Patriarch Kel-Thuzad – Golemancer


Well-known member
Mar 24, 2020
Golemancer – a trip down memory lane (intro)

It was in 2003-2005 when a friend gave me his CDs and I started playing D2. I really don’t remember which patch it was exactly, and anyway I really got into it in 2006-2009. I think it was patch 1.11/1.12 back then because not long after came 1.13 with increased rune drop rates and without IM.

I really don’t remember much from those years regarding chars or gameplay. I do remember full clears on P1 (who need P8 anyway?!), skill points all over the place, IM in Chaos Sanctuary and the FE bug. I also remember one build that I managed to get through the game and all the fire explosions – a necromancer utilizing Iron Golem and Rogue merc. He got all the way up to Act 3 Hell, at least since the image of him in Durance of Hate is the only thing I still remember from this char. Being a relatively new player that necro had points in all the skills including revives, 10+ points in GM, Bone Spear & Bone Skull and probably about 5 points in IG – 'Golemancer' will be a bit of stretch but true in essence :)

11 years and 50+ chars later I felt it was finally time to remake the char that was one of the main milestones into D2 world.

1. The Numbers

1.1 Stats

Level ~82.9
STR : 115 (137)
DEX : 75 (100)
VIT : 239
ENG : 25 (69)
Spare : 46

Life : 837
Manna : 446
Resists : 75/75/75/52

1.2 Skills
Curses (+12) : 1 in all curses
P&B (+7) : 1 in bone prison and perquisites
Summoning (+12) :
- 20 in GM, IG (7840 HP, 615% returned damage)
- 12 in Clay (19910 HP, 66% Slow) / Blood (4713 HP) / Fire (8104 HP, 543-624 Fire damage, 91% abs)
- 1 in SR (61%)

2. Equipment

2.1 Main Char

Helm: Wraith Cowl
Defense: 59
Durability: 20 of 20
Required Level: 67
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 61
Fingerprint: 0x1ff5693b
+18 to Energy
All Resistances +13
Adds 6-29 cold damage over 1 seconds
24% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+2 to Necromancer Skill Levels
20% Faster Hit Recovery
20% Faster Cast Rate
Socketed (1: 1 used)

Amulet: Entropy Heart
Required Level: 51
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 82
Fingerprint: 0x8be28d14
+16 to Dexterity
+15 to Life
+5 to Maximum Stamina
All Resistances +11
25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+1 to Necromancer Skill Levels

Boots : Dread Shank
Chain Boots
Defense: 8
Durability: 16 of 16
Kick Damage: 6 to 12
Required Strength: 30
Required Level: 18
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 86
Fingerprint: 0xa5c7d2ac
+3 to Dexterity
+27 to Maximum Stamina
Fire Resist +38%
Cold Resist +35%
23% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
20% Faster Run/Walk

Ring #1 : Blood Turn
Required Level: 48
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 95
Fingerprint: 0x3e658043
+13 to Strength
+6 to Energy
+35 to Mana
Fire Resist +30%
Lightning Resist +25%
Level 2 Confuse (25/25 Charges)

Ring #2 : Doom Coil
Required Level: 43
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 83
Fingerprint: 0xd6c1a68b
+9 to Strength
+3 to Dexterity
+26 to Life
Fire Resist +9%
Lightning Resist +26%
+1 to Mana After Each Kill

Weapon #1: Carin Shard +
Dread Talisman
Required Level: 35
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 81
Fingerprint: 0x32901771
Poison Resist +18%
Replenish Life +1
4% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Requirements -15%

Weapon #2 : Demon limb
Armor : Skullder's Ire
Shield : Homunculus (PDiamond)
Gloves : Trang-Oul's Claws
Belt : Goldwarp (upped)

GC – 3 SM , 1 Curses
LG – 34 manna & 8% FHR
SC – 2*(10% LR), 2*(10% PR)

58% FHR (7 frames BP)
50% FCR (11 Frames BP)
208% MF

2.2 Mercenary – Fire Rogue
Since the merc plays a much greater role here compared to a traditional summoner, I decided to invest a bit in her equipment:

Armor: Gemmed Superior Wyrmhide
Defense: 508
Durability: 26 of 26
Required Strength: 84
Required Level: 50
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 81
Fingerprint: 0x8b58c5c7
+8% Enhanced Defense
+13 to Minimum Damage
+22 to Maximum Damage
Lightning Resist +26%
Cold Resist +25%
Increase Maximum Durability 10%
30% Increased Attack Speed
Socketed (4: 4 used)

Helm: Jeweler's Diadem
Defense: 53
Durability: 19 of 20
Required Level: 64
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 88
Fingerprint: 0x2d3abb03
+9 to Minimum Damage
Fire Resist +25%
Poison Resist +41%
30% Increased Attack Speed
Socketed (3: 3 used)

Bow: Havoc Fletch
Shadow Bow
Two-Hand Damage: 75 to 295
Required Dexterity: 132
Required Strength: 36
Required Level: 48
Bow Class - Very Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 87
Fingerprint: 0x40e568b9
+401% Enhanced Damage <-- the highest ED I have on a rare bow (y)
+214 to Attack Rating
+6 poison damage over 2 seconds
Requirements -30%
40% Increased Attack Speed
Socketed (1: 1 used)

3. Thoughts and observations

- Like a summoner it's a very safe build, the golems react fast to danger, running ahead of you and engaging the enemy far enough to keep you safe, and if the golem goes down you can always summon new one where you need him (right in the middle of the mob).

- Even with 8k HP, Iron golem still goes down quite a lot. The clay golem OTOH can tank A LOT of hits.

- Damage wise the merc preformed perfectly, killing most monsters in 1-3 hits and slowing down only in last 2 acts and even then not by much. I was much less satisfied with her AI, it became quite difficult to control her in the last 2 acts. The open areas require small movements in order avoid luring too many monsters at once and for some reason it became harder and harder to get her moving from her spot and stop her in a required area.

- While IG is good for 99.99999…% of encounters, there are 2 spots/monsters that it's completely useless and even dangerous:
a. Diablo – he completely ignored IG and went for me, forcing me to evade his attacks and by doing so causing the merc to move too and usually get hit and die. My first attempt at CS ended in S&E after being caged and unable to break free fast enough (didn’t died though). In the end had to use FG which was the only way to keep his attention focused on the golem.
b. Baal (Hell) – same as Diablo, he pretty much ignored IG and even Decrepify&CG combo was not enough to stop him from cloning and teleporting (ARRR). FG proved once again as the only solution I had to keep Baal in place and eventually being able to kill him.

- Tough encounters – well…it's a necromancer after all, so almost none with AMP, DV, BW and Decrepify at his disposal. Souls are dangerous as always with their off-screen shots and the main danger is from stray hits that miss the golems and might hit the necro instead. The only encounter that stood out – and even then it was more annoying then dangerous – was with this boss:

- Baal deserves a special mention. I made a mistake and didn’t mule on some equipment with CB or OW to speed things up a bit, as a result it turned into a VERY LONG, TEDIOS and BORING fight.

4. Finds

It turned out to be quite a lucky char. Found a lot of normal and exceptional unique items and sets. The notable finds are:
Pul #1
Pul #2
Fanatic Grand Charm

Future plans : Impale zon or a special assassin build. Any suggestions? :)

Thanks for reading
The Rogue merc set up is pure style. Nice character, and it's definitely fun to go back to the oldies, especially when there is nice gear at the disposal. Reminds me that I need to get back to my golemarncer!
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Thanks all!

@Babyhell once in awhile I have an urge to use something different on my char/merc ('Treachery' and WWS this time as a solution to IAS and resists).

@D2DC I never felt that 50+ chars is something unusual, I thought it was even less than average for 11 years. I will take another look at that project.

@PhineasB do it it's a fun char, and those old chars (1 mis-click and bye bye) deserve a proper rebuild.
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Nice rogue mercenary! Good to read she did her job well. Might have something to do with that bow too :p Might do a build with a properly outfitted rogue to, when/if I get the gear. For now congrats!
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Well done! Always awesome to see classic characters make a comeback :) What kinds of items did you use to make IGs?

Regarding your next build - an Impale Amazon would be super interesting to see, although certainly fraught. I'm curious as to the special Assassin!
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@DariusTriplet thanks!
I usually used weapons with high ED when I could find those or weapons with lots of elemental damage since his physical damage is low unless you use really something extraordinary (runewords or unique items with CB). In the end the best choice is items with CtC effect 'when struck' since he gets hit a lot.

I decided to start with the Assassin since it's a pretty uncommon build based on a very specific item. Couldn't find something similar in a simple google search so not even sure it will work in the end but going to do my best.
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