Diablo 2 Guide: Encyclopedia Necromantica

Welcome the Encyclopedia Necromantica. If your not allready impressed with the title prepare to be wowed by the density of Necromancer information contained within these electronic pages. A one stop resource for all your playing concerns. If what your looking for is not here, it should be, and will be as this is a progressive work. As long as Diablo 2 is still playable this guide will Bstand as THE tool for necros. At least that’s the point of it.

The Encyclopedia currently consists of 3 primary chapters and an appendix but is highly subject to frequent modifications.

Chapter 1 The Necromancer’s Handbook, written by myself, covers common concerns of the game, basic playstyles and contains link to all known dii.net Necormancer build guides.

Chapter 2 Takes a look at skill synergies and addresses the new issues created by this recent addition to the game along with notes on a few bugs.

Chapter 3 strives to, comprehensively, lay-out detailed, in-depth descriptions of all the skills available to the necromancer class character.

There we have it Diablo players and forum members. I hope you find our information of use. My intent has been to improve the game by providing players with a look at it’s depth and variety.


Chapter 1

The Necromancer’s Handbook

Hello. This guide is intended to give new and experienced players a look at what to expect when playing Diablo 2 as the Necromancer. This guide also meant to be used as a reference guide.

[Note:The strat comp edition will ideally link to each section directly from the contents so you can read what you want and quickly reference information.Until then you’l have to skim through with the toolbar to find your section of interest. Sorry about that]

Of all of the various classes available for play, Necromancers, are truly unique among them. Besides the distinction of being unique, with the recent improvements of the 1.10 patch they are now also considered balanced and quite powerful by most.
Let’s get down some basics.


0.0 Key to Terms
1.0 Playbasics
2.0 Common Necromancer Character Types
3.0 Bone skills based Necros and hybrids
4.0 Poison skills based Necros and hybrids
5.0 Summoning based Necros and hybrids
6.0 Unconventional Builds
7.0 Advanced Topics

Expanded Contents

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0.0 Key to terms
0.1 Necro centric abreviations
0.2 Other

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1.0 Play basics
1.1 Single Player/B.net
1.2 Expansion/Hardcore/ladder
1.3 Skills and Stats
1.4 Skill point plan
1.5 Stat point plan
1.6 Gears
1.7 Mercenaries
1.8 Twinking/Purist/Trading
1.9 Hotkeys and Hotkey Configuration

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2.0 Common Necromancer character types
2.1 Bone
2.2 Poison
2.3 Summoning
2.4 Hybrids
2.4 Other

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3.0 Bone skill based Necros and hybrids
3.1 PvM/PvP Bonemancer
3.2 PvP damage focused
3.3 PvM focused
3.4 Bone/Summoner hybrid
3.5 Bone/Confuse/revives
3.6 Bone Necro Stats
3.7 Bone Necro Equipment
3.8 Bone Necro Mercenaries

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4.0 Poison based Necros and hybrids
4.1 Poison/revives/skele
4.2 Poison/curses/c.e.
4.3 Poison/wall/prison or spirit
4.4 Poison/skeleton
4.5 Poison/Trang’s fire
4.6 Poison Necro Stats
4.7 Poison Necro Equipment
4.8 Poison Necro Mercenaries

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5.0 Summoning based Necromancer’s
5.1 The Overlord
5.2 Skelemancer
5.3 Skele/Dim/Revives
5.4 Maximum Summons
5.5 Variant summoners
5.6 Summoner Stats
5.7 Summoner Equipment
5.8 Summoner Mercenaries

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6.0 Unconventional Builds
6.1 Meleemancer
6.2 Bowmancer
6.3 Mojomancer
6.4 Themed builds
6.5 Unconventional Build Stats
6.6 Unconventional build Equipment
6.7 Unconventional build Mercenaries

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[This section to be added] 7.0 Advanced Topics
7.1 Frames per second (fps)
7.2 Breakpoints
7.3 Fast Hit recovery
7.4 Fast cast rate
7.5 Imbue/Socket quest
7.6 Shopping/Gambling
7.7 Crafting/Cubing
7.8 Magic finding specifics

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The Info

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0.0 Key to Terms
0.1 Necro Centric abreviations
0.2 Other

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0.0 Key to Terms
There will be several Game specific terms used in this and several other player guides you’ll look into and those terms are often abreviated for quick reference, especially when playing with others on B.net. You can skip this and move on to the info and refer back to it if you need to.

0.1 Necro Centric Abreviations
Below are some of the representations of Necro skills and items.

A) General
Nec (necro): Necromancer.
Merc: Mercenary

B) Skills
Amp: Amplify Damage. A curse to reduce enemies’ resistance to physical damage.
BA: Bone Armor. A Necromancer defensive skill on the Poison and Bone tree.
BG: Blood Golem.
BP: Bone Prison. A Necromancer skill on the Poison and Bone tree.
BS: Bone Spirit. A Necromancer attack skill.
BW: Bone Wall. A Necromancer skill on the Poison and Bone tree.
CE: Corpse Explosion. A Necromancer attack skill on the Poison and Bone tree.
CG: Clay Golem.
Decrep: Decrepify. A Necromancer curse that slows and weakens.
FG: Fire Golem.
IG: Iron Golem.
IM: Iron Maiden. A curse that magnifies and returns damage inflicted.
LR: Lower Resist. A Necromancer curse to reduce enemies’ elemental and poison resistance.
PN: Poison Nova. A Necromancer skill on the Poison and Bone tree.
Spear: Bone Spear. A Necromancer attack skill.
Spirit: Bone Spirit. A Necromancer attack skill.

C) Item terms:
Arm: Leorics arm unique wand
Fists: Magefist Unique Light Gauntlets.
Frosties: Frostburn Unique Gauntlets.
Lidless: Lidless Wall Exceptional Unique Grim Shield.
Lightsabre: Lightsabre Elite Unique Phase Blade.
Mara’s: Mara’s Kaleidoscope Unique Amulet
Shako: Harlequin Crest Elite Unique Shako. (Technically, a Shako is the entire class of elite Shako helms, but the term almost always refers to its Unique version.)
Ume’s: Ume’s Lament Unique Grave Wand.
Wizzy or Spike: Wizardspike Elite Unique Bone Knife.
BK: Bul-Kathos. Usually refers to the Bul-Kathos set items, or the unique Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band Ring.

0.2 Other
More abbreviations can be found in Appendix II [Future strat comp Link](In the mean time you’ll have to skim to end of the Handbook)

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1.0 Play basics
1.1 Single Player/B.net
1.2 Expansion/Hardcore/ladder
1.3 Skills and Stats
1.4 Skill point plan
1.5 Stat point plan
1.6 Gears
1.7 Mercenaries
1.8 Twinking/Purist/Trading
1.9 Hotkeys and Hotkey Configuration

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1.0 Playbasics
Diablo 2 is truly a game of nearly endless choices and variation. From the moment you start up your game and pick your character, important play choices present themselves which can have an effect on your later decisions in-game. Decisions concerning your character’s ability and developement. If your necromancer is not built with the common concerns of the game in mind you probrably won’t make it too far or will, at least, have a really hard time.

1.1 Single player/B.net/tcp-ip
What mode of play you choose is dependant first on if you have an active internet connection and second if you feel like playing with others or solo.
Tcp-ip and open b.net allow a player to use their single player characters with others in a multiplay fashion but closed b.net allows for the best multiplayer games commonly.

An issue when playing online, especially over a modem, is known as gamelag or latency. “Lag”, as it’s commonly known, causes a ‘pause’ in your gameplay while the server or other players computers catch up to your characters actions.

This lag, and not Diablo, is more often the main enemy of most online Diablo 2 players. Latency has probrably claimed more character’s lives on b.net than any game demon. Lag is of especial concern for Hardcore players.

1.2 Expansion/Hardcore/Ladder
Now that you’ve chosen ‘where’ to create your character, your next choice will be wether or not to play Expansion or non-expansion. Some players still enjoy the original version without the Expansion or simply have not purchased the newer version.

Hardcore becomes an option once you complete the game on normal difficulty. When playing Hardcore one must make more defensive decisions with your players skills, gears and stats. Especially on b.net and some tcp/ip connections where lag is a concern.

Ladder is a closed b.net option. Playing on the ladder has advantages over regular play. Certain items drop only in ladder and runes can be upgraded within ladder games.

Hardcore, ladder and regular characters can not play in the same game together. The exception to this rule is at the end of a ladder season where the characters on that ladder at that time will be ‘dumped’ into the regular realm.

1.3 Skills and stats
As you play your character throughout the game you will gain experience points. Those experience points add up to progress your character’s level and through which you gain 5 stat points and 1 skill per each level gained.

Certain game quests will also grant your character skill or stat points.

The maximum skill points for any character is 110. The maximum stat points per character is equal to 510. Your characters gear can grant skill and stat points on top of they’re base numbers, as long as the equipment is worn of course.

1.4 Skill point plan
If your new to Diablo 2, or the necromancer class, then you might want to experiment with all the characters skills before choosing your specialization.

With the newly added synergy bonuses a build plan can make all the difference, especially if you plan to complete the entire game, on all three difficulties. The games completion is less the point than having a good time though, so a plan is, of course, not necesary at all to play a character….it just helps. See sections 3.0-6.0, below, for specific ‘Build’ plans and guide links concerning the 1.10 Necromancer.

1.5 Stat point plan
As with Skills, it is often good to pre-plan your stat points.
Some guides you might come accross will lay-out a very specific stats plan, but for me, your stat allocation will depend almost entirely on the equipment you end up using.

In the begining you might want to get your strength up enough to equip a belt with 3 spaces, as quick as possible, and add to vitality, but it really is too variable for me to comfortably give a, set in stone, distribution reccomendation. A closer look at stats can be found in each build section of this Handbook and within individual guides. Here’s the general rule most allready use in most cases:

Strength-enough for equip
Dexterity-enough for equip or pump for block percentage. How much to add for block depends on the listed percent on your sheild, your dex rating and your clvl.
Vitality-all you can spare
Energy-usuallly nothin’. An untwinked*[see 1.8 below] build might consider upping it to 50 or to an extreme 80-100 if your using your spells heavily.

1.6 Gears
In Diablo 2 the ‘clothes’ make the man, and there are various approaches to equiping your character. Many guides will have lists of reccomended gear. Some items are very hard to come by and can be hard to obtain on the Realms, at first, but once you get some items of your own, through normal playing and magic finding you should find it easier to get what you want/need for your character.

A note to remember in 1.10 is that several new items, specifically the new runewords, grant non-native skills from other classes and can have a large impact on your character’s ability and playstyle.

1.7 Mercenaries
The expansion version of Diablo 2 allows you to equip and level up your hired help. Mercenaries are of especial concern to Necro’s considering that many of his skills are designed to be used with minions. Each mercenary type offers it’s own advantages. See the Mercenary sections for more info.

1.8 Twinking/Purist/Trading
To Twink, as is explained in the key, is to ‘mule’ an item from one character to another. Some players of Diablo 2 look down on twinking as, almost, a form of cheating. Those would be the Purists and usually play the game “un-twinked” for more of a challenge.

Trading is as it sounds and usually occurs over b.net but single player’s can trade through tcp/ip or through open b.net if they like.

1.9 Hotkeys and Hotkey Configuration
Hotkeys are keyboard keys set to select a skill for use. By default hotkeys are set to the F1-F12 keys at top of your keyboard and are very important to playing as a necromancer in most cases. As a Necro you will naturally utilize many combined skills in the course of your game and will, most likely, want easy access to them while playing. You can change your hotkeys through the options menu and assign your characters skills to each of them. The most common and basic skill lay-out looks like this:


Those keys represent Hotkeys 1-12 out of 1-16. Once you have changed the location of the keys from the Fkeys to their new location, you can assign a skill to any one of those keys by opening up either the right or left hand skill box along the bottom part your character screen and then simply pointing to the skill’s icon and pushing the desired key to be assigned to that skill. For eaxample; open your skill box on the right, point to bone armour and hit the W key. Now to use bone armour hit W then right click.

It’s good to get used to this activity as you’ll do it about a billion times throughout your games. As you advance and play more you will probrably end up using the last 4 skill hotkeys available when playing as a necromancer. In multiplayer games it is also useful to have the communication buttons hot keyed conveniently as well for better party co-ordinating.

I recomend much experimentation with hotkey configs. I constantly adjust mine. Your playing will change as you go along.

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2.0 Common necromancer character types
2.1 Bone
2.2 Poison
2.3 Summoning
2.4 Hybrids
2.4 Other

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2.0 Common necromancer characters
Lots of options exist when choosing your characters skills. Two ways to look at necro skills are through either direct damage or passive. Passive damage refers to curses and summoning skills. The two types of direct damge are poison and bone. You can easily mix these two approaches, with proper skill point placement and planning. Your equipment and your mercenary choice will vary your character’s playstyle drastically, in some cases, and add more depth to your skill choices.

Important note: Experience gain is greatly curved at higher levels, meaning that most characters won’t reach much higher than clvl 90, therefore limiting your skill point choices. It is good to keep this in mind when planning out your skill placements.

2.1 Bone
Bone necros are among the best characters to play in 1.10. The pure boneman is probrably the most straight forward character to actually ‘build’ in 1.10. Your skill point placements are almost made for you allready, due to the synergies, so all you need to figure out is the order of your placement.

TiP:In most cases the skill, teeth is maxed last, and is often not even invested in at all untill all of the other spear/spirit synergies are maxed.

Bone is one of the strongest solo paths in 1.10, with good equip[2], and is viable in both PvM and PvP. There are two sides to a Necro’s bone spells. Those being damage or protection.
Section 3.1 outlines a common bone necro.

2.2 Poison
A powerful path to take a necro as well but one which requires a little more planning on the part of the player. Much more variety can be had in skill choices going with poison instead of bone for direct damage. Enemies with high poison resistance[3] and poison immunes[4] can pose a
problem for Poison Nec’s. Certain high end items and/or a strong secondary attack skill can help out greatly. A strong tank is also, almost, required because poison takes time to kill in some cases.

2.3 Summoning
Much has changed in the design and developement of a summoning based Necro. Many players have been disappointed with the quality of Necro summons since Diablo 2 came out years ago. With the recent improvements made in version 1.10 summoners now provide safety and nice damage for both solo and multiplay. When combined with curses, and a good act2 mercSkelemancer’s can be among the best characters to play.

A major issue, of most summoners, when playing solo, is in getting the first corpse to drop, to start your ‘army’. One could invest in direct damage spells or simply rely on one’s mercenary to get this done. An old ‘trick,’ of the summoner, is to gather his summons in act1 to take on certain very tough areas.

2.4 Hybrids
A hybrid mixes direct damage and summoning to create a well balanced and varied character.

2.4 Other
One can get creative and try out an almost infinite variety of approaches to making an effective Necromancer. A few common variant’s include the Meleemancer, Bowmancer, and the not often used, Mojomancer. These types of characters are usually played by those who have allready tryed the more common character types and are mainly looking for a challenge.

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3.0 Bone skill based Necros and hybrids
3.1 PvM/PvP Bonemancer
3.2 PvP damage focused
3.3 PvM focused
3.4 Bone/Summoner hybrid
3.5 Bone/Confuse/revives
3.6 Bone Necro Stats
3.7 Bone Necro Equipment
3.8 Bone Necro Mercenaries

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3.0 Bone skill based Necros and hybrids
Bone skills provide magic damage and solid protection. Magickal damage is the least resisted element in Diablo 2. A well respected and, potentially, very powerful character against Diablo’s minions, or for use in ‘Dueling’ against other players. I’ve yet to experiment fully with the bone skill synergies and many paths might exist outside of the builds listed below.

3.1 PvM/PvP Bonemancer
This character works very well in both modes of play.

100 skillpoints into bone synergie
(teeth is usually maxed last)
2 pre-reqs

1 clay
1 g.mast
1 summon resist

1 dim
1 decrep
3 pre-reqs

That about does it for skills. You could alternately use your 3 golem points for the left-hand Ai curses. ( like confuse and attract) You’ll have to skimp on some synergies if you want to invest in skills ‘other than bone’.
I recommend the above set-up for now though as I find it highly successful.

-Good damage and almost no magic immunes enemies
-Strong bone armour protects you from like 800-1000 physical damage
-Very strong walls and prison skills for saving party members and yourself
-Decrep and Dim as the main curse are very good in parties

-Strict skill point allocation makes for limited variety
-Takes much mana to spam spells
-Won’t be complete till clvl 99

A work-in-progress Bonemage guide written by Porius exists in the single player forum. (second necro to come form the Spf.)

3.2 PvP damage focused
The title tells ya what’s comin’. The difference in this character is the omission of the clay golem and possibly even the decrep curse, so as to max bone damage skills earlier and completely for use against other players.

Poison and Bone
100 bone synergies
2 pre-reqs


1 decrep
3 pre-reqs
Or none see below.

Not much different from the first lay-out but those 3 points will make your damage higher. A way to save the four points from curses to further up your damage sooner would be to use the runeword White in a wand with decrep. This is a reasonable choice as white wand is among the best PvP wands in d2. The other choice would be to omit curses altogether but is not recommended. Here is a link to a “bone only†playthrough, by Thanatosia, if your interested..

-Higher damage earlier on and lethal in PvP

-No golem friend

Also, soullesschild, Dii member who duels in clan Honor, has recently worked out a full fledged 1.10 necromancer dueling guide.I recommend you take a look if you plan to duel other chars useing the necromancer.

3.3 PvM focused
This necro is quite fun for me. Strong offense/defense and a variety in play make for a fun character. Not as strong as bone only but still able to solo effectively in most cases due to revives being nearly unstoppable.

Poison and Bone
60-100 Bone synergies
2 pre-reqs

1-20 skeleton mastery
1-20 revives
1-5 clay
1-5 g.mast
1-5 summon resist
4 pre-reqs


1-20 g.mast
1-20 your chosen golem
1-5 summon resist
1-5 skel. mast
1-5 revives
4 pre-reqs

1-15 in curses
1 point in each
most likely

Lots of variety in the skill points listed here. Equipment can effect your choices but basically your going for bone damage with a strong tank(s). The best way to go would probably be like 20-30 points spread to summons and the rest into bone synergies.

When going the revive route teleport makes playing much better, as your minions aren’t too smart ands will dis-appear if you run too far away from them. Teleport can be used through an amulet or ring charges. Much better is the Armor Runeword Enigma wherein you are granted the teleport skill, as long as the armor is equiped.

-Endless tankage in walls/prison and summons
-Decent direct damage
-Fun to play and not as monotonous as bone only

-Both revives and bone spirit require lots of mana to use alot
-A lot lower direct damage than going pure bone synergies

3.4 Bone/Summoner hybrid
This is a build posted by Angst, and I’ve tested it to good effect. Angst’s guide is like a polished and refined version of the above listed PvM approach. See Angst’s Bone/Summon 1.10 build for details.

3.5 Bone/Confuse/Revives
Here’s an approach outlined by Fishgoth and focuses on bone skills while using the curse confuse and a few revives to help keep enemies busy.

3.6 Stats
Should look something like this:

Strength-60/100 (enough for equip)
Dexterity-base, enough for equip, or enough for block [see here for block info] Vitality-All you can spare
Energy-Base/50/100 depending on your equipment and playstyle.

3.7 Equipment
I’ll present three example set-ups.

A). End Game Top gear:
Helm:Shako/rare necro circlet with cast, skills and run/walk
Weapon:White runeword wand with a natural +3 bone spirit or +3 bone spear/Bone lich
Belt:Arachnid mesh
Ring1:Soj’s/Bul Kathos/decent rare
Ring2:Soj’s/Raven/decent rare
Boots:Marrowwalk [Strat comp link to Chapter 2 bug info]Nat’s, Aldur’s
Charms:10 poison and bone 1 annihlus, or resist, life, mana, fast run/walk charms.

That was geared towards max bonespell damage.

B.Mid Grade Reasonable:
Helm: Peasant Crown/Lower end rare circlet
Armor: BSkin of the Vipermagi
Weapon: White wand with less than +3 spear/spirit/wizardspike/suicide branch
Sheild: Rhyme runeword (shael+eth) necro sheild with +skills bonus
Belt: Decent crafted caster belt (really variable here actually)
Gloves: Magefists/Trang’s
Ring1: Rare/Unique/Crafted ring with good resists and fast cast with mana bonuses
Ring2: Same
Boots: Rare/Crafted/Unique with good run/walk, resists.
Charms: Same but without all the skillers and annihlus.

A reasonable set-up most casual b.net players can accomplish.

C. Low-Grade
Helm: Lore runeword helm (ort+sol)
Armor: Stealth runeword (Tal+Eth)
Weapon: Any Fast cast and plus to bone skills wand
Sheild: Magic/Rare Necro head with +skills or a Rhyme runeword sheild.(shael+eth)
Belt: Magic/Rare/Unique with resists,or a crafted caster belt.
Gloves: Whatever works..fast cast and resists is nice if you can find it.
Ring1: An acceptable Magic/Rare/Unique/Crafted ring with resists, fast casts and mana.
Ring2: Same
Boots: Magic/Rare/Unique/Crafted with acceptable resists and run/walk.
Charms:Whatever you can get that helps.

Even w/o good stuff you still have decent nearly unresistable magic attacks…not so bad.

Take the above simply as advice. There are many different ways to equip your necro depending on a variety of purposes, goals and environments. Like if you play on realm, pvp, pvm, party or solo or both, untwinked, hc etc.

3.8 Mercenary
A mercenary is not as much a part of a bone necro’s build as much as say a summoner but by using one you can improve your offense/defense. My current bone necro uses a cold Rogue mainly because I chose not to invest in any curses besides decrep and it’s pre-reqs meaning I have no lifetap to aid in helping my mercenary stay alive. Some bonemages might prefer to have a tanking merc. You should go with whatever merc you feel like here really.

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4.0 Poison based Necros and hybrids
4.1 Poison/revives/skele
4.2 Poison/curses/c.e.
4.3 Poison/wall/prison or spirit
4.4 Poison/skeleton
4.5 Poison/Trang’s fire
4.6 Poisondagger necro
4.7 Poison Necro Stats
4.8 Poison Necro Equipment
4.9 Poison Necro Mercenaries

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4.0 Poison based Necros and hybrids
With only 60 skill points needed to max out your poison skills you’ll have some leeway with with the rest of your skill points. Below are a few effective skill point plans I’ve put to good use.

4.1 Poison/Revives/skele
From all I know about poison in 1.10 this set-up will be the most reasonable. It allows for the maxing of your poison synergies and provides a mass of tanks for protestion and secondary damage.

Poison and Bone
60 To poison skills
2 pre-reqs

20 skel mast
1-3 raise
1-3 mage
10 revives
2-5 clay golem
2-5 golem mastery
2-5 summon resist

1 to all curses
10 total

Lots of variety in placement here. Like Angst’s Bone/Summoner but with poison, instead of bone, basically. The variable points listed into summons will depend, basically, on your +skills from gear. Skeleton warriors are simply meat shields in this build and would require upwards of ten skill adders to do any sort of noticeable damage. Mages,the same, but cold damage can be very helpful in the slowing of enemies.

-Strong offensive spells
-Strong minions in revives
-lots of meatsheilds which helps keep enemies busy while you poison them good
-Minions can provide secondary damage

-Revives are not smart and might not always protect you or tank enemies like you might want them to
-your skelton warriors will be weak

4.2 Poison/curses/c.e.
This necromancer makes use of the attract curse to take the heat off of himself while he lower resists em’ and applies his sweet, sweet poison. It’s not even half as safe as other minion based builds but is definetly more of a challenge.

Poison and Bone
41-60 poison skills
1-10 c.e.
1 pre-req

1-5 clay
1-5 g. mast
1-5 summon resist

10 attract
10 lower resist
8 pre-reqs

That’s the basic outline. You could vary it up with bone armour/wall/prison or opt for a few revives but basically the heart of this approach is the clever use of your curses. Corpse explosion is also quite helpful here and could be pumped a little for radius.

4.3 Poison armour/wall/prison or spirit
I was optimistic that this build would be one of the best when I was first thinking out new 1.10 necromancers but have come to view it differently through testing. It is still quite a reasonable option but it’s core problem lies with only having poison as a primary attack. Without top items poison needs back-up so I now view this character as mainly melee oriented or as a party player.

Poison and Bone
50-60 poison skills
1-5 c.e.
1 Bone armour
10-20 wall
10-20 prison
3 pre-reqs

1 clay
1 g.mast
1 summon resist

1 in all curses
10 total

The original idea of this necro was to get max poison with a strong armour. Since secondary damage became an issue, though, I’ve had to add in other elements.

With a high damage dagger or weapon you’ll be dishing out high physical damage along with your poison skills and is reasonable enough to quest most of the game. I’ve added a daggermancer section below which covers that.

If you feel like being more of a caster you might try like 10-20 in bone spirit in place of either wall or prison. I highly recommend, replace wall and keep prison for bosses, if you choose this option.

The last option (and best for you character) being to use The unique boots Marrowalk for their bugged charge synergy bonus.[Future link to bug info in chapter 2]

4.4 Poison/skeleton
One of the first necro’s I had considered playing for 1.10 and when done right one of the best options. I’ve yet to find the ideal skill point set-up but this is a good start.

Poison and Bone
10-20 p.dagger
5-20 p.explosion
20 p.nova
1-5 c.e.
1 bone armour
1 pre-reqs

10-20 skele mastery
15-20 raise skelton
0-3 mages
0-5 revives
1-5 clay
1-5 g.mast
1-5 summon resit
0-1 fire golem
2 pre-reqs(if revives, or fire golem used)

1 in all curses
10 in all curses

Solid tanks, both high physical and poison damage, and his array of curses makes this necro among the best all around in 1.10.

4.5 Poison/Trang’s fire
Most Necro posion users will, eventually, have the fire skills granted by Trang ouls’s items since those same items boost poison.

4.6 Daggermancer
The poisondaggermancer is as it’s name implies. Many poisonmancers will use dagger but few will build around the skill. To build around poison dagger is not the most practical way you can take with your character but it is still powerful. I plan to make a themed character around the skill before too long myself allthough I haven’t yet worked out all of the details just yet. The staple skills being the poison synergies while all other points being placed into defensive spells and curses.

Poison and Bone
1 Bone Armour
1-20 Bone Wall
1-20 Bone Prison
1-10 c.e.
20 dagger
10-20 p.explo
10-20 nova
1-2 pre-reqs

0-10 Skel mast
0-20 Raise skel
0-20 Golem mastery
0-10 clay golem
0-20 Iron golem
0-20 fire golem
0-20 revives
0-5 summon resist
1-~5 pre-reqs

1-10 amp
1-20 dim
1-10 confuse
1-10 attract
1-20 decrep
1 lifetap
1-10 lower resist
2 pre-reqs

As you can see above there about 30 different directions you can take this Necro. A good and foreseeably challenging build with much room left to customize. I see a character with a strong bone armour high level curses, a few summons and a strong golem, as being most effective. It will take balance.

Desirable Item mods to look for are:
-slows target
-freezes target and/or cold damage
-Open wounds

With high amounts of the above mods workin’ for ya, a good level clay golem, possibly a holy freeze mercenary and a high hitpoint bone armour, most single targets will be nearly unable to hurt you and they will will die sooner or later (with poison later) if you stab them.

Note: Another option of obtaining high p.dagger damage while saving skills is to make use of the “synergy bug” whereby you would obtain the venom runeword with charges of high level poison skills (explo, nova). The charges are counted by the game as synergies to poison dagger if you don’t place points into p.explo or nova. Just like The Marrowwalk bug if your familiar. If this seems complicated, don’t worry it’s not.

4.7 Poison necro stats
Fairly flexible here as poison builds can vary considerably.

Strength-Enough for equipment
Dexterity-Enough for equipment (daggers require dex) and/or max block.
Vitality-all here
Energy-Don’t need to much, untwinked builds might like upt about 50 max points placed here though. Needs some good testing but you can easily get by with proper pot use.

4.8 Poison Necro Equipment
Lot’s of good equipment for poison builds out there. I’d gear towards; melee, caster, or melee/caster.

-Full trang’s is one of the best choices if you don’t mind the vamp look.
-Partial Trang’s is good too. The poison bonuses are very nice along with the fire skills.

A. Sample end-game Poison based necromancer set-up:
Helm: Shako, Crown of ages when clvl 83
Ammy: Mara’s
Armor: Bramble +50% to poison skill damage
Primary weapon: Death’s web (note: It has been said that this item is among the rarest in the game. Not confirmed but could be true.)
Secondary weapon: Blackbog’s
Sheild: Trang’ oul’s wing
Belt: Trang’s girth
Ring1: Soj/good rare or crafted with fast cast, mana and/or good resists
Ring2: Bulkatho’s/good rare or crafted
Gloves: Trang’s gloves
Boots: Marrow’s/aldur’s/nat’s/waterwalk’s

Sockets: resists, -req, life, rainbow facets poison jewels
Charms: Annihlus, resists, skills(bone skill charms), fhr, life and mana.

Now with this set-up you get:
-Trang’s partial set bonus -25% enemy poison resistance
– -75% enemie poison resist overall
– +75% poison skill damage
– +13 base skills from equip, more with charms
– The marrowalk bone armour bonus
-Cannot be frozen
-10% damage resistance with shako, 15% with crown
-25% fast cast
-65% mana regeneration
-50% fast hit recovery

Pretty darn good don’t ya think?

Note: An endgame PoisonDagger necro’s equip would look a good deal different, as melee has many different concerns that casters don’t deal with.

B.Midgrade Equipment
Helm: Decent rare circlet, Peasant crown or many various uniques
Ammy: Rare necro skills ammy with resists and mana or a good rare/crafted unique
Armor: Skin Of The Vipermagi for a caster, Duriel’s shell for melee, rare/uniuqe/crafted or a runeworded Armor (High defense Stealth)
Weapons: Blackbog’s, Spineripper, or a good skills wand
Sheild: Humonculous, Rhyme with skills, good rare
Belt: Whatever works for ya, crafted caster be good
Ring1: Good rare/crafted ring with desirable mods (cast, and mana or ar and leach)
Ring2: same
Gloves: Trang’s Oul’s gloves
Boots: Good rare/crafted/unique fast run, resists, fast hit recovery
Charms: Whatever your equip is lacking
Sockets: same as charms

With a poisonmancer +skills and Trang set peices (for poison skills bonuses) are what you’re after most. Other than that you can pretty much use whatever you find useful.

Basically whatever you can find. Think runewords and items from the vendors to acheive plus skills, good resists, some fast hit recovery, mana, mana regeration and life.

4.9 Poison based Necro Mercenaries
A merc can be of great help to any and all of the various poison necro builds out there. Alot depends on your playstyle and charcater needs though. A poison summoner would want to boost his minions. A daggermancer would want safety as would a low, to no minion poison necro. Some others might prefer a ranged merc.

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5.0 Summoning based Necromancers
5.1 The Overlord
5.2 Skelemancer
5.3 Maximum summons
5.4 Melee/Summoner
5.5 Lord of mages
5.6 Variant summoners
5.7 Summoner Stats
5.8 Summoner Equipment
5.9 Summoner Mercenaries

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5.0 Summoning Based Necromancers
Ahh Necromancers can finally claim their name and effectively take on the Prime evils with all of they’re summons able to handle most any creature they run into. The only problem with a necro’s minions new power being the spectator factor. Meaning that with really powerful minions you might just be standin’ around not doing anything while the game plays itself, which probably was the reason why summons weren’t originally created as they are now in the first place. Through my playing, though, a good summoner will keep his minions and merc happy with curses and c.e. support. More fun and faster that way.

Necros are now pretty good for item hunting as well. You could run around w/o equipment and be relatively safe and kill well, so you can stack % magic find and let your minions dig up the goods. Mug the evil minions so to speak. The 1.10 necro has made magic finding fun for me.

5.1 The Overlord
The name Overlord is a throw back from pre 1.10 days. The creator of the original, Poison_Trooper, has recently revised his Ovelord build for 1.10.

You could of course invest in Fire or blood golem, in place of either of the other two. Blood is not recommended unless your playing some kind of themed build.

-You’ll have an army of minions
-Those minions will take out the enemy
-With the Iron Golem/curses you can probably get a corpse to start off your summons even without a mercenary
-You should be safe from most danger behind your summoned creatures

-You won’t have any direct damage outside of c.e.
-C.e. requires a corpse
-Act bosses in normal are pretty hard
-If your army falls and there aren’t bodies around then you’ll have to start all over
-In multiplay you might get blamed for lag.

5.2 Skelemancer
Lots of these types of characters inhabit b.net nowadays, it seems, and for good reason too, as they can be powerful and safe to play. This type of Necro focuses on maximizing his skeleton warriors power. He forgoes mages and almost invariably makes use of the act2 offensive might mercenary. Dii member Nightfish has posted a guide to the skelemancer.

5.3 Maximum summons
You could go all out with your summoning power and go for maximum amount of summons. It is a very fun way to go and keeps ya busy because keeping upwards of 20 revives take some attention to maintain.

Poison and bone
1 bone armour
1 wall
1 prison (if no marrows)
1-10 c.e.

20 skel mast
20 raise skel
20 skel mage
1-10 to a golem
1-10 g.mast
20 revives

1 to all
1-5 for a few of em maybe

Using this many summons is best done with teleport, and requires lots of mana, for revives, but can be well worth it. Better for a cable connection or single player.

5.4 Melee/Summoner
This character type is one of the most fun to play but is hard to make work right without some really good gear. Aura giving items such as the Runeword Beast makes melee more effective. I recommend you take a look at Thekbob’s Comandomancer write-up here. The Commando-Mancer Guide

5.5 Lord of Mages
Amother “Throw-back” from 1.09, like the overlord, which has been much changed in the recent patch. Now more of a “themed” build rather than mainstream. I’d like to level one someday. The basic idea is to load up with as many mages as you can get, then lower resist your enemies and watch em fall. It was said to of worked well in 1.09 but monsters in 1.10 are much faster and hit much harder so a solid defensive plan should be necesary to get the job done. I imagine a holy freeze mercenary/clay golem combo should do ok. Not many set-builds have been presented for this type of summoner but most would look something like this:

Bone and Poison
0-20 dagger
0-20 p.explo
0-20 Nova

20 skel mast
1-20 raise warriors
20 mages
1-10 clay
1-20 g.mast
1-20 iron golem
0-20 fire golem
0-10 revives

1 to all except
1-10 lower rsist
1-10 dim
1-10 confuse
1-10 attract

Ya I know..not very specific overall, but some builds are like that. You have a framework from which to make a semi-unique character from though. I think I’m personally going to try to go with a few revives and some poison skills to back-up and protect my mages.

5.6 Summoner variant’s
One could experiment quite a bit with all the different summons and other necro skills to strike a balance far outside of what I’ve listed above. These are all just guidelines to what’s been shown to work so far.

5.6 Summoner stats
A summoner’s stats, like all characters will have alot to do with equipment and playstyle. Basic summoners though don’t to worry about anything accept enough strength to wear equipment and the rest can go into vitality. Mana will be tight at times and a mild investmest into energy certainly won’t cripple your character. You can just use pots though…

5.7 Summoner equipment
A summoner benefits from +skills gear the most. Besides that you are free to wear almost what ever you like. Magic find stuff is good. Outside of that desirable mods to look for are mana regen, life, mana, resists of course and maybe an aura runeword. Here’s some example set-ups:

[to be added]

5.8 Summoners mercenaries
Might (Act2 offensive merc) for Skelemancers
[More to be added]

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6.0 Unconventional Builds
6.1 Meleemancer
6.2 Bowmancer
6.3 Mojomancer
6.4 Themed builds

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6.0 Unconventional Builds
Say you want to use a bow but don’t want to play an amazon. Or say you think a sword looks looks better in the hands of a necromancer thana Barbarian. You could do anything you want with your character. These types of characters are often quite challenging and allow you a different perspective on familiar challenges within the game.

6.1 Meleemancer
The first guide I read was one written for the meleemancer. It was great and written well. Showed how a character without melee skills could melee the entire game. I’d recomend you take a look if your interested in making a meleemancer allthough ALOT has changed. I’ve heard word of a new meleemancer guide in the works, by Mad Mantis.

As it is now I’d recommend one invests in the bone armour synergies, decrepify, c.e., poison dagger, and possibly some summoning skills. Your main issues will be attack rating, attack speed, getting good damage and acheiving acceptable fast hit recovery. Good luck.

6.2 Bowmancer
A popular variant in 1.09, this type of necro would make use of the item mod crushing blow (takes off a percentage, 1/4-1/10, of enemy life per ‘blow’) along with the always hitting explosions of explosive arrow bows/xbows (kuko, and demon machine) among other things, and then would finish off most enemies with a high level c.e.

The new patch has somewhat nerfed this old build though. No more crushing blow on exploding arrow blast radius and no more bugged poison stacking. From my tests one could still make this type of character useful. Just don’t expect him to kill to quickly all of the time. Here’s a look at the classic build:

Poison and Bone
1 armour
1-20 c.e.
1-20 prison

20 g.mast
20 iron golem

Not sure here actually…I guess decrep could get a few and maybe maxed eventually..1 to all curses though besides that would probrably be safe.

This was the way it was before. A build with skeletons might be more practical now. I didn’t have much luck in my tests but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Definetly worth mentioning I think.

6.3 Mojomancer
What is a mojomancer? It has a cool name..who came up with the name? I don’t know but I’d like to. If you haven’t already guessed or don’t know a Mojomancer invests heavily into curse…and then uses tem in a variety if ways. I know of three main types/uses for this type of necro.

1.Team support dueling and PvM
2.Themed PvM character whereby you support a mercenary with curses. 3. Hybrid mojo who uses golem and corpse, Iron maiden, attract and corpse explosive. (My own little invention)

None of the above are exactly practical but all can be fun.

6.4 Themed Characters
You may choose to “theme†your build. Either with items maybe [Invictus_Prime’s builds] or possibly with a story. [Mongo’s Maldar] Your allowed to fun. Just do so in safety.:cool:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[This section to be added]

7.0 Advanced Topics
7.1 Frames per second (fps)
7.2 Breakpoints
7.3 Fast Hit recovery
7.4 Fast cast rate
7.5 Imbue/Socket quest
7.6 Shopping/Gambling
7.7 Crafting/Cubing
7.8 Magic finding specifics

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7.0 Advanced Topics
[To be added]

The section of things that deserve an extra section.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Appendixe I: Item lists

Appendixe II: Game abreviations

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Appendixe I

A. Bone build item list
Bone necros need fast cast and +skills first and fast hit recovery and resists second (kinda)

Crown of ages-Best helm in game overall
Rare circlet-would be the absolute as they can get +3 necro skills.
Harlequinn Shako-Second best unique helm, overall, in game.
Lore runeword-cheapest and still pretty good.
Peasant crown-my favorite.
Trang’s-pretty good.
Various set peices and uniques-nat’s, wormskull.
Anything with plus to skills helps, of course.
Resists, life, mana are great bonuses to have.

Stealth runeword-cheapest and very good.
Vipermagi-resists, skills; good.
Que hagen’s-nice.
Ghost shroud-+ skill and cannot be frozen.

Whited wand-best for skills
Bone shade-the new wand, second only to a good white
Wizzard spike-nice all around but no +skills
Suicide branch-One of my fravorite weapons, skills, fast cast resists mana life.
Various others can work well, you could even do well with plain shopped wands

Humonculous-The best necro sheild overall
Trang’s-Pretty good
Boneflame-My favorite because of the run/walk bonus. New in 1.10
Darkforce Spawn-Has fast cast, good sheild
Found heads-can be nice
Rhymed head-good bonuses, and skill’s
All the unique necro sheilds are great
Lidless-can work out

Lots of choices…
Arachnid Mesh-The best
Trang’s-great overall
IK belt-resists
Crenendum-Orphan’s set belt I think..resists
Crafted caster-would probrally end up being the best, second only to Arachnid

Trang’s-cast, resist, curses skill bonus
Magefist-cast, mana regen
Frostburns-huge mana boost
Various rares/uniques/crafted-Get run/walk, resists, and fast hit recovery

Marrowwalk’s-For bugged armor/damage bonus
Aldur’s-res, life, r/w
Nat’s-resists, r/w
Waterwalk’s-mana, life, run walk’s
Silkweaves-mana, r/w
Good old Sanders-cheap easy to get and pretty good
Various rares

Jewelry-Look for skills, resists, fast cast, and anything else your char might need
Charms-fast hit recovery, fast run/walk, resists, man, life.

B. Poisonmancer item list
So your interested in equipping a poisonmancer…..I’d go melee, meleecaster, or pure caster when considering equipment.

Caster oriented:

Crown of ages-best overall
Shako-Can’t beat the bonuses here second only to crown
Rare circlet-Potentially the ideal choice, with fast cast, run/walk, and +skills
Undead crown[/B]-acceptable inexpensive alternative, when using skeletons.
Lore-fairly cheap runeword with +1 skill and lightning resist

Rare/crafted ammy-Gives + necro skills, resists etc.
Mara’s-just about the best unique ammy most of the time
Various others can work

Bramble-Gives +25-50% poison skills, thorns and resists
Enigma-Best overall, but second to Bramble for this build
Vipermagi-for casters, has resists
Quehagen-for casters better def than magi but lacks resist
Stealth-cheap but good

Trang’s– best, used to get the 3 peice partial bonus among it’s own bonuses
Arachnid mesh-the best uniqqe for casters
Crafted caster-can be nice

Bul kathos-skills, life
Raven frost-dex, ar, cold absord
Rare ring-ar, mana, fast cast, leach, resists
Various others, when the time calls for them.


Deaths Web-But you didn’t need me to tell you that…
Blackbog’s sharp-Mega plus skills and 50% slow mod (if you stab em). About the best poison mage weapon out there, second only to Web.
Wizzard spike-If your not concerned about physical damage, or +skills that much then you could stab enemies with your spike. Good bonuses.
Spectral shard-poor man’s wizz but it’s nice enough.

White runeword-find one with the right skills and this could be the way to go
Leorics arm-Best unique to boost skeles and poison skills at the same time.
Cairn shard-can’t remeber the attributes but it’s a summoners wand
Rare-you could find a good one
Suicide branch-Not that helpful here but it’s one of my favorite weapons in the game

Marrowwalk’s-most of the time these will be the your best choice for high level necros using skeletons. Also good for the synergie bonus. High strength requirement though.
Nat’s-I like the resists
Aldur’s-again for the resists
Waterwalk’s-life and mana
Rares-could get a good pair

I’d fill in the blanks(that is resists, fast hit recovery, fast run/walk, attack speed, damage, AR, stats, and mf) with socketables and charms.

Good melee alternatives:

Crown of ages-I guess it’s obvious why…
Giant skull– Second only to crown, comeswith 2 sockets
Vampire gaze-great for melee
Blackthorn-good for melee, slows enemies
Guiliames-if you want some crushing blow

Metalgrid-gives resist and Ar if you need it
Highlord’s-cool name, critical strike, ias and light res
Cat’s eye-dex, run/walk,ias and def I think
Rare/Crafted-comes with skills and other good stuff

Chains of honor-Excellent melee alternative with +skills and resists
Shaft stop-physical damage reduction
Lionheart-runeword with lots o good melee bent bonuses
Duriel’s shell-resists, cannot be frozen, life and defense

Fleshripper-Best melee dagger out there
Ghost flame-second only to flesh
Blackbog’s sharp-Mega plus skills and 50% slow mod, work very well for melee as well. Upgrade for a little more melee damage
Spineripper-good and better with upgrade
Rare daggers and runewords-could score some nice daggers this way

Trang’s wing-almost unbeatable bonuses for this build
Stormsheild-If your facing tough opponents
Headhunter’s glory-Cause you can socket it, with good jewels.
Humonculous-Best overall necro sheild there is.

Trang’s-for the poison damage bonus of course
Other-Increased attack speed is good if you don’t have trang’s…look for that.

Gore riders-Melee bonuses
War travellers-damage and mf can be nice
Rare-look for fhr, r/w, mf and resists

A melee caster character would go for a mixture of these gears.
I’d fill in the blanks (that is resists, fast hit recovery, fast run/walk, attack speed, damage, AR, stats, and mf) with socketables and charms.

C. Summoning Item list

[To be added]

Appendixe II

A. Game abreviations[Courtesy of the Abasin]

AR: Attack Rating.
BA: Blessed Aim. A Paladin offensive aura. Act2 offenisve mercs when hired in normal, also have this aura.
B.net (Bnet): Battle Net. Blizzard’s game server for Diablo II.
CBF: Cannot be frozen.
CB: Crushing Blow.
Char: Character.
clvl: Character Level
CTH: Chance to Hit.
Cube: he Horadric Cube.
D2: Diablo II.
D2M: Damage to Mana.
dii: dii.net. This site.
Def: Defense.
Dmg: Damage.
DR (DR%): Damage Reduced. Items with this mod reduce physical damage.
DS: Deadly Strike.
ED: Enhanced Damage. A mod that increases physical damage.
ED/IAS: Enhanced Damage/IAS. Typically refers to a rare combination of mods on a jewel
ENE: Energy.
EXP: Experience.
FBR: Faster block rate.
FI: Fire Immune.
fps: Frames per second.
FRW: Faster Run/Walk.
gc: Grand charm.
Harley: Harlequin Crest Elite Unique Shako.
hc: Hard Core.
HCMTF: Hit Causes Monster to Flee.
HF: Holy Freeze. A Paladin offensive aura to chill enemies.
HP: Hit Points.
IAS: Increased Attack Speed.
ITD: Ignore Target Defense.
KB: Knockback.
lc: Large charm.
LE: Lightning Enchanted.
LEB: Lightning Enchanted Boss.
LEM: Lightning Enchanted monster
LL: Life Leech.
LoD: Lord of Destruction. The Diablo II expansion.
LR: Lightning resistance.
MB: Mana Burn.
MDR: Magic Damage Reduced. Items with this mod reduce magical damage
Meph: Mephisto. Act 3 super unique monster Act boss
Merc: Mercenary.
MF: Magic Find.
MI: Magic Immune.
ML: Mana Leech.
mlvl: Monster Level.
Mod: Modifier. Adds a characteristic to an item such as a weapon or charm.
MP: Multi-Player.
MPK: Mana per kill.
MR: Magic Resistant.
MSLE (MSLEB): =Multi-Shot Lightning Enchanted.
Mule: Either meaning a created character amde to hold items, or ‘to mule’ as in to save items for later use.
Nerf: Term used to mean “to make ineffectiveâ€. Think of those “nerfed†therapy bats
newb: Newbie
NM: Nightmare. The second level of difficulty in Diablo II.
PvM: Player versus Monster.
PvP: Player versus Player.
sc: Soft core.
Shako: Harlequin unique shako helm or elite cap
Slow: Slows Target. Item mod that slows enemies.
slvl: Skill Level.
SP: Single Player. Usually refers to single-player mode of Diablo II.
TP: Town Portal.
Transfer: To move items between characters
Twink(ing): The act of trnsfering goods to a character
VIT: Vitality.
WP: Waypoint.

The end For now]

I wish to thank Blizzard for creating the game, the patchers for their hard work in ‘fixing the Necro class, the dii.net admin team for providing us with a worldwide community forum, the posters of dii.net for their insights, assistance and efforts; specifically Dark Knight, Drachasor, Starcrunch, Angst, Mad Mantis, Thekbob, Nightfish, Poison_Trooper, Joxx, soulesschild, Thanotosia, Fishgoth, Porious, Daurogon, Necrochild313, Patsy, Ash Housewares, Invictus_Prime, the_Alphabetman and all the regulars and contributors to the Necromancer forum.


Chapter 2

Necromancer Synergy guide
By: Dark Knight

Originally Posted by Dictionary.com
Synergy = The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

This guide has been created for the purpose of collating all synergy information for the Necromancer class that could be useful in designing your Necromancer build. A lot of this information has been assembled from discussion threads from the Necromancer forum, and as such I wish to fully share credit for this work with the people who have been most informative such as; alainpp66, GenXCub for his excellent calculations, and beatboxer for general comments.

First we will look at a reference table of the specific synergies. A syngery is the effect one skill can have to another. Specifically, the more points in the skills, the greater the synergy effect. Synergies were not present in the game before the 1.10 patch. This guide is written for Lord of Destruction (expansion) players, as opposed to classic.

Skills affected have been displayed in bold text.


Bone Synergies:

Teeth Receives Bonuses From:
Bone Wall: +15% Magic Damage Per Level
Bone Spear: +15% Magic Damage Per Level
Bone Prison: +15% Magic Damage Per Level
Bone Spirit: +15% Magic Damage Per Level

Bone Armor Receives Bonuses From:
Bone Wall: +15 Damage Absorbed Per Level
Bone Prison: +15 Damage Absorbed Per Level

Bone Wall Receives Bonuses From:
Bone Armor: +10% Life Per Level
Bone Prison: +10% Life Per Level

Bone Spear Receives Bonuses From:
Teeth: +7% Magic Damage Per Level
Bone Wall: +7% Magic Damage Per Level
Bone Prison: +7% Magic Damage Per Level
Bone Spirit: +7% Magic Damage Per Level

Bone Prison Receives Bonuses From:
Bone Armor: +8% Life Per Level
Bone Wall: +8% Life Per Level

Bone Spirit Receives Bonuses From:
Teeth: +6% Magic Damage Per Level
Bone Wall: +6% Magic Damage Per Level
Bone Spear: +6% Magic Damage Per Level
Bone Prison: +6% Magic Damage Per Level

Poison Synergies

Poison Dagger Receives Bonuses From:
Poison Explosion: +20% Poison Damage Per Level
Poison Nova: +20% Poison Damage Per Level

Poison Explosion Receives Bonuses From:
Poison Dagger: +15% Poison Damage Per Level
Poison Nova: +15% Poison Damage Per Level

Poison Nova Receives Bonuses From:
Poison Dagger: +10% Poison Damage Per Level
Poison Explosion: +10% Poison Damage Per Level

Golem Synergies

Clay Golem Receives Bonuses From
Blood Golem: +5% Life Per Level
Iron Golem: +35 Defense Per Level
Fire Golem: +6% Damage Per Level

Blood Golem Receives Bonuses From:
Clay Golem: +20 Attack Rating Per Level
Iron Golem: +35% Defense Per Level
Fire Golem: +6% Damage Per Level

Iron Golem Receives Bonuses From:
Clay Golem: +20 Attack Rating Per Level
Blood Golem: +5% Life Per Level
Fire Golem: +6% Damage Per Level

Fire Golem Receives Bonuses From:
Clay Golem: +20 Attack Rating Per Level
Blood Golem: +5% Life Per Level
Iron Golem: +35% Defense Per Level


All Summons receive the same bonuses they previously had from summon resists, golem mastery and skeleton Mastery. However skeletons have generally been made more powerful in 1.10

Bone synergies in more depth:

The big question for the damage increase /absorb synergies is are you better off just maxing the individual skill, or bothering with synergies. The important thing to know here is what are the optimum synergy bonuses for a specific skill. This of course differs for every skill. However using bone armour as an example, we see that it it better to just put 6 skill points into it than use synergies, however at level 6 you can increase it more by putting points into bone wall, or prison (utilising the synergy).

A good rule of thumb is to put most points into the skill, but always take advantage of the synergy with one or two other points. You will see in the example above a big difference in damage absorbed between no synergies, and a couple of points into it! There are however some tricks/exceptions. For example:
Originally Posted by panzooka2003

If i have 20 skills to optimise my bone armour, I will go for
1 in bone armour = 20 abosrb
19 in bone wall = 285 absorb
20 + 285 = 305

Also less mana cost for bone armour, bone wall and bone prison is synergy for bone spirit and bone spear too, bone armour is not synergy for bone spear and bone spirit. If you are not using bone spear or bone spirit, one more skill to use its nice too, bone prison can trap monsters good for dealing monsters one by one if they are tough.

I believe all the Necromancer’s skills have uses, and there are no totally redundant skills (okay except Teeth!), so getting a point into everything isn’t a waste.

The main build type interested in bone synergies is the PvP build, which utilises Bone Spirit as the main attack. Back in 1.09 some people liked to use bone spear as a rapid fire weakening weapon, and the bone spirit as the main attack. This is encouraged through the synergies and many PvP Necro’s will now max out Bone spirit and bone spear to pump the direct damage, without wasting points into skills that have no PvP use. You may however need to sacrifice the power of your poison nova to do this.

Golem synergies in more depth:

The most beneficial synergy the golems seem to have is arguably their life synergy courtesy of the blood golem. This is because the main usage of golems tend to be as a punchbag. Extra direct damage is useful, but golems notoriously have a low base damage to start with. Many people like to use thorns mercaneries with their golems, or an iron golem to inflict thorns damage as it is a very effective way of using golems (and other summons).

The question is how to balance the synergies in an optimum way for each golem user.

The iron golem user needs only to be concerned with the blood golem life synergy, and pumping Iron golem for the thorns damage. 10 points in golem mastery can also particularly help with the golem life, but it is a case of checking at each level to see whether the synergy level will be more beneficial than golem mastery. Remember, +skill items do not increase synergy bonuses so you are better off boosting golem mastery with ‘+ to skills’ items, and pumping blood golem, than vice versa.

Clay golems are mostly used to distract bosses and other nasty monsters that rip through golems quickly, without wasting the mana of recasting of Fire golem, or the danger to your own life bar of the blood, or the need for an item each time (Iron). The ‘slow’ property they inflict on others when they hit is useful, but synergys should not really be maxed for the clay golem – it should just take advantage of the synergy bonus whatever higher level golem you decide to invest in.

Note: The clay golem has a bug somewhere – a multiplier instead of an addition, so putting points into it (and golem mastery) result in disproportionate life bonuses. If you wish to take advantage of this bug and make a super-life clay golem, then ignore the blood golem life synergy – as it will only add a tiny amount of life in comparison.

Most useful to the blood golem user is a higher defense (Iron golem synergy).

The fire golem has a lot of life, and best makes use of points into itself, golem mastery, and defense.

The attack rating bonus granted by the clay golem may be noticeable early on, but it is not worth putting multiple points into clay golem for.


Will I get different synergy statistics depending on the order of investment? – No, you can use the skill points in in any order.

Do ‘+ skills’ items boost synergies? – No, synergies only occur when you directly spend points. However the ‘+skills’ effect will boost damage / have its usual 1.09 effect. The game remembers your base level skills, and uses these figures for synergy calculation.

Can heavily boosted teeth kill in hell?
Yes… Very slowly.

My golem seems to have a different amount of life?!
Remember golem hit points scale with difficulty.

What are absolutely optimum synergies for everything: – We are not sure yet! It would totally depend on your build, and ‘optimum’ skill placement regarding synergies will take quite a bit of calculating. Ask in the Necromancer forum for specific build advice and see what most people advise.

Note:Marrowwalk boots!
-by Beatboxer

On the subject of optimum synergies;
As it is now, the only possible way to acheive maximum bone synergies, that is armor, or the damage spells, one must make use of the new unique boots Marrowwalk to acheive maximum damage/armor life. Maximum damage may not equal “optimum” synergies but it stands as the only method of acheiving the highest most levels.
Why the only way? Because, from my tests, a necro wearing walk’s(w/o prison points) gets a higher damage than a necro with max to all bone spells due to lvl of prison charges on the boots(33) being higher than that acheiveable with actual skill point investment (20)…the downside? You only have 13 charges of an unsynergized(?) prison to work with, if at all. [ Ed’s note: You get this vast and bugged synergy bonus if and only if you have NO actual points invested in prison. ]

There is a line in the patch read-me which mentions synergies and charge granted skills:

“Items that grant skills bestow a lower skill level to those character classes who natively have the skill in their skill tree. Note that Charged items receive synergy and mastery bonuses, but don’t receive bonuses by assigning extra points to the skill.”

It is not really say that marrow’s should do what they do but raises an eyebrow and leaves one to think that maybe, Blizzard had intended have this effectThis bug/feature works with all classes and all charged skills, not just marrow’s.

It has not yet been confirmed either way, officially , by Blizzard but is generally thought to be a bug.:)

More on Golems
-(by Beatboxer)

Clay golem gets a crazy life bonus.

With a skill level of 21/21 for all golems and mastery (with skill adders not placed points):

Golem life

I find this strange but it’s true. It’s gets further ridiculous at higher levels. Check out these numbers.

(Skill points 40/40/40/40, Clay, golem mastery, Blood, Fire):

Golem’s life
Clay-40,287 [Ed’s note: !!] Blood-5,740

The strange part about clay is that his incredible life is not dependent upon synergies. It’s just his natural bonus.
This ‘little’ benefit is also considered to be bugged at this time but no official word from Blizzard has been heard from my knowledge.

A small note about fire golem: at skill level 40 his fire damage breaks 1000 and his holy fire does over 100. Skill level 20 is about half that. With lower resist in play a high level Firegolem can actually down an enemy or two down on his own.

Chapter 3

Curse Review

Location: PA

What follows is a detailed review of the curses where Slvl refers to the skill level of the curse in question, please comment on the correctness of the descriptions and anyone who feels like checking my formulas by all means do as most are derived from my understanding of the game mechanics and may not be correct. Hope this contributes to everyone’s understanding and helps people pick the right curses for a situation. I would also like to hear opinions on whether the info would be better without the formulas, also if you are interested in other calculations with curses let me know what I missed. This is info I have learned from reading other posts and playing the game, most of the formulas are simply mathematical codifications of lengthy descriptions. You may notice that there are a few places where I do not know things and if someone does it would really help, here is a short list of things I could not find:
Exactly how slow effects stack with decrepify?
Interaction of Iron Maiden and Bone Armor when you have damage reduce equipment (what I really need to know is how damage reducing equipment interacts with Bone Armor).
Does LR still increase the length of time poison effects an enemy?
How Cold Mastery interacts with Lower Resist.

Amplify Damage –
Level Available: 1
Mana Cost: 4
Radius: 2 + 2(Slvl – 1)/3 yards
Duration: 5 + 3(Slvl) sec
Prerequisites: None
Description: Lowers an enemy’s physical resistance by 100% at all levels. Thus the general damage calculation for this curse uses the formula (supposing monster is not physically immune):

Damage = (DD)(200 – EPR)/100

Where DD is the physical damage done and EPR (not electron paramagnetic resonance) is the enemy’s physical resistance. This means that a monster with 0% physical resist will then have –100% physical resist thus doubling the physical damage the monster takes. If the monster has 50% physical resistance then when this curse is applied the monster will have –50% physical resist. This curse can be used to break physical immunity but it is reduced to 20% of its usual effectiveness making the formula:

Damage = 0.2(DD)(200 – EPR)/100

If the calculated value is negative than the immunity cannot be broken. This means that a monster with 100% physical resistance has its resistance lowered to 80% physical resist. When used in conjunction with Thorns (from a mercenary) the damage formula supposing the enemy has physical resistance lower than 100% is:

Damage Returned = (DD)(3.10 + 0.40(ThornsSlvl))(200 – EPR)/100

Where ThornsSlvl is the skill level of the Thorns.
With the Iron Golem the curse effect its thorns damage based on the following formula:

Damage Returned = (DD)(1.30 + 0.15(IGSlvl))(200 – EPR)/100

Where IGSlvl is Iron Golem Slvl and is greater than 1.
The curse stacks the following way with Might supposing the enemy’s physical resistance is lower than 100%:

Damage = (BD)(1.30 + 0.10(MightSlvl) + %ED/100)(200 – EPR)/100

Where %ED is the amount of enhanced damage from items and BD is base damage. The Damage a monster receives from corpse explosion when under this curse can be determined by the following formula (again supposing less than 100% resistance):

Damage = 0.5(CBL)(RF)((100 – EFR)/100 + (200 – EPR)/100)

Where CBL is corpse base life, and RF is a random factor between 0.6 and 0.8, and EFR is the enemy’s fire resistance. If (100 – EFR) < 0 set (100-EFR) = 0. This curse can affect all monsters and other players.
Uses: This curse is popular with any build that focuses on physical damage. It is one of two primary curses favored by Skelliemancers (the other is Decrepify). It is the best curse for most situations when using Corpse Explosion, unless the monster is physically immune, in which case Lower Resist is better (unless it is also fire immune). Almost every build will benefit from the curse in Act I normal where you commonly need to beat on thing. Amplify Damage can also be used to increase the damage that Thorns returns when using the Iron Golem or Thorns mercenary.

Level Available: 6
Mana Cost: 4
Radius: 6 + 2(Slvl – 1)/3 yards
Duration: 14 + 12(Slvl – 1)/5 sec
Prerequisites: Amplify Damage

Description: Reduces the damage that an enemy does by 33%. If a monster previously did 100 damage it now does 67 damage. Formula:

Enemy Damage = (1 – 0.33)(BD)

Where BD is the base enemy damage. This curse works on all enemies.
Uses: None after you get the superior Decrepify. Can be used early to stop hard hitting monsters like the Smith in the Act I Barracks from killing you as quickly, but really I have never needed it.

Dim Vision
Level Available: 6
Mana Cost: 9
Radius: 2 + 2(Slvl)/3 yards
Duration: 5 + 2(Slvl) sec (1/2 this in NM) (1/4 this in Hell)
Prerequisites: None

Description: Makes the enemy passive to your presence when it makes an AI decision after the curse is applied. Thus if an enemy sees you and then you apply the curse it will chase you until it is forced to make a decision like which way to go when it hits a barrier. After this point it will only attack you if you get within melee range of the enemy. Enemies under this curse will still wander around randomly and may find you by accident. In addition monsters that have special abilities will stop using them, Fallen Shaman will not resurrect their lesser kin, Hierophants won’t cast Blizzard or Lightning, and so on. This curse will not affect champions, unique monsters, Oblivion Knights, or other players. This curse will not overwrite Confuse or Attract.
Uses: The primary use of this curse is to stop ranged attackers in their tracks. They shut down immediately and wander around like lost puppies while you kill them at leisure. It can also be used to stop enemies with annoying abilities like resurrection or healing of their allies. It gets a good radius if you have a lot of points in it and you can use this to stop enemies that are off the screen from ever seeing you (though some enemies have such a large radius of awareness that they will see you before they are in range). It can also be used to stop a boss pack from chasing you while you kill the boss unmolested by his minions. This skill works less well with melee minions as they run up to the enemies and get attacked even though the enemy is under Dim Vision, but it can still be used to stop ranged attackers behind the melee pack.

Iron Maiden
Level Available: 12
Mana Cost: 5
Radius: 4.6 yards
Duration: 12 + 12(Slvl – 1)/5 sec
Prerequisites: Amplify Damage

Description: This returns physical melee damage back upon the enemy performing the attack after modifying the damage by a percentage based on your Slvl in Iron Maiden. The damage returned is physical damage and thus subject to any physical resistance that the enemy has. Damage reduction on the creature being hit also reduces the effectiveness of the curse as it returns the actual damage done to the player or creature being hit by the cursed monster. The amount of damage returned is given by the formula:

Damage Returned = (2.75 + 0.25(Slvl))(DD)

Where DD is the physical damage done.
This curse stacks with Thorns in an additive manner. Thus if you have Thorns Aura in play you get the above formula becomes:

Damage Returned = (4.85 + 0.25(Slvl) + 0.40(ThornsSlvl))(DD)

Iron Maiden does not stack with the Iron Golem. This curse applies to all players and monsters with usual PvP penalties. You can no longer use this curse in conjunction with the Blood Golem to become immortal as long as he melees.
Uses: This curse can be used when dealing with any hard-hitting enemies, though most monsters regenerate too fast if they have much life. The other place this curse can be used is soloing end act bosses (particularly Duriel). You apply the curse and then let the boss hit your golem (low level fire golem works best, you don’t want to slow them down with clay golem), when the golem dies you recast him. This is especially useful in normal when you are not quite powerful enough to kill Diablo with skeletons. You can also use this curse in conjunction with Attract and the monsters under Iron Maiden will beat themselves up on the Attracted monster (Mojomancer). This spell does not help party members and is usually frowned upon in party play. Also a Thorns Mercenary will allow for more damage return for no Slvl investment when combined with Amplify Damage.
Unconfirmed: You may be able to use Bone Armor to get better use from this skill because Bone Armor does not use damage reduction thus allowing you to reflect full damage back on the enemy (I think). This is mostly an academic question as most necromancers are not likely to want to stand in a mob getting hit just to return more damage by Iron Maiden.

Level Available: 12
Mana Cost: 7
Radius: 2.6 yards
Duration: 7 + Slvl sec
Prerequisites: Amplify Damage, Weaken

Description: Causes an enemy monster to run away at the fastest speed it can away from where the curse is cast. This does not occur until the enemy makes its first AI decision after it has been cursed. In addition this curse can be overwritten by another curse and its effect will continue until the enemy has to make another AI decision. For example if an enemy is next to you and attacking and then you cast Terror the enemy will attack once and then flee from you. If you then overwrite terror with another curse the enemy will continue running away until it hits a barrier (forcing an AI decision). If the enemy is approaching you when you curse it, the monster will reach you and then turn around and run. If a monster is unable to flee it will continue attacking even when under the Terror curse. This curse will not affect champions, unique monsters, Oblivion Knights, or other players. This curse will not overwrite Confuse or Attract, though it will cause monster attacking the Attracted monster to flee.
Uses: This curse can be used to even the odds in a fight with overwhelming numbers. It can be used to get monster to leave when they start to attack you or fragile minions like Skeleton Mages rather than your hardy Skeleton Warriors. In addition it can be used to force monster away from doorways to allow your minions to flood the next room and kill things. Terror is handy when you are trying to get your body back in SC and monsters are standing on it. This curse is also handy for traveling quickly through an area without much fighting. There is also a nice combination of Terror followed by Dim Vision once the monster start to run away. They will run until they hit an obstacle and then the Dim Vision curse kicks in and they stand around helpless. Terror can also be used to keep monster with special abilities from doing these abilities (Dim Vision is superior for this). This curse is usually considered bad manners for parties, as they are primary interested in killing things rather than being clever. The duration of this curse is not very important since even a few moments under it will have the desired effect.

Confuse –
Level Available: 18
Mana Cost: 13
Radius: 4 + 2(Slvl – 1)/3 yards
Duration: 8 + 2(Slvl) sec (1/2 this in NM) (1/4 this in Hell)
Prerequisites: Dim Vision
Description: Confuse causes monster to strike the target nearest them. They do this after they make the next AI decision after the curse is applied. If they are closer to another monster they will attack this monster, if they are closest to you they will attack you. If they are the same distance from multiple targets they seem to choose based on the following priority:
You > other monsters > golem > mercenary > other minions
Since they are usually closest to each other and prefer to kill each other they do so. They will attack other Confused monsters and non-confused monsters (different from 1.09). The above is an empirical observation and may not in fact be valid (especially the mercenary part since I use an Act II mercenary who has better range than golems). I have also noticed that when the curse is first applied monster groups sometimes reorganize themselves before they start hitting at random. This curse cannot be overwritten by Terror or Dim Vision and will not affect champions, unique monsters, Oblivion Knights, or other players.
Uses: This is a good curse for Artymancers since Lower Resist will not help them anymore. It keeps the enemy still while you beat it into submission with bone spells. It can be used with other builds but really Attract is better. This is one of the skills that a Mojomancer can use to try and kill monster. Just cover the screen and wait for things to die. This curse is one of the ways to protect minions from getting hurt by the enemy; you confuse the enemy and let your minions slaughter everything in sight. Also be wary of using this skill when piercing ranged attacks are around because you can be hit in the crossfire.

Life Tap –
Level Available: 18
Mana Cost: 9
Radius: 2 + 2(Slvl)/3 yards
Duration: 16 + 12(Slvl – 1)/5 sec
Prerequisites: Amplify Damage, Iron Maiden
Description: Melee attacks absorb 50% of the physical damage they do as life. This curse allows you to leech even against monsters that normally do not allow life leaching (like enemy skeletons). If you do 100 physical damage to an enemy you get 50 points of life. This curse does not allow any of your minions to be healed while they are under the influence of the Thorns aura and being engaged by enemy melee combatants. This curse does not suffer from a penalty in Nightmare or Hell (i.e. it is still 50%)
Uses: This is a handy curse to use to help any melee combatant that is in danger of dying. Particularly this refers to your Act II or Act V mercenary and any other melee characters in your party. It is handy when they engage a lightning enchanted or other high damage boss and need help. Let them hit once ore twice while using Life Tap and they will heal nicely then switch back to another curse such as Decrepify. In party play don’t spam this curse everywhere just keep an eye on the other players and give it to them when they need it.

Attract –
Level Available: 24
Mana Cost: 17
Radius: 6 yards
Duration: 8 + 3.6(Slvl) sec (1/2 this in NM) (1/4 this in Hell)
Prerequisites: Dim Vision, Confuse
Description: This curse targets 1 monster. Every monster within 6 yards of the cursed monster will seek to attack the cursed monster when they make their next AI decision. In addition the monster in question will target one of its former colleagues. They will stop whatever they are doing and run to that monster and try and kill it. This Curse cannot be overridden. After the curse wears off the monsters attacking the cursed monster start fighting you when they make their first AI decision.

This is important because you cannot refresh this curse until it wears off. That means that casting it on the same monster will not refresh the timer while Attract remains active. If you recast between the time the curse wears off and the monsters make an AI decision you and your minions will not be attacked and the enemies keep pummeling the attracted monster. If you apply the Attract curse to another monster within six yards of an already Attracted monster the enemies will preferentially switch targets. Ranged attackers will attempt to attack the enemy with their ranged attacks and may attempt to move further from the enemy.

This can move them outside of the six-yard radius. The monsters attacking an Attracted monster may be under another curse. If the enemy cannot reach the monster under the curse it will resume fighting you or your minions. If you Attract an enemy next to a boss sometimes the Attracted monster will attack the boss causing the boss to shift targets to the Attracted monster (there is no way to guarantee this will occur). If you Attract a monster with no enemies within six yards the affected monster will still attack other enemies from a distance. This curse cannot be applied to champions, unique monsters, Oblivion Knights, or other players. If you Attract a monster with no enemies within six yards the affected monster will still attack other enemies from a distance.

Uses: This is an excellent crowd control spell that can be used in conjunction with Lower Resist, Amplify Damage, Decrepify (Amplify Damage is better), or Iron Maiden. You use Attract to get the enemies attention and then cast the other curse over the top; since Attract is not overwritten but can overwrite any of these curses the order of casting does not matter. Then enemy attacks its friends while you, your party, and minions slaughter the cursed party. The Mojomancer primarily uses the combination with Iron Maiden. I state that Decrepify is inferior to Amplify Damage because slowing the enemy down is not useful since the enemy is not attacking you and Amplify Damage is cheaper and increases your damage output more.

Venomancers can use this curse to distract the masses while Lower Resist and Poison devour them. This curse may also be used to force enemies to attack foes with special abilities. In addition such foes will not bother resurrect the dead or heal their allies but may still use special attacks on their former allies (once they are engaged in melee this will not occur). Incidentally if you step into any of these attacks you take damage). This means Hierophants will still use Blizzard if not engaged in melee. This is one of the best curses in the game because it allows you to change the enemy AI while keeping them under a damage-increasing curse. If you use this curse with Life Tap the enemy under the Attract curse will heal itself with every attack it makes, but it is better to help a comrade than allow them to die just to stop one monster from healing itself a little bit. Against ranged attackers you can use this curse to have them focus fire on each other or in the melee group in front of them (to just take them out of the picture Dim Vision is superior). Be wary of using this skill when piercing ranged attacks are around because you can be hit in the crossfire. Can be used to keep enemies with stunning attacks from stunning your minions.

Decrepify –
Level Available: 24
Mana Cost: 11
Radius: 4 yards
Duration: 4 + 0.6(Slvl – 1) sec
Prerequisites: Amplify Damage, Weaken, Terror
Description: This curse reduces an enemies damage, attack speed, movement speed, and physical resistance by 50%. This means you take 1/4 the damage the enemy normally does (0.5 * 0.5) when it is attacking you. In addition it takes the enemy twice as long to move to you in the first place. When you attack the enemy the curse has an effect that is 1/2 as effective as amplify damage. The damage done can be calculated using this formula (assuming the enemy is not physically immune):

Damage = (DD)(150 – EPR)/100

Where EPR is the enemy’s physical resistance. The same penalty occurs with Decrepify that is seen with Amplify damage when physical immunity is encountered. So the formula is:

Damage = 0.2(DD)(150 – EPR)/100

If this value is negative than the immunity cannot be broken with Decrepify. When used in conjunction with Thorns (from a mercenary) the damage formula supposing the enemy has physical resistance lower than 100% is:

Damage Returned = (DD)(3.10 + 0.40(ThornsSlvl))(150 – EPR)/100

Where ThornsSlvl is the skill level of the Thorns.
With the Iron Golem the curse effect its thorns damage based on the following formula:

Damage Returned = (DD)(1.30 + 0.15(IGSlvl))(150 – EPR)/100

Where IGSlvl is Iron Golem Slvl and is greater than 1.
The curse stacks the following way with Might supposing the enemy’s physical resistance is lower than 100%:

Damage = (BD)(1.30 + 0.10(MightSlvl) + %ED/100)(150 – EPR)/100

Where %ED is the amount of enhanced damage from items and BD is base damage. The Damage a monster receives from corpse explosion when under this curse can be determined by the following formula (again supposing less than 100% resistance):

Damage = 0.5(CBL)(RF)((100 – EFR)/100 + (150 – EPR)/100)

Where CBL is corpse base life, and RF is a random factor between 0.6 and 0.8, and EFR is the enemy’s fire resistance. This curse can affect all monsters and other players. The curses attack speed slowing effect stacks with other slowing effects, like the Clay Golem, Holy Freeze, Cold Skeleton Mages, and Hit Slows Target modifier on some equipment. I am not sure how these stack mathematically (though other claim it is multiplicative) and have little experience with which to guess. If you know then please tell me so I can include this info. This curse can affect all monsters and other players.

Uses: This is a boss killer plain and simple. It stops a boss in its tracks, especially when pared with a Clay Golem and a Holy Freeze Act II mercenary (Time Dilation Necromancer or Slowmancer). This takes advantage of an AI bug in which Act Bosses will overwrite their current action with a new action even if they are not done with the previous action do to being slowed down. For raw damage output Amplify Damage is the better curse, and if you and your minions are not in danger you should use it (like with Attract), but Decrepify will keep everyone alive through a boss fight. The fact that the enemies damage output is reduced by 3/4 makes sure of this (in 1.09 only movement was effected but this is different in 1.10). This is not a good curse to use with Thorns for this reason. Anytime you get into a fight that is doing too much damage to your minions switch to this curse. This curse becomes more useful the further you get into HELL.

Lower Resist –
Level Available: 30
Mana Cost: 22
Radius: 4 + 2(Slvl)/3 yards
Duration: 18 + 2(Slvl) sec
Prerequisites: Amplify Damage, Weaken, Terror, Iron Maiden, Life Tap, Decrepify
Description: This curse lowers an enemy’s fire, lightning, cold, and poison resistance (henceforth referred to as elemental resistance) by an amount that depends on the Slvl. It does not effect physical or magical damage (bone spells). If you know how to use it here is the formula that is used by the game:

ERL = 25 + int[(70 – 25)*int[110*Slvl/(Slvl + 6)]/100]

Where ERL is the value by which the enemies resistance is lowered (form of the formula is courtesy of the Amazon Basin though I had to go figure out the 70 and 25 part by fitting it to the data provided in skill description). Since the formula is complicated I provide the table below to allow you to determine the amount the resistances are lowered.

Slvl 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
ERL 31 37 41 44 47 49 51 52 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 61 61 62 62 63 63

Slvl 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42
ERL 64 64 64 65 65 65 65 65 66 66 66 66 66 67 67 67 67 67 67 68

This spell increases the amount of damage that an enemy receives in the following way (supposing the enemy is not immune to the magic in question):

Damage = (DD)(100 + ERL – EER)/100

Where DD is the base elemental damage done for a given type of damage, ERL is taken from the table above, and EER is the enemies base resistance the element in question. Multiple damage types need to be calculated independently. Lower Resist suffers 80% penalties against immune monster like Decrepify and Amplify Damage. Thus the formula becomes:

Damage = 0.2(DD)(100 + ERL – EER)/100

If the value is negative then the current Slvl of Lower Resist cannot break the immunity. Poison damage gets a double benefit from this spell as it increases both the damage overtime and length of time the enemy is poisoned (is this still true?). This spell will stack additively with the Conviction Aura based on the following formula:

Damage = (DD)(125 + ERL + 5(ConSlvl) – EER)/100

Where ConSlvl is the Conviction Aura skill level. This curse may stack with Cold Mastery but I am unsure of how. The following formula shows how Lower Resist works with Corpse Explosion.

Damage = 0.5(CBL)(RF)((100 + ERL – EFR)/100 + (100 – EPR)/100)

Where CBL is corpse base life, and RF is a random factor between 0.6 and 0.8, EPR is the enemy’s physical resistance, and EFR is the enemy’s fire resistance. If (100 – EPR) < 0 set (100-EPR) = 0. This curse can affect all monsters and other players.
Uses: This curse boosts the damage output of all elemental damage and should be used when partying with a Sorceress, Elemental Druid, and other builds that do elemental damage. It is also the prime curse for Venomancers and Lords of Mages. Against physical immune monster you should use it with corpse explosion since even at Slvl it is better that Amplify Damage against these monster. In truth it should be used anytime you calculate it to do more damage than Amplify Damage for a given set of physical and fire resistances, but it would be arduous to do this for all monsters (perhaps I will figure this out in general sometime but it may be hard to convey). You should also use this skill on physical immune monsters if you have both Skeleton Mages and Skeleton Warriors.

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