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Meet Tartarus - The Summoner Necromancer

Excalibur

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Jun 28, 2020
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Diablo 2: Resurrected
Tartarus, Level 90 •
Necromancer Summoner
thumnail.jpg
No one can deny that a Summoner Necro is one of the most entertaining characters in the game. Revive makes the build even more fun as you start to control monsters that a few seconds ago were your enemies. Farming in players 1, the build needs not much discussion as Corpse Explosion will easily take care of everything. However, on higher difficulties starting from players 3 already, Corpse Explosion becomes noticeably weaker and on Players 8 you can no longer rely on it to clear any area.

Tartarus as widely known in Greek Mythology is the prison of the underworld. However, Tartarus was also a God, hence the name of this Necromancer who has released all those imprisoned minions! This character is focused on strengthening the Summonings as much as possible making it efficient to farm in Players 8.

Positive
+ Single Target Effective
+ Multi Target Effective
+ Low Budget Gear
+ High FCR
+ Unique Playstyle

Negative
- Slow on Players 8
- Untouchable but Fragile
- Need to re-summon Army

Stats & Skills
Stats are something already well known. Just put enough Strength and Dexterity (for Beast) for gear and put the rest points into Vitality. Since Enigma is a vital part of this build you can basically equip everything without much Strength added especially if you are on D2R and have access to a Torch and Anni.
Skills are also something already well known but there are a few stuff that need to be discussed. Most of the below questions are usually personal choices. For the most part, you can't go wrong with whatever choice you have taken as long as Raise Skeleton and Skeleton Mastery are maxed but let's analyze them a bit more and see what is really beneficial for our build.


Which Golem to use?
You have two options, Clay Golem or Iron Golem. Clay Golem has massive health and will never die while also offering massive slow. Iron Golem can support your minions with one extra aura. However, the way this character is build you will be only benefited by using Iron Golem on a very expensive Runeword such as Pride or Faith so it's better to stick with Clay Golem and not risk it.
How many Curses do I need?
Amplify Damage is so good that you can basically skip any other curse including Decrepify. Decrepify will work wonders with Clay Golem but the truth is that you don't really need it. Amplify Damage is still your best choice to ensure your minions deal the highest possible damage. One point in Amplify Damage gives you massive radius and duration which is very convenient.
Are Skeleton Mages any good?
Currently Skeleton Mages are not good and can not be compared with the regular Skeletons. Good news is that Blizzard has announced that they will be improved in the upcoming patch and our hopes are that they will become a vital part of a Summoner's arsenal. For the time being, you can summon them for extra fun but be careful as many of them may freeze your targets and end up with fewer corpses.
Should I invest in Bone Armor?
One Point in Bone Armor will not hurt but since a Summoner stays out of trouble you can ignore it if you don't want to have one more thing in mind to keep casting. The Bone Armor can save you sometimes if you happen to teleport into a dangerous monster pack.
How many points should I put in Revive?
With massive + to skills gear, one point in Revive is more than enough. Don't forget that Revives come with a duration so maintaining an army of more than 25 Revives at all times can be difficult.
Where to put the remaining Skill points?
By level 90 you will have about 30 skill points left. Personally, I wouldn't go for any damage skill because I want to focus on Summonings. At the current state the game is, it's wise to wait and see what new changes will be applied and then make the ideal choices. For anyone sticking to D2L, perhaps maxing your Golem with some additional points in Golem Mastery seems the best possible choice.

army.png
They have been released from Tartarus.

Gear
The most important and interesting part which differentiates the same build from player to player.
As already stated, this is a pure Summoner Build so the priority is to enhance our minions as much as possible.

Weapon: Beast
Shield: Spirit (35% FCR)
Armor: Enigma
Helm: Magic Circlet (+3 Summoning)
Gloves: Trang-Oul's Claws
Belt: Arachnid Mesh
Boots: Marrowwalk
Rings: Soj x2
Amulet: Magic (+3 Summoning)
Switch: Call to Arms + Spirit

Breakpoints to aim:

Faster Cast Rate: 75% (Trang-Oul's + Spirit + Arach)
It is easily achieved and without sacrificing any gear slot. Eventually it comes very fitting with teleporting and most importantly with Reviving tons of minions fast.

Enigma unfortunately is a vital part of this build. Not only it will let you gather all your Summonings around you at will but will also provide you one of the main strategies to make successful runs on Players 8 against bosses which is the so called Telestomp. When you have such a large army it's hard to take advantage of each one of them since on narrow spots and corridors most of your Summonings will have no space to fight and will remain idle behind the front line. Plus, when your army is spread hitting different targets it will take much more time to clear an area especially on Players 8 where monsters are truly beasts and even well geared characters have issues in bringing them down fast. This can be solved by using Telestomp. Basically you just teleport right into an enemy, move away instantly and all your Summonings will attack simultaneously the target bringing it down in seconds. You can quickly clear an area when there are a few minion packs spread by Telestomping each one by one. This trick is especially useful against bosses to make sure you are using all of your minions to their max potential.

Scre1enshot031.png
Magic Amulet and Circlet allow us for a +3 each.

Had it not been for the Fanaticism aura Beast provides, Arm of King Leoric would be a very powerful item for this build since it adds +5 to Skeletons and +5 to Skeleton Mastery, massively increasing the damage output of the Skeletons and with our current build it allows to summon two extra skeletons. However, Beast will also affect your Mercenary and your Revives so it is preferable to stick with it. Still, the bonus from Arm of King Leoric is too good to let it go and this is why we need to summon our Skeletons while wielding it to make sure the Skeletons come as strong as possible. Then we can switch to Beast having the advantages of both weapons except from the extra 2 skeletons. Thus, make sure to keep Arm of King Leoric in your stash and wield it while summoning the Skeletons in Pindle's Garden. The Skeletons are basically invincible so you won't have to repeat this procedure multiple times in a single run. One time in the beginning will be enough for as long your run lasts.

Beast will make a huge difference if you select your Revives carefully. Some high damage monsters like Death Lords, Urdars, Thorned Hulks, Doom Knights will demolish everything if you use telestomp on a target. The only downside is that Revive monsters don't last forever so it's very hard to have a selective army of 25 Revives.

Beast also grants a level 13 Summon Grizzly which combined with all the summonings and buffs seems to be a nice bonus. Unfortunately, it can not survive at all so avoid casting as it is also very expensive to repair it. Another great addition seems to be the Wisp Projector which adds charges of Heart of Wolverine which can increase the damage of all your summonings even more. However, just like in the Grizzly's case, the Heart of Wolverine can not survive at all. Too bad that those two summonings can not be included.


skeletons.jpg
Check the damage difference with and without Arm of King Leoric.

Mercenary
Weapon:
Infinity
Armor: Fortitude
Helm: Andariel's Visage (Ral)

Many consider the Mercenary as a support unit for the minions but this should not be the case. Your Mercenary is your highest and most reliable source of damage so instead of using him as a support tool you should invest in him for damage. Hate to say it but once again Infinity seems to be the best choice for a weapon. Not only it deals high damage, it comes with high Crushing Blow which in combination with Amplify Damage can work even better. Infinity's Conviction Aura will increase your Corpse Explosion's damage and once again along with Amplify Damage it will make it doable in Higher Player Settings. Also, Conviction Aura decreases enemies defense which makes it easier for your Minions to hit. Lastly, Skeleton Mages will soon receive a buff so infinity will definitely improve your Skeleton Mages more. A good all-around package.

If you can't afford Infinity, any high damage weapon will do and one of the most popular choices is Obedience. Obedience has a fixed 370% enhanced damage so if you use it in an Ethereal Elite Polearm you will end up with over 1000 maximum damage. Other than that, it comes with high Crushing Blow, high Faster Hit Recovery, Resistances and some other minor but very helpful stats.

Pride seems like the best possible choice to buff your minions but the Runeword itself doesn't have any enhanced damage so the Mercenary will end up dealing no damage at all. Using Pride on a Iron Golem would work but who wants to risk such an expensive runeword? Even if you feel you can protect the Golem, don't forget that you might end up dying or a bug where the Golem simply disappears may happen.

Final Army
If you follow the above set up you will end up with:
16 Skeletons (raised with Arm of King Leoric with a level 51 Skeleton Mastery)
10 Skeletons Mages - Clay golem - 25 Revives - Act 2 Mercenary
With the Buffs:
Might Aura from Mercenary
Conviction Aura from Mercenary
Fanaticism Aura from Beast
Amplify Damage
Battle Orders from CtA


Conclusion
The core build of a Summoner Necromancer is pretty much the same for everyone. You max your Skeletons and your Skeleton Mastery and then it comes to a personal choice where to assign the rest of the skill points which will only slightly differentiate a build from a another. The play-style in the beginning is quite passive which many will like but as you develop the character it becomes more active. At players 8, telestomp may be necessary not only for Bosses but even for some minor minion packs but one thing's for certain, they all will fall!
 
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nepeta

Member
Apr 3, 2020
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D2 resurrected, beast, enigma, lots of skillers, SoJs, torch, annihilus, please stop ruining my Sunday morning :p

In all honesty though: looking good! Can barely do P1 WSK/Baal at the moment. Might spend some of my 30 points in magi or revives though, looking seriously sexy, all those turned monsters flapping everywhere.
 
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Sep 22, 2021
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Wow! Very nice gear and write-up.

You talked me into making Beast, which I wanted for my necromancer back when I first started D2R. It did seem to shorten Baal's fight on my /p8 test run! Man, doesn't even seem right to call my Phil a Fishymancer anymore. :p
 
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nepeta

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Apr 3, 2020
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Checked the runes needed for Beast, and apparently I've got them too. I think I was making up my mind whether to create Chains of honour, or waiting for jah for enigma. But Beast it is then :p

Edit: created Beast:
Well, those skeletons do get a lot more active, and seem to do more damage. Lying character screen etc, but I can now do P3 Baals, despite no longer having that teleporting staff on switch. Revives are nice as well, magi are a pain because they die all the time and if they do not, they'll freeze/shatter a lot of monsters.
Let's hope this all goes well and I'll find a teleporting amulet, of Ber+Jah for Enigma :p Currently no RWM/Remastered, so no Infinity. Oh, and a couple of skillers/SoJs. etc etc ^^
 
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Nona

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Jan 13, 2021
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Awesome write-up! Thanks for taking the time to make an interesting read. I love my skellymancer but don’t have near the wealth for your set-up. I didnt think of infinity for CE. I love CE but always gripped that it really diminished with higher player levels. I can do p1 cows okay but p3 and above really slows down. Do you think beast or infinity is more helpful for clearing higher player settings?
 
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Excalibur

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Checked the runes needed for Beast, and apparently I've got them too. I think I was making up my mind whether to create Chains of honour, or waiting for jah for enigma. But Beast it is then :p

Edit: created Beast:
Well, those skeletons do get a lot more active, and seem to do more damage. Lying character screen etc, but I can now do P3 Baals, despite no longer having that teleporting staff on switch. Revives are nice as well, magi are a pain because they die all the time and if they do not, they'll freeze/shatter a lot of monsters.
Let's hope this all goes well and I'll find a teleporting amulet, of Ber+Jah for Enigma :p Currently no RWM/Remastered, so no Infinity. Oh, and a couple of skillers/SoJs. etc etc ^^
Remember to Raise your skeletons with a wand that grants Necromancer Skill points and then switch to Beast!
That way you will have stronger skellies and the Fanaticism aura!

Awesome write-up! Thanks for taking the time to make an interesting read. I love my skellymancer but don’t have near the wealth for your set-up. I didnt think of infinity for CE. I love CE but always gripped that it really diminished with higher player levels. I can do p1 cows okay but p3 and above really slows down. Do you think beast or infinity is more helpful for clearing higher player settings?
Thank you very much!
For Players 3 to 5 I would say that Infinity will work better since Corpse Explosion is an excellent crowd control skill.
Make sure to constantly curse enemies with Amplify damage to increase the Physical Damage of Corpse Explosion and at the same time Conviction will increase its Fire Damage making Corpse Explosion deal the highest possible damage!

I am pretty sure with Infinity at players 3 you won't notice a difference in Cows!
 

nepeta

Member
Apr 3, 2020
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Thanks for the Beast suggestion. Saved me from another enigma (pending the Jah-drop ;)), enigma turns every character in a kind of sorceress... W/r the sumoning, yes, I was aware of that, been playing the game since... way too long.
 
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Friiser

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Apr 4, 2020
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Awesome write-up! The necro is my favorite character to plan and what you have laid out is my end goal with my untwinked summoner necro I started when D2R was released. I have all the gear except Beast in D2 legacy stashes (and the runes to make Beast), so its tempting to move stuff over.

I 100% agree with the issue with the iron golem. Even after Blizzard said that the bug was fixed I've lost several Insight iron golems going through levels. It is very nice to not have to manage mana, but super frustrating when they just disappear on you. It would be infuriating to lose one made out of a more expensive RW.
 
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PhineasB

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Mar 14, 2020
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Concur with the others about the great write up. Thanks for taking the time to put it together. And also, very nice Necro you got there (y)
 
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ffs

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Nice write up and formatting again. :) I'd note I usually use Magefist over TO gloves on summoners because it improves CE, which is still your main damage source. Personally I'd also go with +2 all skills on headpiece and amulet (rather than +3 summoning) for that ssame reason, but this somewhat depends on other gear.. indeed skellies scale nicely with high levels, the difference in skeleton levels are definitely felt especially for P8 Baal runs for Lister & Baal.
 
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Excalibur

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Thank you once again ffs!
I really wanted to emphasize more on the summoning since as a Summoner it would always bug me not having the strongest available minions. I think I can sacrifice a few skill points in CE since it doesn't increase damage per level. The radius bonus is very convenient though.

Magefist is a very nice alternative which I think most players forget that it increases CE too! Perhaps I could add that to the thread!
 
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