Starting Stats
Level 1 necro stats and general stats information are as follows:
Strength: 15
Dexterity: 25
Vitality: 15
Energy: 25

Life: 45
Stamina: 79
Mana: 25

1 point into Vitality gives +2 life and +1 stamina
1 point into Energy gives +2 mana

1 level gives:
+1.5 life
+1 stamina
+2 mana

2b. Stats
Strength: None. This will be very easy to achieve because of all the items that provide +strength. Ex: anni, hellfire, enigma, etc.

Dexterity: There are two ways to do this. It’s also a very controversial subject. The first path is to leave dexterity at zero ( or as much as you require for your gear) or the second is to get just enough to attain 75% block with your shield of choice.

Vitality: All. PvP in 1.09 followed the creed that “damage=king” but in 1.10 and 1.11, it is now “survivability=king”. Because of this, you will want to get as much life as you can.

Energy: None. You will get enough mana from items and simply leveling. Also, it’s a common thing in 1.11 to drink mana pots in PvP. This practice is not shunned as it once was in 1.09 so it gives you further reason to leave energy at base.

2c. Vita nec vs dr/block nec
A vita nec is one where strength and dexterity are left at base all the points are dumped into vitality. The result is a necro with the highest potential life. On the other hand, a dr/block nec is one where points are spent in dexterity first to reach 75% chance to block before dumping the rest into vitality. So which is better? I would say it boils down to a choice of personal preference. The vita nec will definitely have a lot more life than a dr/block but a dr/block nec can survive longer versus melee characters. Specifically BvCs, amazons and ghosts. However, that is not to say a vita nec has no chance versus these types of characters. Vita necs can take advantage of oak sage and golem stack. On the other hand, a dr/block nec can do this as well to provide even more survivability. Whatever you decide, both work great so don’t sweat it. However, I would add that if you have good vita lifers you should contemplate going block. If you use plains, I would not even consider going block. The life will be too low and make it hard to manage.

3. Skills

3a. The “regular” skill layout
*Poison and bone tree
max teeth
max spear
max spirit
1 point into bone armor
max bone wall
max prison
1 point into clay golem
1 point into golem mastery
1 point into summon resist (optional)
1 point into amplify damage (optional)

This layout is completed at 93 without the optional skills. It is suggested that you pick up the clay golem before you max out the last bone synergy. This allows you to be able to start PvP’ing with the minion stack. The golem mastery is mostly to power up your golem. Sometimes, you won’t have time to recast the golem because you have a namelock or something, so it’s helpful.. Amplify damage is for team duels. With amp, physical chars like BvCs and amazons tear through the opposing team.
Enmity said:
Golem mastery shouldnt be optional...its a must!

its most important for dueling necs
Once again, golem mastey is useful for tanking multiple hits.

I don't really see a need for summon resists, but it helps versus cold sorcs. It's not essential though, imo.

A variant of this regular setup is to put 1-5 points into Amplify damage before you start attempting to max the last bone synergy. This is strictly for team dueling since more amp = bigger radius = easier to amp in team duels.

3b. The “BM” skill layout
*Poison and bone tree
max teeth
max spear
max spirit
1 point into bone armor
max prison
rest into bone wall after you’re done with the other two skill trees.
1 into revive
1 into clay golem
1 into golem mastery (optional)
1 into summon resist(optional)
1 into prereqs
1 into amplify damage (optional)

Assuming you get none of the optional skills, you can begin to max bone wall after level 77. After you max it, you will be 97 and then you can pick 2 optional skills. So ideally, this layout is done at level 99. So why would you sacrifice damage for revives? Well, revives and skeletons provide the necromancer with skills to summon a lot of monsters. This will allow the necro to minion stack and basically be untouchable by projectile without an area of effect ( spells with an AoE include: fireball and to an extent chain lightning etc). The reason it is BM because stacking with revives is considered too cheap and only really defeated by skills like leap or mind blast which can separate the nec from his army. However, after pvp penalties are factored in, there is not much loss in damage. In fact, it will probably be too miniscule for you to even notice.

3d. Overview of the Skills
Bone spirit: One of your main attacks. This spell creates a spirit that will track the opponent, has high damage, and ( for the most part) unblockable. However, it is very slow.
Bone spear: Another main attack. This skill moves much faster but requires precision and aim to connect a hit. However, this will be your main attack when you namelock and chainlock.
Teeth: This skill is very useful for dueling. It is similar to an amazon’s multishot. It fires multiple projectiles that fan out over a distance. This is excellent for killing minions to prevent stack. It can also trigger a stun just long enough for you to get a good namelock.
Bone wall: Used for defense against whirlwind, charge, and foh.
Bone prison: Used for defense against incoming melee opponents and used offensively against amazons. (I will go into detail on situations to utilize these two skills later)
Bone armor: Provides the necro with a shield that will absorb any physical damage. This and a golem stack is usually your first line of defense.
Amplify damage: More physical damage allows teammates in a team duel to destroy the opposing team.
Clay golem: Provides minion stack. It’s also useful against certain builds because if they hit the golem, they will be affected with the slow.

3c. Hotkeys
For hotkeys, I prefer the letter keys because I feel it's faster to switch skills. The keys are also closer to each other which is more efficient.

I reccommend: ASDFG ZXCZV

A: Bone armor
S: Bone spirit
D: Bone spear
F: Teleport
G: Golem
Z: Anything ( I have oak sage charges here.)
X: Anything ( I have Amplify damage here.)
C: Bone wall
V: Bone prison

Since not everyone might have the patience to pick up the curses and what not, use the Z and X keys for whatever. If you need more, you could always just assign more.

4. Breakpoints

4a. What are breakpoints?
Diamond Angel99 From GameFAQs said:
The game runs constantly at 25 Frames Per Second, every action you do is calculated by frames, for example, a sorceress reaches a Faster Cast Rate breakpoint when she has 37% of FCR equipment, this allows her to cast at 10 Frames Per Cast. Meaning she can cast a non-timered spell twice in 1 second (20 frames of the 25), and 5 times in 2 seconds. When she has 200% of FCR equipment, she can cast at 7 Frames Per Cast. Meaning she can cast a non-timered spell 3 times in 1 second (21 frames of the 25) and 7 times in 2 seconds. The same applies for hit-recovery, block-rate, attack-speed etc.

4b. Faster Cast Rate
9 frames (125% fcr) will be required for this bone nec.

4c. Faster Hit Recovery
We will try to maintain a 6 frame fhr ( 86%).

5. Equipment
In this section, I will not simply just give you a setup and pretend it is the best setup ever simply because my own necro uses it. Instead, I will list the best choices for each section and allow you to make your own setup depending on your own preferences.

5a. Checklist
When planning your setup, make sure you hit 125% or more fcr and 86% fhr.

Some items to keep in your stash: 4Lo shield (trappers/cs), 160light res shield (light stack), 4Vex shield (fire sorcs), Noko+hotspurs/inferno (alternative for max fire), 160 cold res shield (cold sorcs), kiras socketed with whatever elemental you want to stack. (Light or Cold, usually)

5b. Helms

1. Harlequin Crest= This will be your first choice if your necro does not require any fcr that the helm slot could provide. 2 skills for higher warcry levels and damage, a lot of life/mana (although not BO’able), and 10% dr. Shael, jah, ber, Lo, Vex, etc all work.

2. 2skills/20fcr/2socket circlet or 3pnb/20fcr/2socket circlet= Use something of this nature if you require fcr from the helmet slot. A 2nec/20fcr/2os circ is fine. However, a rare one with stats is ideal. +Life, +stats,+res are the mods you should be looking for. These helms are also very versatile. 2 sockets can be used to make up for any shortcomings in your setup. You’ll probably require fhr however, so most of the time these helms are double Sheal’ed. You can VexVex and LoLo 2os circlets for max res.

3. 2skills/20fcr/1socket= These circlets are basically the same except the ones mentioned earlier but lack the extra socket. While it is not as versatile it makes up for these shortcomings with the ability to provide more mods. The mods you should look for on these are: +life, +stats, +res. Usually a shael goes in here, but you could socket it with something different if you don’t need the fhr.

4. Crown of Ages= This helm has wonderful mods on it. It has +1 skill, 10-15% dr, 30fhr, up to 20-30 resist all, and 1-2 sockets. If you can get past its huge strength requirement, this is a very good helm. Once again the 2 sockets provide great versatility. Like the two socketed circs, some people like to keep more than one to accomodate for something they need. BerBer, VexVex, LoLo Crown of Ages can be kept in the stash and equipped when required.

5. 08 Valk Helm= While a valk is usually a very good helm for most builds, it is nothing particularly amazing for a bone nec. I would only use this if you absolutely need the 10% extra fcr this helm provides. This provides some room to swap out some fcr items. It's also a good source for FHR. If you're having trouble with a block setup to hit 86fhr, use a 08 valk with a Shael. 50% is very helpful especially since you cannot get 55%fhr from a spirit shield.

5c. Armor

1. Enigma= This will be your only armor choice. This armor provides a ton of strength to allow you to maintain base strength. It also has +2 skills, life, and the all important +1 to teleport. You should try to make it into a low strength armor to keep strength at minimum.

5d. Belt

1. Arachnid Mesh= +1 skill, 20fcr, +5% mana. This belt provides just about everything short of some resists or fhr. It’s very good for the fcr it provides and the +1 skill increases damage and gives a higher battle order.

2. Verdungos= If you don’t need fcr from a belt, this will be your next first choice. 15% dr, up to 40vit, 10fhr, and some life replenish.

3. Crafted fcr belt = These belts can potentially come with 24fhr, +strength, +life, +mana, and most importantly 5-10% fcr. If you don’t need the extra 10fcr from arachnid, use this. This belt is an excellent source for fhr.

5e. Boots

1. Classic rares = Any of the classic rares that have 20fhr / stats / resists. These are probably the first choice for boots since necros generally have awful resistances, you'll need the tri-resist.

Of course, 10fhr / dex / tri-res boots from patch 1.11 work fine too.

2. Waterwalks = Provided you don’t need fhr on boots, these boots are very good for the amount of life they have. I think these are the best boots in the game to be honest. Shame it doesn't have FHR.

3. Treks= 20FHR is your friend here.

5f. Gloves

2. Trang’s Gloves = These are better than magefists imo. They have more cold resist for the much needed cold stack, and the same 20%fcr. However, it does not have the mana regen. This isn’t too bad since like I said earlier, drinking mana pots is no longer considered BM.

3. Bloodfists= Use these gloves if you don’t need the fcr from the glove slot. They are a very good source for fhr and the 40 life is BO’able.

5g. Rings

1. 10%fcr rings= Try to get good ones with life/mana/resist/stats etc. These rings are excellent ways to hit that 125% fcr breakpoint.

2. Bul Kathos Ring= +1 skill and some life per character level. Only downside is that the life on these rings are not BO’able.

3. Soj= +1 skill and a nice boost to mana.

If you are 1v1'ing mana is not too important. However, if you are in a team dueling context, the more mana you have the better. Use Sojs if you actively participate in team duels.

4. Nature’s Peace= The only mod you want on this ring is the oak charges. Oak provides more life and gives you another minion to stack. However, only use this if you can reach 125% fcr without this ring slot.

5h. Amulets

1. Crafted Caster Ammy= Can spawn with +2 nec / pnb 10-20%fcr and a whole bunch of other nice mods. A good caster amulet is your #1 choice. Look for +life, +strength, +dexterity, +resist all.

2. Rare ammy= These can also spawn with a slew of useful mods. Things to look out for are +skills, +life, +strength, +dexterity, +fcr, +resistance.

3. Maras Kaleidoscope= If fcr is not needed and you cannot get your hands on a nice crafted/rare ammy, Maras is the next best choice. +2 all skills can help your teleport mana, increase your damage, and increase your warcry levels. It also comes with 5 to all stats and nice resistance.

5i. Weapons

1. Heart of the Oak= +3 skills and oak sage charges are the two most important mods on a hoto. These two mods are the reasons why hoto should be your main weapon.

2. Wizardspike= Wizspike adds a lot of mana and provides a ton more resistance. It also has 10 more fcr and the one factor that allows wiz to compete with the hoto: a free socket. This socket can be used to make up for any shortcomings in your setup. (ie. Fhr, str, dex, resist)

3. Spirit Weapon= 55fhr is a lot and so this weapon should only be used if you wish to hit 86fhr or even the 152 fhr breakpoint. It lacks resistance but provides 22vit and a hefty amount of mana. Remember the fcr range for these are 25-35% fcr.

4. Suicide Branch= Just as good as a wizardspike except it has less resistance and provides less mana. It does however have +1 skill. It also has that free socket for you to slap a hot jewel into. The life this weapon provides is a lot after battle orders. If you are debating a wiz or suicide, unless you really need the resistance from wiz, use a suicide.

5. White Wand= The best white wand you could make would probably be a +8 bone spear / +6 bone spirit one. However, even a simple +8 bone spear white would be very effective. This weapon allows necros to do insane damage with bone spear. This is the #1 weapon versus casters. Remember if you wish to incorporate this weapon with a blocking shield, you’ll have to use a 08 valk to make up the difference you need in fcr.


Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
5j. Shields

1. Stormshield= Perhaps the ultimate shield for a nec. It provides 35% DR and a good blocking percentage (67%). However, the strength requirement is pretty bad. I would recommend some kind of -15% requirement jewel to bump it down to 133 strength. Otherwise, Jah/Ber/Cham it. You can always keep one Jah/Ber SS and a Cham one for druids.

2. Spirit Monarch= Spirit is a great shield if you can get high DR% without a Stormshield. +2 skills, 55fhr, 25-35% fcr, +vitality, +mana, and some nice resistances. Spirit is excellent versus casters since it gives you more freedom to not use so much fcr items in other slots. It also frees up a lot of slots used for fhr. Strength isn’t too much of an issue either. There are many slots that give you a chance to boost strength up so it can remain at base.

3. Bone spirit / Bone spear necro heads= These shields are good for an all damage setup. Your life might be lower but you can deal a lot more damage to end a duel quicker. Caster/NvN shield.

4. 08 Visceratuant= +2 necro skills and +60 life. It's mainly a caster/NvN shield.

5k. Switch
Regardless of what type of necro you make, always use the highest +BO CtA you can buy/make, and a Sigons/lidless/splendor/spirit depending on how much strength you have.

5l. Charms
Aim for 9 PnB GCs with +12fhr and +life mods. Get as much 12fhr gcs you may require to hit the breakpoint and the rest will be PnB lifers. Also, get the best anni and hellfire you can get.

For small charms, aim for 20life/+res scs. Ideally 20life/+5 res all scs. 20life/+mana scs are fine too. However, plain 20 life scs do fine.

5m. Example Setups

1. Vita Setup
Ber shako
35 Spirit
1x Fcr/stats/life/res ring
1x Raven Frost
Trangs gloves
FHR/stats/tri-res boots
2nec/20fcr/stats/life/res amulet
125 FCR
86 FHR with 1* 5fhr sc (20fhr boots) or 1* 12fhr pnb (10fhr boots)
41% DR
CBF for vs. druids
Good life
Good damage
Oak sage charges

-Fire resistance will be low compared to the other two elements since spirit does not provide fire res. I suggest life/fire res scs or using a wizspike when you need the fire res. It's also much harder to stack Cold res. My nec has about 65-ish fire res in hell with this setup. It's fine in Nightmare. Plan accordingly.

-Vs. Light: Tgods for verdungo then either shael shako or a 12fhr PnB. Lo Shako can also be worn but it's considered BM.

-Vs. Fire: Hotspurs + Vex Shako. Or Noko + Wiz + Vex Shako. Etc. 90% is enough but the Vex pushes you to 95%.

-Vs. Cold: Wizspike + stack cold res on boots/rings/amulets.

2. Block Setup
2/20/2 Shael Shael circ
Cham Stormshield (vs. druids) Jah/Ber in Stash
10 FCR/24FHR/stats/life crafted belt
2x FCR/stats/life/res rings
Trangs gloves
FHR/stats/tri-res boots
2nec/15+fcr/stats/life/res amulet
130 FCR
86 FHR with 1* 5fhr sc (20fhr boots) or 1* 12fhr pnb (10fhr boots)
43% DR (>50% with Ber SS)
CBF for vs. druids
Good life
Good damage
Oak sage charges

-Low mana. Use life/mana scs. My nec had about 800-900 with high mana rings and about one or two life/mana scs. Plan accordingly.
-Belt is expensive. I guess you could Spider and use 12FHR pnbs but you lose life. This could also help if you can't find a 2/15+ amulet.

-Vs. Light: 4Lo monarch.

-Vs. Fire: 4Vex monarch.

-Vs. Cold: 4 P Sapphire monarch. 160% Cold res.

Of course, a vita build can use this same setup. It might actually be better vs. physical characters since if you accidently block with your spirit on it takes a while for you to recover.

6. Dueling

6a. Basics

Basically to namelock you move your cursor over the opponent with a skill. Then you switch to teleport and as soon as the teleport animation begins, you switch to an offensive move (in this case it will be bone spear). Then you get the lock again and begin spearing.

^Namelock + teleport + spear.

Chainlocking is basically just continuous namelocking. Hypothetically and ideally, a chainlock allows you to keep the lock forever until the opponent is dead. You teleport on the opponent, get them with spear, and before they leave your map, you teleport again to re-obtain that spear lock. This continues until they die or they manage to break free by getting off the map. Alternatively, if you are being victim to a chainlock, make it hard for them. Immediatly teleport away so they are off your minimap. This will break the lock. If they had a lock on you and you teleport away, always assume they have a lock and get them off your map.

^Examples of chainlocking.

As a nec, you would want to always take advantage of your bone armor and clay golem. Bone armor absorbs hits and can be recasted to ‘refresh’ it. Get into the habit of recasting bone armor even if only one of the ‘bones’ are missing. In addition, always keep that golem up. When you teleport, the golem will appear ontop of you which will be hit first. So as long as you keep teleporting with that golem, most of the time it will take hits for you. This is why it is imperative you keep that stack up at all times. The same goes for oak sage if your build incorporates it.

Bone Spirit Info
Bone spirits has the unique ability to lock onto things. If you namelock and shoot a spirit, it will fly towards whatever you locked. If you click on some arbitrary location, it wouldn't start locking until AFTER it reaches the location you clicked.

Bone spirits last about 5-6 seconds.

Defensive Spiriting
If you are getting chased by an aggressive namelocker/chainlocker, a good way to get rid of them is to shoot spirits defensively. Put the cursor near your character, this is so if anything comes near, it will begin tracking at once (Following the principle discussed above), and fire spirits in bursts of 2 or 3 before tele’ing away. Try to predict which directions they will approach from. Keep on the move though so you can avoid getting hit.

ibs/bone spirit spamming
Bone spirits become invisible once your opponent leaves your minimap (When their red + sign disappears). Remember this. Ibs also seems to lack the stunning characteristic a visible bone spirit has.

Spamming bone spirits is a nice technique to learn. It is generally used at far range to do some quick damage and assist your bonespear namelocks. You can spam to the left of the screen and while they spirits are flying towards the left, you can teleport with them. If someone chases you, you can shoot some spears at them while the spirits come back to you (consequently to your opponent too).

Learn to judge how fast bone spirits fly at and how long it takes to reach a certain point on the map. Spamming spirits is also a way to bring in a clutch win when you are at low life.

Remember you can spam something in a general direction, then teleport somewhere else and spam in that same place your other spirits are headed.

Don't forget you can always combine the "arc" and "spray" into little bursts (3-4 spirits) then change locations and repeat. There are many ways to spam correctly, the number one rule is to make sure you spam where your opponent is. Don't go wasting mana since spirits cost a lot of mana.

Technique 1= Straight line spam.

^The straight line spam pelts other people with a bone spirit train. It works the best when you spam it parallel to a corner/wall. As soon as someone turns the corner, they will get hit by this train of bs.

Technique 2= Arc spam


^The arcs cover a wide range so you can use it to hit teleporters or just to hit someone when you don't know of their location.

Technique 3= Random Spray



^The spray is done by moving the mouse side to side in a small 'U' as pictured by my extremely professional MSpaint arrows. It works simliar to the straight line spam except if they move sideways, they won't be able to dodge all of them.​

6b. Versus Specific Classes
Okay, here’s the part you’ve all been waiting for. I write these strategies for the “regular” skill layout so I won’t mention curses or revives.

Bowzons: With the recent addition of Faith bows, amazons hurt. The key to beating an amazon is to rush her so fast she won’t have time to run away to gain ground. Before you start, make sure your bone armor is up and you have a golem. Do a half circle teleport to approach the zon. As soon as you see her do a NL teleport and bone prison her. Then just proceed to spear her. Repeat until the zon is dead. Teeth helps a lot since it triggers dodges/zon cannot move. Don’t forget to recast bone armor and golem. If you’re hit with slow missle, you can either wait for it to go away, or prison + NL spear.

CS Zons: Very easy, just spam bone prison and spear from a distance. They can destroy the prisons fairly easily, but you can also reapply the prisons fairly easily. Don’t get slow missle’d. If you do you’ll have to get closer to the zon to spear. This can potentially be dangerous because it brings you in range of CS.

FC CS Zons: Put on your Lo's and then try to kill her before she runs into town.

Plaguezons: Good plaguezons are extremely fast. However, the javelins are easy to dodge most of the time. Try to get close enough to prison and quickly get some spears in. If you are afraid of getting hit by a cloud of poison, you could resort to ibs’ing them. However, if you do get hit, go as aggressive as possible. Treat them as a bowzon and apply the spirit + teeth. The poison cannot be reapplied if you are currently poisoned. If you reach 1 life, they will either finish you off with: a guided arrow, a lightning fury, or an aura from dream. Because of this, immediately being ibs’ing them and avoid their finishers. If you get slow missle’d here, I would wait it out. Otherwise swoop in with NL spears periodically but avoid the zon if she is camping in a cloud of poison.


BvCs: This will be one of your hardest duels. The barb will approach with teleport and leap. The leap will stun you long enough for them to teleport ontop of you and perform whirlwinds. Depending on how good the BvC is, the whirls will either be extremely long whirls (Pray for these kinds of barbs) or extremely tight DoD’s (short triangle whirls). My advice for you here is to avoid getting leaped by getting out of range of their leap. If you get hit with leap, teleport backwards immediately. Their tele whirl is incoming. After you’ve dueled enough barbs, you learn to predict when they will teleport. Teleport away when they teleport and bone spirit them. If you feel your aim with spear is good, you can spear them. But remember not to namelock the spear unless they are whirl’ing away from you in a direction where the spears would hit. After their whirl is done, they usually will attempt another. Repeat. In a duel like this, make absolutely sure you keep that golem and bone armor is always up. Usually, they will teleport away if there are 2-3 bone spirits trailing them. Also watch out for the open wounds draining you to 1 life. Smart barbs equip dual doom’s for the holy freeze aura to kill you at 1. If you find yourself dangerously low on life, start playing defensively and teleporting away with ibs.

If you are vita, keep stack up and play defensively. Be absolutely sure you stay out of leap. Leap + DoD = you die.

Other barbs avoid the whole whirlwind route and simply go for NL/CL berserk hits. This is a lot more dangerous and harder to duel. I suggest you treat it like a caster and keep tele’ing away to break his namelock. The whole time you should be casting defensive spirits. Keep the golem up and hope that it will take the hits for you. Golem slow is your friend here. Remember, berserks by pass bone armor since it is magical damage. This makes it even more crucial for you to don’t get hit.

Warcry Barbs: Bone armor makes this duel extremely easy. If you have block, it becomes even easier since warcries are blockable. Just pummel them with bone spirits and spear when they are close. NL spears at your own discretion. Although you’ll hit them, it sets you up to be stunned by the warcries.


Wind Druids: Most people would tell you that a wind druid vs a bone nec is a very one-sided fight. Some say 60:40 druid, others say 80:20 druid. Some even say that a skilled druid will always destroy an equaled skilled necro. Why is this? Wind druids have the dreaded minion stack which will, for the most part, shut off bone spirit and bone spear as a method of applying damage. Also, the Wind druid only requires 3-5 tornados to win. If that wasn’t enough, the tornados do enough damage to trigger fhr and the hurricane does cold damage which make you frozen.

So how do we win? Once a necro has the “cannot be frozen” mod, hurricane will no longer slow us. This allows us to “walk” out of tornado locks, assuming if none of the tornados hit. It’s a good thing the tornados have strange paths. Anyways when you duel a wind druid, make sure you are constantly running. It’s helpful to run in diagonals so the druid doesn’t predict where you are going and tornado you. Good druids will attempt to cut you off instead of namelocking you; thus, it is imperative that you are unpredictable. While you are running, spam teeth in all directions. Once he teles near you, run away and immediately spear him. If the teeth took out most of his minions, the spear will either kill off any remaining minions or hit the druid. If you chase him try to get some spears on him, but do not tele on top of him. However, if you wait just repeat the whole process. If at anytime, there are tons of tornados on the screen that you might run into, just teleport away and repeat the running process. During your walking process, if a spear connects and he has no summons, you can tele on top and spear him to death. If the spear doesn't connect, you will die though.

I reccomend 86% fhr for the duel here. However, if you feel inclined to try 152% fhr, be warned it is hard to get a good mix of cbf/DR%/good life.

Fire Druids: Put on some maximum fire resistance and just chase.

Melee Druids(Fury and Rabies): Just prison and bone spirit. Only thing I feel I should mention is that if you duel a rabies druid, do not touch the prison. He could rabies the wall and if you touch it, you will get poisoned. Also, make sure you are teleporting around so your minions constantly stack on you versus a rabies druid. If you keep your minions on top of you all the time, the druid should never be able to administer rabies to the minions.


Vita Fire Sorcs: First off, you shouldn’t try to tank the fireballs. Vita fire sorcs have incredible fireball damage so it only takes a couple to bring you down. What you do is just run in half circles up and down while shooting defensive spirits. Once the fire sorc teleports on top of you, you go either up or down in a half circle manner. If the sorc is still namelocking you, it will cause the fireballs to miss and go perpendicular to you. Now is your chance to hit them with a spear or some spirits before they drop the namelock and teleport away. However, most of this can be avoided if you just get 95% fire resistance and chase them with spear.

A nice trick versus fire sorcs is to get a splendor with +fire golem. The fire golem stacks and absorbs the fireballs. Fireballs still splash though, so the trick is to get the fire golem to walk into the line of fire.

ES/FB Sorcs: If the ES/FB sorc plays defensively, it will be a very hard duel to win. The ES will reduce your spirits to almost nothing and if they play defensively, they can continuously replenish their mana pools. If they play aggressively, you can treat them as a regular fire sorc. However, even then, if they retreat before their mana gets too low, they can just regen it all back. In a duel against an ES/FB, just save yourself the grief and get +max fire resistance items. Then you can just chase and lock them to death. Remember, Spirits still trigger FHR even with ES up.

Blizzard Sorcs: Play defensively to avoid letting them namelock you. Try to get them with ibs. However remember that blizzard has a timer. Once they blizz, you can rush in, try to get a hit, and get out. The key to winning offensively is to remember when they can blizz and when they cannot. Stack tons of cold resistance for this duel. Keep golem up.

Orb Sorcs: The only way for these sorcs to hit you is to be aggressive. Because of this you can rely on your defensive spirits. The duel can be extremely easy if you know how to dodge orb shards really well. Try not to go too offensively otherwise you will get hit with tons of orb shards. Once again, remember to stack cold resistance. Keep golem up.

ES Orb Sorcs: This duel will be very hard. It will also be a very drawn out duel. The key here is to dodge orb shards while spiriting. Equip as much cold stack as you can and always keep the golem up. However, at any time during the duel, the sorc can just play defensively and regen mana. Should this happen, you can either rush blindly and hope you get some good NL spears or wait it out. Wait till she regens back and comes at you again. This duel is hard and can last forever because the sorc can just regen mana and you cannot completely nullify orb.

Lightning Sorcs: Lightning hurts. However, it also has very a low minimum damage. If you get hit pray for those minimum rolls. A good thing for you is that lightning sorcs need to stand still and wait till the spell is done casting before they can move. Try to sidestep the lightning and retaliate with spears. 95% ES lightning sorcs will be nearly impossible to kill unless you constantly apply damage. This is only possible with 95% lightning resist. Namelocking and Spiriting is your best bet with 95% ES. Once again, spirits will put them into FHR animation.


Staff member
Dec 24, 2019

Zealots: Just either prison or setup some bone walls and spirit.

Hammerdins: Teleporting hammers are really easy. Just walk them. When they come for a tele, walk out of the way (preferably south) and spear them. You can let a few spirits fly as well.

Dysyncing hammerdins are hard. They usually pop out of nowhere and let hammers fly. Because of this it is important to keep moving. When the server has caught up and you see them, begin spiriting immediately. If you namelock prison them, it will hit where ever they are. Use this to find their position and mess them up. Bone prison + immediate spear usually hits unless they are quick and tele out. Keep moving and never stand in one general area for two long. Good hdins might dysync and then tele on top of you, so make sure you are always in motion. It's best to slowly move in a southern direction. Always keep minion stack up.

Above all, keep moving.

Chargers: Keep teleporting to maintain minion stack and shooting bone spirit. Use the environment like the puddles to your advantage. Bone walls and prisons are good here too.

Liberators: Keep teleporting and shooting bone spirits. Maintain minion stack and just pretend it's a hdin. With the stack up, hopefully, they will never get to connect with charge.

Foh: If it's pure FOH, just stack lightning resistances. It's easy. Golem + bonewalls can be used to take the FOH too.

Mages: Begin by stacking LR to negate the Foh. Always have your golem up to divert Foh. Now that Foh is out of the way, treat it as a hammerdin.

V/T: Put on some anti-lightning gear/lightning stack. Start by summoning all the minions you need. Rush the vt and prison it and start shooting. That's pretty much all there is to it. You can abuse bonewalls if you want, but its not necessary. Just shoot spirits/spears, keep moving, use prison. If you are smite'd, walk/run the direction opposite the paladin a few steps and then tele out. V/T’s use grief now, which hurts a lot. Because of this, make sure you shoot for a high DR%. If you get hit by smite, immediately run the direction opposite of the paladin. As soon as you see the paladin move forward to go for another smite, teleport away. They will switch to foh, so quickly leave their maps to break the lock.

Don't get stuck in a charge lock. Always keep golem up and if you know they have a lock, break the lock immediately. This applies for all paladins.


Ghosts: The sin will tele around with the shadow stacked and be able to maintain a 60% claw block at all times. The shadow will mb you a lot. One mb lock from a good ghost can potentially make you lose the duel. Play cautiously and defensively. Make use of ibs and teeth. Avoid wof. Good ghosts know how to play offensively and lay wof/mb. I just treat it as a trapper and almost never let them in my screen. Shoot spirits and when you see the ghost tele on your screen and lay the first trap, get out of there. If you are ever caught, basically just ducktape down the teleport and get out of there. Do not sit there and try to bone spirit her.

Lightning Trappers: The best way to go with this duel is to just ibs. It will be very hard to go aggressive with a trapper because of mindblast. Trappers usually lay a trap first then mindblast so don't let them stay on your screen for too long. 95% Lightning resist helps immensely here but that doesn’t mean you can tank the sentries. Spam spirits and hit them with a spear as soon as they are in your screen. Teleport away once they begin setting up traps. Make sure you bring a bunch of mana pots.

Just ibs the awful camping trappers.

Decrep can mess up their trap laying speed if you decided to put a point into it for some reason. Fade > Decrep, though.

Fire Trappers: Wof does very little damage but it's really good for stunning. Do not get caught in Wof. You might not be able to escape once you are trapped. Be very cautious and just ibs them to death. You could wear +max fire res if you want. Wof is very hard to escape from so just try to avoid it in the first place. The fire bombs they throw while you are stunned hurt too.

Kickers: Treat them as a zealot that has the stunning and mobility of a ghost. Stay on the move, keep that bone armor refreshed, and keep that golem up. Most of their damage will be coming from venom and open wounds. Apply the same tactics vs. ghost.


Poisonmancers: Stay out of poison nova range. As long as you stay on the move, there shouldn’t be a problem with the nova. Just respond with defensive spirits and the occasional spear if you get a lock. However, if you get hit, be very defensive and hit them with ibs. Either that or just go for the double kill. Most PN necs will finish you off with either teeth or the holy fire aura from the fire golem.

Summoners: This match is pretty much impossible for a bone necro to win. The amount of minions a summoner can have will nullify every single one of your attacks. However, if you must duel a summoner, just would tele around for the first 3 minutes until the revives die. Then I would just spam teeth/spear/spirit to kill off the skeletons. After that it’s easy picking.

Poison/Summoners: For the first part of the duel, i would treat it as you would a summoner. Slowly take out the minions. When they are gone, deal with the nec as a PN nec.

Bone Necros: My suggestion for dueling other necros is to just keep a golem up at all times and optionally an oak and just go 100% aggressive. Tele close and get that namelock. Then maintain a chainlock with spear. If your golem dies drop the lock and get a new golem. Or drop the lock if you are barraged with too many spirits. Alternatively, if they are rushing you, you can use defensive spirits and just tele away and let him chase. Another trick to being offensive is to spam teeth periodically. If he is hit by teeth, it gives you a split second to pick up that namelock.

One more thing you can do is to remain in one general area and spam teeth waiting for him to approach. When he does hopefully the teeth will eliminate any golems or oaks. This leaves him defenseless to your namelocked spears.

When you are low on life you can switch to a defensive style. Spam spirits in locations you believe he is at and hope the ibs will hit him. Teeth him as he approaches and tele away to continue your spirit spam.

As in the case with fire sorcs, if they have a lock on you and are on top, run out immediatly.

Never hold down bone spear for too long if you are not directly on top of them, since it's harder to maintain a fhr lock on them. They can move and spear you while you stand there like a moron.

Try not to jump them with a nl tele with no golem, if they shoot up they will probably win. Or, if they tele on top of you and they have a golem, you will die.

To sum it all up: Keep minion stack up, go for that namelock spear. It's a namelocking duel.

Some more notes on aggressive NvN: There are many ways to NvN but I think the best way is just to be 100% aggressive. That means you only stop chasing to: resummon or break namelocks.

Sometimes I find myself tele'ing away when low on life just teething/spearing until I think I'm ready again to rush. (That doesn't mean 30 minutes of defensive play...just waiting about 15 seconds to hopefully find an opening. If it doesn't pop up: continue rushing).

Of course, don't be dumb. One of the easiest ways to get sniped by random spears from an off-screen nec is to chase in a straight line.

Only downsides to being completely offensive (I guess) is if you're not precise on your namelocks (ie. you get a golem or you're just a little bit slower) you're probably gonna die.
Other times you might get a golem and spear which will leave you open for their jump.

Remember to always have golem. Sometimes if they jump you and hit the golem you can shoot back (might win), run out and break the lock, or re-tele with stack and shoot him (might win).

Long distance spears and random spears are a waste of time, imo.

You don't need to waste so much mana teething. I just spray once or twice if they're approaching. I find myself teething when they are about 1.5 screens away out of habit. It doesn't really hit most of the time, but the point is teeth shouldn't be your main attack.

Also, getting a lock vs someone aggressive is alot harder than someone running away. Offense vs offense matches are alot harder. He'll be tele'ing erratically while trying to get a lock on you so it's not as simple as chasing someone.

Oh yeah against someone who locks fast, always assume they can maintain the lock. If you see them jump you and you managed to tele away, get them off the map. Dont linger around.

6c. Team Duels
Whether it be 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, or some other combination, team duels are definitely different from 1v1’s. The good thing about team duels are that you can avoid dueling the classes you are bad against. You have team mates to rely on for them. No matter what you go against, when the duel starts, teleport up and amplify everyone (Assuming you picked it up and if you have physical characters on your side). Then retreat back to your team. Make sure you don't get yourself killed amping. I found it good to have at least a 16ish yard amp. That's around level 22. Stay within the 14.6-16 yard range.

A homun or something with +Amp on switch can help.

Except for perhaps the initial amp run, never stray too far from your team. You'll want them to be near you in case anything jumps you.

Your job is to make sure all opponents remain amp'd throughout the match. Things to watch out for are things like mindblast and leap. If they camp a corner with a barb leaping+sin ready to MB, go around. Amp range = very important.

Most of the time, you will have a trapper on your team. The trapper forces opponents to wear Lo's and good trappers are able to split the opposing team up. As soon as someone strays from their team, your team should jump him. If the bvc or druid is alive, leave the lock jumping to them.

Necros are usually in charge of sitting back and spamming ibs. Take note of where the opposing team is at and spam ibs in straight lines. Make sure you spam from different directions, but make sure you remain somewhat close to your teammates and off their maps.

When your team camps corners or boxes, spam ibs in the direction where the opponent will most likely approach from.

A technique commonly referred to as boxing involves the use of a box in the moor. You sit in the corners of the box and spam spirits down the side of the box. If they approach, run and hit another corner, repeat. Alternatively, if the opponent is boxing, try to find a location OFF their map and spam ibs in their direction. Your goal here is to hit him while they're spamming/camping.

If your sin has a lock, leave it to the bvc/druid. If theres a lock and the bvc/druid is not close go ahead and jump him; however, watch out for their bvc/druid.

Use bone spirit for namelocked jumps and spear for ranged.

If your sin has a lock and someone jumps your sin, spray spirits, teeth, spears, etc on your sin.

That'll save your sin + hopefully a teammate can jump whoever your sin has locked.

Bone prison on mind blasted characters can buy you some more time before they escape.

Bone spirit costs a lot of mana so make sure you have some source of mana outside from your belt.

16 mana pots may seem like a lot but you will drink it like water. Make sure you have a mana pool.

Wear Sojs if your setup permits.

Get an item with +lower resist so you can curse if you are on a team with no physical damage dealers. However, Amp should always take precedence.

A good tpk nec will be the one who will be able to keep EVERYONE amped and stay amped.

That along with: ibs aim + fast locks + being smart = great tpk nec
7. My Bone Nec

Left=level 20 bo
Right=My own bo

Old screenies, but meh.

8. Credits and Special Thanks
Alex (hippo), Brian (Professor), and Rees (Stoutwood): for supporting this guide and persuading me to write the guide. Special thanks to Alex for letting me borrow some aspects of his guide.
Marcus (Mr.J): for running the baal runs that took to get my nec to 94. Also, for reading over the guide for me. Also my 94Legit comrade.
Zharous: for hosting pvpwest which was a great source for information.
Nick(Aminal): for reading over the guide for me.
Kevin (Atomsk): for bothering me with his current obsession with papercraft while I wrote this guide.
Manuel(Monkapotomus): for taking care of my nec while I played wow for like a year. Thanks for not stripping it ~!
Dave (Tienje): for constant NvN practice and dueling. Also for sharing some strats with me. (including that fire golem vs fire sorcs) + the banner at top.
Diamond Angel99 from Gamefaqs for his easy to understand definition of breakpoints.
Cong(Soulesschild): for his guide.
Buck( PKGG-): for practice and stuff “WEFEWFEWFWFEW”
Jdawg: for helping me realize that picking up revives is viable.
All the Temple members
All the pvpwest kids
All the 1.09 Necs I played with
Drew (Food-Poisioning/CourtTV) = King ! xoxo.
: Writing the best 1.09 nec guide I have ever read.
Ej (Circa): For living in New Zealand, NvN's 24/7's, finding me good trades, being super on, having a pet Kiwi fruit, etc. #1 bnet friend LOLS
Raph(Derisive): NvD's, Clan FUNK, etc. #1 Druid naw sain?



ps: there might be some huge errors, etc. I had to re-do a lot of the tags and it pissed me off/annoyed me so I did it in a hurry.

Please leave comments or suggestions ;_;



Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
Unfortunately the videos all seem to be private / not available.
If anyone has alternatives, please let me know.