Diablo 2 Guide: Necromancer Commandomancer

About the Commandomancer

This build is unique because it allows you to play as a Meleemancer and Summoner while utilizing auras found on the new Rune Word items to maximize the killing power of both you and your minions. It is my favorite build on Diablo II so far and I can assure you that playing this build does not become a routine like many of the other builds. No more hiding behind your minions. It’s time to join them in battle.

Stats

  • Strength: You want to invest a minimal amount of Strength points. Take your “heaviest†item, and subtract from it the total amount of +Strength points you get from your gear.
    Example: Your “heaviest†item is a helm that requires 100 Strength points. You already get +20 Strength points from your gloves and your belt. Thus, you will only have to get your strength to 80 to wear the helm.
    Warning: Beware of the strength bug. If you switch your item setup, be sure to change your Strength points accordingly so that your body does not pop if you die. You should hold off on the Lam Esen’s Tome Quest in Act III so that you have backup stat points.
  • Dexterity: Enough for max block (75%) with your shield with all endgame gear on.
  • Vitality: All the points that don’t go into Strength and Dexterity go here.
  • Energy: No points here. If you run out of mana while summoning your army, drink a mana potion. You can also make use of mana leech.

Skills

Summoning Spells

  • Skeleton Mastery (Max):
    Increases the damage and life of Skeleton Warriors, Skeletal Mages, and Revived.

 

  • Raise Skeleton (Max):
    This skill allows you to raise melee Skeleton Warriors – the heart of your army. More points equal more damage, more attack rating, more defense, and more skeletons. These guys are incredibly strong and resilient.

 

  • Raise Skeletal Mage (1-20):
    This skill allows you to raise Skeletal Mages which specialize in elemental damage. They don’t do that much damage and have less life than the Skeleton Warriors, but they can provide decent backup at times. The poison Mages prevent monsters from healing and the frost Mages slow down monsters.

 

  • Revive (1):
    More than 1 point into this is a waste. Your +Skills items will allow you to revive enough monsters to keep you happy. I only use revives as meat shields in occasional duels. I find that they wander around aimlessly too much in PvM.

 

  • Clay Golem (1):
    Nicknamed “Gumby,†this guy is a great tank. It has the ability to slow enemies by a certain percentage, making it excellent against Bosses. Only one point needed here.
    Uses for other Golems:
    Blood Golem: Keep recasting it in town until the floor is covered in blood, causing 56K users to lag.
    Iron Golem: Turn someone’s expensive item into an Iron Golem.
    Fire Golem: Bombing from town in duel games.

 

  • Golem Mastery (1):
    This skill gives your Golem more life. What Golem doesn’t want more life? One point works fine here.

 

  • Summon Resist (1):
    Increases the resistances of your minions, meaning they take less damage from elemental attacks. This is another one point wonder.

Curses

Put 1 point into all of the Curses. The +Skills you get from items will boost these curses considerably. I will focus on a few that are more commonly used than others.

  • Amplify Damage: Doubles the melee damage inflicted by you, your minions, and melee party members.

 

  • Decrepify: Kind of like Amplify Damage and Weaken combined. It slows targets by 50%, makes them do 50% less physical damage, and reduces their physical resistance by 50%.

 

  • Lower Resist: Lowers enemy elemental resistance, causing your Mages to do more damage. I prefer using Amplify Damage, however, since the Skeleton Warriors are much more powerful. This is useful when partied with casters.

Poison & Bone Spells

  • Corpse Explosion (1+): Very, very useful for killing groups of monsters. Combine this with amplify damage and you get one deadly combo. If you aren’t satisfied with the radius of the explosion after +Skills feel free to place more points into it.

 

  • Bone Armor (1+): Absorbs physical damage. Good for keeping you alive when up against melee monsters.

 

  • Bone Wall (1+): I chose to max this skill and use Marrowwalks for the synergy bonus. With this, I get a 930 damage absorb Bone Armor. It is also useful for keeping you safe from groups of monsters. I find it handy in Baal Runs. Cast it in front of you, and spam Corpse Explosion for easy kills.

 

  • Bone Prison (1 or None): 1 point if you do not plan on using Marrowwalks. Like Bone Wall, it is also useful for keeping you safe but will trap the enemy in a ring of bone instead of creating a wall.

Important Note: The Poison Dagger Bug doesn’t work. Please do not waste your skill points here.

Equipment

The Commandomancer uses auras activated by items that he and his mercenary wear. Here is a list of items and the auras they provide.

Code:
Item							Aura
“Beast†Rune Word Weapon (Ber+Tir+Um+Mal+Lum)		Fanaticism (Level 9)
“Bramble†Rune Word Armor (Ral+Ohm+Sur+Eth)		Thorns (Level 15-21)
“Doom†Rune Word Weapon (Hel+Ohm+Um+Lo+Cham)		Holy Freeze (Level 12)
“Hand of Justice†Rune Word Weapon (Sur+Cham+Amn+Lo)	Holy Fire (Level 16)
“Dragon†Rune Word Armor/Shield (Sur+Lo+Sol)		Holy Fire (Level 14)
“Dream†Rune Word Helm/Shield	 (Io+Jah+Pul)		Holy Shock (Level 15)
“Edge†Rune Word Missile Weapons (Tir+Tal+Amn)		Thorns (Level 15)
“Faith†Rune Word Missile Weapons (Ohm+Jah+Lem+Eld)	Fanaticism (Level 12-15)
“Harmony†Rune Word Missile Weapons (Tir+Ith+Sol+Ko)	Vigor (Level 10)
“Ice†Rune Word Missile Weapons (Amn+Shael+Jah+Lo)	Holy Freeze (Level 18)
“Infinity†Rune Word Weapon (Ber+Mal+Ber+Ist)		Conviction (Level 12)
“Insight†Rune Word Weapon (Ral+Tir+Tal+Sol)		Meditation (Level 12-17)
“Last Wish†Rune Word Weapon (Jah+Mal+Jah+Sur+Jah+Ber)	Might (Level 17)
“Pride†Rune Word Weapon (Cham+Sur+Io+Lo)		Concentration (Level 18)

Discussion:

  • You want to try your best to get a “Beast†Rune Word Weapon. The Fanaticism aura boots the damage, speed, and attack rating of your army. It also allows you to shape shift into a Werebear, increasing your life, damage, and defense.
  • You can choose to wear “Bramble†yourself or put it on your mercenary. I let my mercenary wear it so I can use “Enigma†Rune Word Armor (Jah+Ith+Ber). “Bramble†gives the Thorns aura, which returns melee damage dealt to you back to your enemy.
  • If you choose to use the “Doom†Rune Word Weapon on your mercenary, be sure to equip it after you summon your army because the Holy Freeze will cause bodies to shatter. It also provides a nice +2 to skills and 25% Open Wounds.
  • The Rune Word items that give Holy Fire and Holy Shock aren’t incredibly powerful but they are cool auras to have if you want to stack. “Dream†is good because it increases your life and mana and gives Faster Hit Recovery.
  • If you want to go ranged, you can use the “Faith†Rune Word in a missile weapon, but you lose the ability to go Werebear. It can get +2 to all skills and gives +330% enhanced damage and +15 to resistances; so it isn’t bad at all.
  • I added “Harmony†kind of as a joke. Vigor allows you and your minions to run/walk faster. It would be funny to see an army moving at high speed. No more waiting for Gumby to catch up.
  • “Infinity†gives the Conviction aura, which reduces the resistances and defenses of your enemies. This is good for helping your skeletons hit and your mages do more damage. You also get charges of Cyclone Armor for Magic Absorb, 40% Crushing Blow, and +Vitality.
  • “Insight†provides the Meditation aura, which helps you regenerate mana much faster. It is useful when you are partied with casters. The runes required for it are really cheap.
  • You don’t have to use “Last Wish†because 1) it is extremely expensive, and 2) you can get the Might aura from an Act II mercenary. However, it gives an insane amount of Crushing Blow (60-70%).
  • “Pride†is one of my favorite Rune Words. It provides a level 18 Concentration aura, which gives +315% to damage and a 20% chance for uninterrupted attacks. This greatly boosts the damage of your party. Your army and your melee allies will love you. (Best used on your Mercenary).

Weapon

  • Arm of King Leoric, Unique Tomb Wand: One of the best wands to use when raising your skeletons. It gives +2 to Summoning Skills, +2 Raise Skeletal Mage, +3 Raise Skeleton, and +3 Skeleton Mastery. I use this wand to summon my army, and then I switch to a “Beast†Berserker Axe.
    Note: When you use a wand like the Arm of King Leoric to summon your skeletons, and then switch to a melee weapon, the number of your skeletons will decrease but their stats will remain the same.

 

  • Carin Shard, Unique Petrified Wand: This is the wand version of Harlequin Crest. It gives + to life and mana per level, as well as giving +1 to Necromancer Skills, and +2 to Summoning Skills. Use this if you can’t get AoKL.

 

  • â€Beast†Rune Word Weapon: Very nice weapon, but also expensive. Besides the Fanaticism aura, it gives +40% Increased Attack Speed, Crushing Blow, Open Wounds, +25-40 Strength, and allows you to shape shift into a Werebear. I like using this in a Berserker Axe, but if you desire a faster attack go with a different axe such as a War Spike or Caduceus.

 

  • â€Crescent Moon†Rune Word Weapon (Shael+Um+Tir): This is a nice, cheap weapon that gives a chance to cast Chain Lighting and Static Field, Ignore Target Defense,
    -35% Enemy Lightning Resistance, and Open Wounds.

 

  • Fleshripper, Unique Fanged Knife: Although this lacks the Increased Attack Speed mod, it does have other great qualities. It has -50% Target Defense, 25% Crushing Blow, 33% Deadly Strike, 50% Open Wounds, Slows Target by 20%.

 

  • â€Passion†Rune Word Weapon (Dol+Ort+Eld+Lem): This has decent Increased Attack Speed and Enhanced Damage mods. It gives +1 Berserk and +1 Zeal, giving you more melee options. Another useful mod is the level 3 Heart of Wolverine charges. This spirit increases the damage and attack rating of your party.

 

  • â€Call To Arms†Rune Word Weapon (Amn+Ral+Mal+Ist+Ohm): Provides Battle Command (+1 to Skills) and Battle Orders, which you can cast to increase the life and mana of your minions and allies. Use this as a prebuff.

Armor

  • “Bramble†Rune Word Armor (Ral+Ohm+Sur+Eth): As mentioned before, it is good for its Thorns aura. It also gives nice Faster Hit Recovery, mana bonuses, and huge Poison Resistance. If you are using poison skills, this armor increases it by 25-50%.

 

  • “Enigma†Rune Word Armor (Jah+Ith+Ber): This armor allows you to teleport, which is great for keeping your army together. When you teleport, all your minions will be stacked in one spot, so beware of “splash†attacks. “Enigma†also gives +2 to Skills, +0.75 Strength per level, increase max life by 5%, damage reduced by 8% and 1% magic find per level. The only bad thing is it might be expensive for some people.

 

  • “Chains of Honor†Rune Word Armor (Dol+Um+Ber+Ist): Expensive but definitely worth it. Like “Enigma†it also gives +2 to Skills, as well as 8% life leech, +20 to Strength, +65 to all resistances, damage reduced by 8% and 25% magic find.

 

  • â€Lionheart†Rune Word Armor (Hel+Lum+Fal): Great and cheap. It gives +20% enhanced damage, +30 to all resistances, and great bonuses to stats.

 

  • “Duress†Rune Word Armor (Shael+Um+Thul): Not too pricey and has excellent stats. Faster Hit Recovery, Enhanced Damage, Crushing Bow, Open Wounds, and + to Resistances make this armor an excellent choice.

 

  • Shaftstop, Unique Mesh Armor: I remember the days when everyone had one of these. If you cannot afford or find the items listed above, turn to this. It gives 30% damage reduce and +60 to life, which is pretty decent.

Helm

  • Harlequin Crest, Unique Shako: A commonly used helm that gives +2 to skills, huge bonuses to life and mana, damage reduce, magic find, and +2 to all attributes. What more could you possibly ask for from a leather cap?

 

  • Andariel’s Visage, Unique Demonhead: A Ladder-only helm that gives +2 to skills, increased attack speed, life leech, and Strength bonuses. If you don’t mind how ugly it looks, it is a great helm for going melee.

 

  • Crown of Ages, Unique Corona: Very expensive and very rare – for a good reason too. This popular melee-oriented helm gives +1 to skills, damage reduction, + to Resistances, and Faster Hit Recovery. It is available with 1-2 sockets so you can customize it as you see fit.

 

  • Vampire Gaze, Unique Grim Helm: Cheap old school helm that is still viable. With dual leech and high damage reduction, you can’t go wrong with this. Plus, this helm looks awesome on a Necromancer.

Shield

  • Homunculus, Unique Hierophant Trophy: Excellent, excellent shield. I highly recommend this shield, as it gives +2 to Necromancer skills, +2 to Curses, + to resistances, + to mana, and + mana regeneration. I put an Eld rune in mine to save Dexterity points.

 

  • Stormshield, Unique Monarch: Another great shield. Provides damage reduce, + to cold and lightning resistances, and + to Strength. Great if you are aiming for max damage reduce.

Belt

  • Nosferatu’s Coil, Unique Vampirefang Belt: This is a great, cheap belt that gives mana leech, slows target by 10%, + to Strength, and increased attack speed. I call this the “Gumby-In-A-Belt†Belt.

 

  • Verdungo’s Hearty Cord, Unique Mithril Coil: Another great belt that gives + to Vitality, faster hit recovery, and damage reduce. Great for when you go melee.

 

  • Trang-Oul’s Girth, Trang Oul’s Set Troll Belt: A handy belt that carries the famous “Cannot be Frozen†mod. It also gives nice bonuses to mana and life. It is pretty rare, though, and there are better alternatives.

 

  • String of Ears, Unique Demonhide Sash: An old school favorite. This ancient friend gives life leech and damage reduce mods. Good for beginners since it is quite cheap.

 

  • Gloom’s Trap, Unique Mesh Belt: My favorite belt at the moment. This belt gives bonuses to mana, mana regeneration, mana leech, and vitality. It is a good alternative to the melee-based belts because helps you from running out of mana.

 

  • Crafted Caster Belt (Magic Light Belt/Sharkskin Belt/Vampirefang Belt + Ith Rune + Perfect Amethyst + Any Jewel): Similar to Gloom’s Trap but can also get good + to resistances, and + to mana and life bonuses.

Gloves

  • Bloodfist, Unique Heavy Gloves: My absolute favorite gloves. These are extremely common and extremely cheap. For a normal unique item, it sure has great mods: 10% increased attack speed, 30% faster hit recovery, and + 40 to life. Godly, simply godly.

 

  • Laying of Hands, the Disciple Set Bramble Mitts: Good to use against demons such as Diablo and Baal because it gives +350% damage to demons. It also gives 20% increased attack speed and +50% fire resistance, which never hurts.

 

  • Crafted Blood Gloves (Magic Heavy Gloves/Sharkskin Gloves/Vampirebone Gloves + Nef Rune + Perfect Ruby + Any Jewel): You can get some good mods from this, including life leech, + to life, and crushing blow. Rare gloves similar to these would also be viable.

Boots

  • Marrowwalk, Unique Boneweave Boots: Awesome boots that give +1-2 Skeleton Mastery, +Strength and Dexterity, mana regeneration, and the infamous level 33 Bone Prison charges. These charges serve as a synergy for Bone Armor and Bone Wall, giving them both a great boost.

 

  • War Traveler, Unique Battle Boots: These popular boots for Magic Find characters are also useful for the Commandomancer. Besides the Magic Find and the +Vitality and Strength, these boots add 15-25 damage. This may seem like a small amount, but it gets multiplied somehow. In the case of my Commandomancer, these boots added about 200 damage.

 

  • Gore Rider, Unique War Boots: Another old school item that is useful for the Commandomancer. Open Wounds, Deadly Strike, Crushing Blow. All on one pair of boots.

Rings

  • Stone of Jordan: This classic ring never goes out of style. +1 to all skills and nice mana bonus.

 

  • Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band: Similar to the Stone of Jordan. +1 to all skills, +0.5 to life per level, 3-5% life leech.

 

  • Raven Frost: Another popular ring that gives +15-20 Dexterity (saving you points), +Attack Rating, Cold absorb, and the Cannot be Frozen mod.

 

  • Wisp Projector: This ring is an aura warehouse. Take your pick: Oak Sage for more life, Heart of Wolverine for more damage and Attack Rating, or Spirit of Barbs for damage return. It also gives nice Lightning absorb and Magic Find.

Amulet

  • Mara’s Kaleidoscope: This amulet usually comes at a high price but it is one of the best around. +2 to Skills, +20-30 Resistances, and +5 to Attributes.

 

  • The Cat’s Eye: A popular amulet for melee builds. This amulet gives +30% Faster Run/Walk, +20% Increased Attack Speed, and +25 Dexterity.

 

  • The Eye of Etlich: Nice low level amulet. +1 to Skills, 3-7% life leech.

 

  • Highlord’s Wrath: +1 to Skills, Deadly Strike, 20% Increased Attack Speed, nice Lightning Resistance.

Charms

  • +Summoning Skills Grand Charms (4 is good, more is better)
  • Small Charms with +Resistance
  • Small Charms with +Life
  • Small Charms with +Max Damage, +Attack Rating
  • Annihilus, Unique Small Charm: Incredible charm that is dropped by Diablo Clone. +1 to Skills, +10-20 to stats, +10-20 to resistances, +5-10% experience gained.

Mercenary

Sorry, but I am only giving you one choice here: Act II Nightmare Offensive
This mercenary provides the Might aura, which will increase the physical damage of you and your minions.

  • Helm: Crown of Ages / Vampire Gaze / Harlequin Crest / Guillaume’s Face
  • Armor: “Bramble†/ Ethereal “Stone†(Shael+Um+Pul+Lum) Armor / Arkaine’s Valor / Shaftstop
  • Weapon: Ethereal “Breath of the Dying†(Vex+Hel+El+Eld+Zod+Eth) Great Poleaxe or Cryptic Axe / “Insight†/ “Infinity†/ “Pride†/ Bonehew / Hone Sundan / “Crescent Moon”

Strategy

General Strategy

  • The question is: how are you going to get the first corpse?
    1. You make the first kill with your melee weapon.
    2. Your Mercenary makes the first kill.
    3. Go through the red portal that Anya opens to Nihlathak’s Temple and raise the corpses on the ground. (Easiest method for those who have completed the quest).

 

  • When you summon your army you want to have as many + to Skills items as possible to ensure that your minions have the best possible stats (also use Battle Command from “Call to Arms†if you have one). After you are done summoning, you can use Battle Orders on “Call to Arms†to give your minions more life. If you have a Wisp Projector ring, summon your spirit of choice. Prebuff your Bone Armor with Marrowwalks if necessary. Finally, switch to your melee gear.

 

  • If you have problems with Attack Rating try the following:
    1) Angelic Halo Ring + Angelic Wings Amulet
    2) Enchant yourself with the charges on Demon Limb, Unique Tyrant Club.
    3) Stock up on charms that give + Attack Rating.

 

  • Werebear Form: One of my favorite things about the Commandomancer: the ability to shape shift into a Werebear. As mentioned previously in this guide, shifting into a Werebear will increase your damage, life, and defense. Take note that this skill does not give you more Attack Rating, and you will not be able to cast any spells while in this form, so be sure to cast curses before shifting.

Strategy Vs. Monsters

  • Vs. Melee Monsters: When you approach a melee group, try to get all the monsters into a tight group. Make sure you have Bone Armor active. The Attract curse is useful for this. Once they are all together, cast Amplify Damage and engage in combat with your army. Once the first corpse falls, cast Corpse Explosion to wipe out the tight group. If you are up against particularly strong monsters such as Venom Lords or Minions of Destruction you might want to use Decrepify to cripple them. Bone Wall and Bone Prison can be used to separate enemy ranks if you feel your minions cannot handle being swarmed by the particular group. To handle Iron Maiden from Oblivion Knights cast Life Tap, which will help you regain life, neutralizing the damage taken due to Iron Maiden.

 

  • Vs. Ranged Monsters: Amplify Damage and a direct assault from your army easily takes care of the smaller, weaker groups. Against larger groups you can cast Dim Vision to reduce their radius of sight and attack different sections at a time. Terror is another useful curse to postpone a fight, as it causes the monster to flee for a certain amount of time. Bone Wall and Bone Prison can be employed here as well to separate groups and block missiles. A Corpse Explosion with a large radius could be used to take out monsters. Against ranged monsters such as Burning Souls you can use what I call the “Leapfrog†technique if you have “Enigma.†Cast Amplify Damage on them and teleport from one monster to the next, letting your minions get in quick hits. Keep doing this until all enemies are dead. It may seem like a lame technique, but it works well for me in the Throne of Destruction.

 

  • Vs. Melee + Ranged Groups: You want to separate the melee from the ranged so you can handle the groups separately. Cast Bone Wall between the melee and ranged monsters first to separate them. Then Dim Vision or Terror the ranged monsters while casting Amplify Damage or Decrepify. Once you have separated melee from ranged, apply the appropriate strategies.

 

  • Physical Immunes: This build relies on physical damage for most of the kills. However, there are a few monsters that are immune to physical damage. There are several options this case.
    1) Amplify Damage to break immunity.
    2) Mages for elemental damage, backed up with Lower Resist.
    3) Elemental damage on gear and charms.

 

  • Important Note: Don’t be lazy! Jump in there with your minions and hack away at enemies. Standing behind them is cowardly, not to mention it brings down your title from Commandomancer to Summoner. A Commandomancer’s job is to lead his army into battle. Good luck.

Magic Find

When in need, you can convert the Commandomancer into a Magic Find Summoner. The skeletons and mercenary will tear Mephisto apart in seconds. For faster results you may shape shift into a bear and smack Mephisto around yourself. Here is a brief overview.

Helm: Harlequin Crest (with Perfect Topaz)

Armor: “Enigma†Rune Word Armor or Skullders (with Perfect Topaz)

Weapon:
Arm of King Leoric (for prebuff) + “Beast†+ Homunclus
With Gull + Rhyme Runeword Shield on switch
For the Rich: Gull (with Ist) + 4x Isted Monarch on switch

Gloves: Bloodfists or Chance Guards

Boots: War Travelers

Belt: Gloom’s Trap or Goldwrap

Rings: Stone of Jordan + Nagel Ring or 2x Nagel Rings

Amulet: +Summoning Skills, +%MF

Recommended Procedure

1) Take the red portal in Act V to Pindle’s “garden.†There are lots of corpses on the ground. Raise as many skeletons as you desire. Kill Pindle. He probably won’t drop anything good.

2) Take the Waypoint to Durance of Hate Level 2. Teleport or run to Mephisto. Cast Amplify Damage on him and kill him.

3) From here you can go to any of these popular MF places:

The Pit Level 1 & 2 (Act I, Tamoe Highland)
Andariel (Act I, Catacombs, Level 4)
The Countess (Act I, Forgotten Tower, Level 5)
Ancient Tunnels (Act II, Lost City)
Diablo (Act IV, Chaos Sanctuary)
Baal (Act V, Throne of Destruction – Worldstone Chamber)

Thanks to:

TheKbob: For the idea of the Commandomancer, and the great guide which inspired me to make one.

Necrochild313: For disproving the PD bug.

Mad Mantis: Great mod. Inspired my organized guide format and also for helping me edit my guide.

Cotton: For being my Dclone hunting buddy.

Corax: For Mercenary Gear additions and his 1337 OT SPAM skills.

You: For reading my guide.

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