Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer


New member
Mar 4, 2009
Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer

Finally finished my poisonmancer, and I did a traditional writeup, but it seemed a little boring, so thought I'd spice it up a bit:

[highlight]The short, short version[/highlight]

80 str + 150 dex + 275 vit = healthy poisonmancer
60 poison + 1 CE + 20 skeletons + 10 curses + 3 piece Trang's = dead monsters

[highlight]The longer version[/highlight]
The quest of Pyrshal starts deep in the West
To hunt the source of evil in its nest
With Deckard Cain to guide him on his way
He ventures forth to battle night and day

His early skills are spent to call undead
Who keep him safe as they run out ahead
His jewels of Envy clear entire fields
A prelude to the novas he will wield

He pauses at the monastery gate
A timely twink will seal Andariels fate
An angel's raiment made for quite a suit
But ravenclaw makes ev'rything else moot

Soon Warriv says, "The caravan's prepared"
The tasks of Lut Gholein were to be dared
The blasts of fire make quick work of the act
And all of Kurast too, in point of fact

At level thirty things become more fun
As novas power cannot be outdone
Out goes the bow and on a wand of 'White'
While skin of snakes and tarnhelm add some bite

His Merc's insight keeps mana needs at bay
So on they march despite D'ablo's dismay
Atop the mountain he will find the keep
And even Baal himself is put to sleep

So Pyrshal goes to rest his weary head
And wakes to find a very diff'rent bed
His progress 'gainst the primes has been a dream
But skills and loot are still his, it would seem

And so he starts the questing up again
Beginning with the clearing of the den
Along the way he wears his brand new gear
Girth, Claws, and Wing of Trang'Oul his most dear

Near fifty percent block's enough he felt
And eighty strength's enough to wear his belt
For all the rest he builds to fill up holes
With skills, resists, and MF as his goals

With hearty summons to protect his flank
His poison power he is free to crank
Again he rips right through the hordes of Hell
Until to Anya he can bid farewell

He rests again, a champion indeed
But Tyrael says, "Wait, we still have need"
This too has been a dream and you must wake
You're ready now, your true quest to partake

His anger mounts and soon must find a valve
Demolishing more fallen proves a salve
No more a pawn of angels nor their foes
To all things living he shall now oppose

His novas drain their life and then in spite
Explodes their corpses, much to his delight
No boss of hell can stand up to his wrath
And soon he finds the ancients in his path

They call to him with words that make him pause
"Give up your anger, and accept our cause
The worldstone must be saved or all is lost
The wars will rage again despite the cost"

He laughs at them: "Now stand aside buffoon,
To poison damage you are not immune
The hordes of hell are welcome on this plane
Above them AND the mortals I will reign"

Down to the throne he ran without delay
Until alone did Baal stand in his way
Baal said to him "Of you I have no fear
Resists and massive life will see me clear

I can survive your poison all day long
There are no corpses to help you along
How can you think that you will rule instead
When all who live hold me in highest dread"

He laughed and grinned at Baal, "You are so wrong
Have you not seen the fools I've brought along
Behind the golem and the wall of bone
Enough CB to see your large life blown"

It happened just as Pyrshal had it planned
Decrepify would make it almost bland
Baal's life was crushed until its nearly done
And Pyrshal finishes what he'd begun

So Tyrael comes down to him once more
And sees the worldstone damaged to its core
Dismayed at what he sees, he drops his head
And sees a blast of poison as it spreads...
Re: Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer

Phew, hope that was entertaining... got a bit longer than I initially set out for.
For the less poetically inclined:

[highlight]Patriarch Pyrshal[/highlight]

20 Poison Nova, Explosion, Dagger
15+ Summon Skeleton
1 Corpse Explosion, Clay Golem, Golem Mastery, Summon Resist, Skeleton Mastery
1 All curses except attract & confuse

+10 PnB (+12 nova)
+8 Curses
+6-8 Summons on switch

Str: 75 (102)
Dex: 125 (158)
Vit: 275 (287)
Eng: 25 (30)
Life: 746 (1000)
Mana: 187 (394)
Resists: 35/75/75/12 (approx)

White wand (+2 pnova, +2 LR base)
Shako (ptopaz)
Trang's Belt, Gloves, Wing
Natalya's Boots
Rare rings (+15 dex & resists mostly)
+2 PnB amulet
Switch: +5 summon skeletons (golemlord wand & oskill head)
Charms: Gheed's, Life/Mana, and resists
Skillers: None

Very far from optimized, but it got the job done nicely. Zippo for style points though. :no:

Relevant Readouts:
Bone Wand
One-Hand Damage: 3 to 7
Durability: 14 of 15
Required Level: 35
Staff Class - Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 49
Fingerprint: 0xba0ff068
+10 to Vitality
+13 to Mana
Magic Damage Reduced by 4
20% Faster Cast Rate
+2 to Lower Resist (Necromancer Only)
+2 to Summon Resist (Necromancer Only)
+4 to Skeleton Mastery (Necromancer Only)
+2 to Bone Spear (Necromancer Only)
+2 to Poison Nova (Necromancer Only)
+3 to Bone Armor (Necromancer Only)
Hit Causes Monster to Flee 25%
150% Damage to Undead
+3 to Poison and Bone Skills (Necromancer Only)
Socketed (2: 2 used)

Chaos Circle
Required Level: 48
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 82
Fingerprint: 0xf0707215
+15 to Dexterity
+31 to Attack Rating
Lightning Resist +29%
Cold Resist +26%
Replenish Life +4

Ghoul Touch
Required Level: 14
Item Version: Expansion
Item Level: 21
Fingerprint: 0xe994200d
+3 to Energy
+98 to Attack Rating
Damage Reduced by 1
Lightning Resist +16%
10% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level 1 Fire Bolt (22/22 Charges)

Started out with a holy freeze merc w/ insight, which was fine through nightmare where it really didn't matter, but he is in fact TERRIBLE for this build :nono:
1. Poison damage on insight causes override issues
2. Too many shattered corpses
3. Crappy damage against the only enemies I really needed help with

Anyway, once I came to my senses (about the time I was running into seriously poison immune foes), I replaced him with a Might merc and made an ethereal cryptic axe Obedience for him (I would otherwise have been disappointed with a Fal from the hellforge). MUCH better. Final setup was eth Obedience cryptic, crown of thieves, and a relatively crappy rare armor.

Most of the going was pretty easy. Megademons however, are a pain in the butt :evil: - very slow poison damage, and half corpse explosion damage... when you need 3 corpses to bring a pack down and you're stupidly dragging a holy freeze merc around, that takes a while. Post-upgrade, his physical damage was enough to plow through them... when the skeletons didn't get in the way! :banghead:

The ancients were cursed, but absolutely no threat. I think I used one mana potion - decrepify, clay golem, poison. The minion waves weren't too much trouble, but Ahsab required many revivals throughout the WSK... for instance the convicted gloams just outside the throneroom. It was nice to have the summons around then, but dim vision and quite a bit of retreat/revive/attack did the trick. Baal was as harmless as the ancients - the crushing blow on obedience knocked him down quickly. Got an ilvl 99 Cathan's Seal for my trouble.

Templar's Might in the flayer dungeon, only my second TC87. Also found a rockstopper with a pretty good roll along the way.
Forges were Lum/Fal
He also dragged along a set of rushees that netted (for NM & Hell): 2 Sol, 4 Hel, Io, Lum, 3 Ko, 2 Lem, Um :xxx:

All in all, rather unlucky so far - hopefully things will improve in the pit. This will definitely be my last set of drag-along rushees - it's too disruptive when questing, and the self-MP lag is annoying. 1.09 classic here I come!

What? All this text and no screenshots?
Well, I did say at the start that the conventional writeup seemed a little boring. He did make an appearance in the Monster Name Tournament (Direct Link to Image)... note the lack of skeleton support :p

Closing Comments
He was worthwhile, but not particularly exciting. Mostly I just need another a85 runner to relieve AT a bit, and he'll adapt well for the task. Poisonmancer as a general build definitely gets the thumbs up.

Would I recommend this particular flavor of poisonmancer? The sweet spot is probably around the +8-12 skill range (with or without 3 piece trangs) - lower than that would be slow goings (you'd want more points in lower resist), and higher than that the skeletons would slow you down more than helping you. If I had a dweb and some skillers, I would definitely rebuild without them - they're very useful for stopping enemies in place if your damage isn't enough to really get the job done, but they don't contribute anything and can bog down the group in many areas. Curses and bone spells could provide perfect crowd control and safety with more +skills.

Other Build Analysis
I think I've pretty well covered the skeletons and mercenary choices. I ran some numbers on unique vs partial Trang's, and without better peripheral gear, decided Trang's is the way to go. As for blocking, the basic options were none (15% ctb, ~1200 life), balanced (51% ctb, ~1000 life), or max (75% ctb, ~870 life). Given that he's a slow blocker, I think the balanced approach was a good choice.

Bit of extra verse that didn't really fit in:
His destiny is now to run the pit
With some persistence who knows what he'll get
Some special thanks go to sirpoopsalot
My trade with him was crucial to this plot
His name is fun and seems like a cool dude
Suppose there's too much fiber in his food?

What's Next?
For Pyrshal, the repeatedly mentioned pit-running. Throw on skullder's, gamble a better amulet, and probably swap some resists for MF on the rings. Not likely to try much beyond /p3 without some additional skills (mine or his :scratchchin:), but we'll see how it goes.

Otherwise, I'm about halfway done with the setups for four sorceresses in four versions - racking, rushing, collecting, and LK - once I've got them to the point they can start on their assigned tasks I'll come back to questing with a Barb and Druid - haven't pat'd either since restarting.
Re: Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer

Congrats on the pat! Poisonmancers are very gg, one of my favorite builds. I think you've figured out most of the advice I could give you already so I'll just say congrats again and good luck with your pit running.
Re: Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer

Gratz on the Pat. I didn't see it, but what curse were you using most fights?
Re: Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer

I used several in the last couple acts of hell. Average enemies got lower resist, poison immunes got amp (faster to let the merc and corpse explosion take care of them), gloams got dim vision, and bosses got decrepify.
Re: Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer

Congratulations on your pat, however there is one mistake;
Definete style points for 1000 life in the LCS as well as +1 style point for the write-up, one of the most entertaining Ive read in here! :yes:
Job well done, good luck in pits!

Re: Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer

Masterfully done hero! I dug the poem and I'm a big fan of poison 'cros. What Barb/Druid builds are on the chopping block for your next Pat installments?
Re: Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer

Resker the berserker is well on his way, just cleared normal at level 42. Very much looking forward to level 56, when this is upgraded and available. Not subtle or original, but it's gonna be fun!

Druid wise, I'm trying to resist the urge to build another fury wolf since that's all I've ever done with the class... I've got a summoning IK bear (town dump) in progress (level 30ish), but I'm not totally inspired. I really like the ideas of several druid builds (wind, fury/rabies, fireclaw), but for various reasons I'm not really ready to start any of them yet.
Re: Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer


One question: why 20 Skels? Wouldn't higher SM and fewer skels make more sense for their survivability/damage?
Re: Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer

@JMJ - The skeletons benefit more (both life and damage) from additional points in raise skeleton than they do in mastery (except for the first point in mastery). If you were going to use revives that might shift the balance somewhat in favor of higher mastery though.

Here's a look at hard points into skeleton mastery and raise skeleton assuming you're summoning with about +8 skills:
SM	RS	Life 	Dmg
1	20	639	156-159
6	15	574	124-127
11	10	509	104-106
Re: Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer

Very interesting write-up, congrats! How many time did it take to write it?
Re: Rime of the Ancient Poisonmancer

@JMJ - The skeletons benefit more (both life and damage) from additional points in raise skeleton than they do in mastery (except for the first point in mastery). If you were going to use revives that might shift the balance somewhat in favor of higher mastery though.

Here's a look at hard points into skeleton mastery and raise skeleton assuming you're summoning with about +8 skills:
SM	RS	Life 	Dmg
1	20	639	156-159
6	15	574	124-127
11	10	509	104-106

Hun... I would have thought the SM would have a better curve than it does.

I ran the numbers to verify

[D2W]Necromancer Summoning Charts[/D2W]

It's not the most intuitive chart but it's what I could come up with quickly/easily. The line colour represents the number of points in the specified skill. The x-axis shows the number of points in the opposing skill.

Early on there maybe some fine tuning for those doing 20/20 but you can't argue that RS greatly outperforms SM.

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