Diablo 2 Guide: Usamah’s Veno\Returnomancer Necromancer

I. Introduction:

The Necro is the most favourite character for a lot of people, everyone wants to make a godly Necro, who aren’t supposed to have any problems in any part of the game and can level quickly and safely. In this guide you’ll build a funny Necro who, if you want, can just stay back and wait for his summons to kill everything like a fishymancer, or just cast his spears endlessly to kill things in act 5 on p8 in sp.

II. Skills:

A. Summoning Tree:
20 Points in RS
1-12 Points in SM (put only 1 point here till you end the build at clvl 87. After that put all your skill points here)
1 Point in GM
1 Point in SR
1 point in Revive
1 point in pre-request
0 point in fire golem

B. Curses:
1 point in all curses
optional: only 1 point in dim vision and no points for confuse and attract (you won’t need them anyway)

C. P&B Tree:
20 Points in Pnova, Pexplosion and Pdagger
1 point in Pre-request
1 point in Bone armor

this will be done with 97 points, meaning that at clvl 87 this can be completed. After that put all points in SM or in revive (not recommended).

III. Stat Points:

Str: enough to equip your gear. For the high-end gear you’ll need 93 on STR and with the bonus +25str from Trang-Oul’s Wing you can equip Marrowwalk. So more than 93 points is waste.
Dex: I recommend to max your blocking. For this build it’s a MUST to have blocking, since you won’t sit back and watch your skellies do the job.
Vita: the rest of the points.
Energy: 50-80 depending on your gear and charms, if you have 2 SOJ’s from the beginning then you may not want to invest much in energy.

At the beginning you should pump your Str and Vit to be able to equip items and survive. As reach Clvl 15, put 1 point in energy and keep pumping Vit and Str. After you have enough points in STR for your items try to boost your energy. The most annoying part about Pnova is that it requires 20 mana at Slvl 1. Make sure to have enough mana to cast Pnova at least 5-6 times without needing a potion. After Clvl 35 it’s up to you where to invest your points. Just plan what items you will use and see their Str requirement. One more thing, try to allocate your points to suit the high-end gear even if you don’t have it at moment. Just in case you find/trade it.

Note: in normal difficulty you’ll be able to buy light/minor/normal and greater mana potions. Since mana potions regenerate mana very fast. You may wish to buy potions depending on how much mana you have, why? When you drink the potion you’ll have about 3-5 seconds where you can CE and Pnova as much as you can, while the potion regenerate your mana, so it’s FREE mana. You’ll notice that if you drink greater mana potions, which will regenerate mana very fast, you’ll have no time to cast anything!

IV. Gear:

A. Helm:

Umed Rare diadem with +2 Necro skills and the best resists you can get on it (the best choice). Crown of Ages with two um’s, or Harlequin with um. If you use the Harlequin you must use Mara as ammy.

B. Ammy:

Crafted caster ammy with +2 neco skills and with the best stats you can find. But this will require Clvl 89. Better options for lower level characters arer Mara or any Rare ammy with +2 skills and resist.

C. Armor:

Bramble was better in the beta. But the final version is also godly, see strategy section for Why?
Other choices are Arkain’s Valor or Skin of the Vipermagi.

D. Shield:

Trang-Oul’s Wing socketed with posion rainbow facet (only this one). On switch a magic Necro shield with +3 summoning skills and any other bonuses to RS or Golem.

E. Weapon:

death’s Web is the best choice, socketed with Poison Facet. If you don’t have it, then use a runeword White wand with +3 Pnova and other + skills. If you can’t find a suitable wand to White, then use Blackhand Key or any other magic wand with +2 Necro skills.
On switch you have two options: Call to Arms rune word ( the best) or Arm of King leoric (see in strategy why).

F. Belt:

Trang-Oul’s Girth, only choice.

G. Gloves :

Trang-Oul’s Claws, only choice.

H. Boots:

Marrowwalk is the best choice because of the bonuses to SM and the *bug* to the Bone Tree. Other choices like Natalya’s Soul or even a rare boot with bonuses to FWR and resistances are also very good.

I. Rings:

2x SOJ are the best choice. Use a Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band if you don’t have SOJ. If you are not in possession of either rings use a crafted caster ring with some resistances.

G. Charms:

8x skillers with bonuses to Life, FHR and FWR. With Bramble armor, make sure to have 86 FHR (that means 3 x FHR skiller).
Fill the rest of your inventory with +10-11% resists or 4-5% resist all. Make sure to max light resist (most important) and then fire, poison and then the silly cold resist.

V. Alternative Gear for poor People:

Here’s a list of alternative equipment for people who can’t afford/get the high-end gear. I have mentioned a lot of variations and you can choose any combination you like. Your goal in choosing any combination is to max lightning resist in Hell and have good resists to Fire, Poison and Cold AND to have as many + skills as possible.

Helm: rare diadem/tiara with +2/+1 Necro skills and some resistances. Or a Lore rune word (Ort+Sol).
Ammy: Rare with +2/+1 Necro skills and lightning resist or resist all.
Weapon 1: White rune word on a wand with some nice bonuses like Pnova, RS, SM, clay golem, GM or LR. Other choices are Backhand key, Gravenspine, Ume’s Lament or simply just buy a magic wand from the vendor with +2 Necro skills and some other bonuses.
Weapon 2: Carin Shard or simply buy a magic wand with +3 summoning skills from the vendor
Shield 1: you should have Trang-Oul’s Wing, but until you can acquire one, simply use any Necro shield with +2 Necro skills and socket it with a Pdiamond. A Pdiamonded Lidless Wall is a good choice. If you notice that your gear is lacking resistances, then try to get Moser’s Blessed Circle with 2 Pdiamonds. That will give you +63 resist all. Another choice is Ancients Pledge rune word on a Tower Shield (the best for blocking), or in a Troll Nest (has the best defense rating and not a high Str requirement).
Shield 2: a magic/rare Necro Shrunken head with +2/3 to the summoning tree. If you can’t find it, then a Lidless Wall is a good choice.
Armor: the best choice for you is Skin of the Vipermagi because of the bonus to resistances and +1 all skills. An alternative is Arkain’s Valor. If you can afford it, or Que-Hegan’s Wisdom or Naj’s light Plate or The Spirit Shroud. If you also feel that you need some more resistance from an armor, then make Smoke (Nef+Lum) rune word in an Archon Plate or any other elite armor, which doesn’t have a high Str requirement.
Gloves: Trang-Oul’s Claws is a MUST.
Boots: Silkweave or a caster boots are good choices if you need extra mana. If you try to craft more than once, you may find a nice boot with + resistances on it. If you need more resistances then go for a nice rare boot. If you can’t find them a Tearhaunch is your choice.
Belt: Gloom’s Trap or crafted caster belt if you need extra mana. If you need more resistances then upgraded Nightsmoke (to have 16 boxes on it) or Credendum.
Rings: Manald Heal or any other nice rare/crafted rings with + mana, resistances and FCR.

VI. Merc Guild:

I’ll divide the choices in two categories: Rich people & Poor people

A: Rich People:

Since you have Bramble, then there is no need to have any Defensive merc (HF who slows enemies a lot, or Defiance who will make it difficult for monsters to attack your minions). The whole idea of the build is to let your skellies get hit a lot. I recommend having either a Might merc or Prayer merc.
The Might merc (highly recommended): will double the base damage of your skellies. In this build your skellies will do about 350 damage. With the Might aura, they will do about 525 damage. That’s a good bonus for your skellies damage.

Prayer Merc: since your skellies aren’t that strong, they’ll die a lot in Hell difficulty. This merc will make them survive longer.

B: Poor People:

I think it’s better to go with a defensive merc. Your gear isn’t geared towards fast killing. You will need a way to survive longer. So you may choose either a HF or Defiance merc.

HF merc: this one is really very good since he’ll slow down monsters. This means they can’t move/attack quickly and that gives you enough time to kill them. As a secondary benefit you don’t need to decrepify all the monsters so you can use LR. I personally have had a HF merc and I haven’t had any problems in Hell even with cheap items. Combine the effect of HF and Decrepify on monster packs with extra dangerous mods (extra fast, extra strong, might aura, fana aura…etc) and they won’t be able to move at all.
One more thing about the HF merc. When you fight Baal there’s no need to decrepify him, because the effect of HF + Clay Golem means that you have reached the slow cap. This means you can use another curse against him. For instance LR to speed up your Nova or Amp to help your minions. Against other Act bosses like Mephisto and Andariel, you’ll need to cast decrepify or your entire army.

Defiance Merc: he will make you and your minions harder to hit, because he’ll raise the defence rate of your whole army. His disadvantage is that you will have to use decrepify in most situations.

Note: Don’t try to hire a thorns merc, his aura is very weak and it won’t benefit you!

VII. Playing Strategy:

For the first levels, till clvl 50, you can do this build in two ways:

1: you max RS first, which will grant you safe levelling in the first stage of the game (which is actually the most difficult for you).
2: put 15 points in PE, then max Pnova and after that max RS.

Levelling in the early stage of the game may be a little bit difficult if you go the second way, but with it you’ll find NM is a joke. Whereas with the first way NM will be more difficult, because your poison damage isn’t that great and your Skellies alone won’t kill that fast.

After that, levelling will be much easier for you till you end NM difficulty. So in Hell difficulty just be sure to have your partial Trang’s set for the bonus on the armor of -25% enemy poison resist and make sure that your Clvl is about 75. I recommend that you do the Pits as soon as you reach Hell difficulty. You’ll level fast there and the monsters are easy. No poison resist there. So level till clvl 82 and then go ahead. You should have no problems at all from hereon out.

So what’s new in this build?

BRAMBLE runeword
Level 15-21 Thorns Aura When Equipped (varies)
+50% Faster Hit Recovery
+25-50% To Poison Skill Damage (varies)
+300 Defense
Increase Maximum Mana 5%
Regenerate Mana 15%
+5% To Maximum Cold Resist
Fire Resist +30%
Poison Resist +100%
+13 Life After Each Kill
Level 13 Spirit of Barbs (33 Charges)

So with 15-21 thorns and Spirit of Barbs the total damage returned is 1100-1340%. You’ll have about 10 revives and 11 WEAK skellies (because SM isn’t that high). Those skellies will be hit a LOT more than the skellies from a fishcymancer. Your skellies will be not only a meat shield, they will return huge damage in Hell. Even more than those from fischymancer!

About the gear on switch: the trick of having a shield with +3 summoning is that you use this when summoning your skellies. If you then switch to normal battle gear you will loose a few skellies, but the remaining skellies will be as strong as when you just summoned them. This is called pre-buffing. About the weapon Call to Arms no comment, you know what it is for. If you can’t afford it, then Arm of king Leoric is good for the same reason as the shield.

Baal Running Tip:

Do you want to kill Baal on /players 8 in sp in less than 1 minute? Then Revive a few Maulers from Act 3 durance level 1 & 2, or some Urdar from Act 4 River of Flame. You could also get some Blunderbore’s from Act 5 Frigid Highlands, but the problem with them is that they are too large. That means they wont be able to attack all at the same moment. Just teleport at the front of Baal and all of your revives/skellies will attack at the same moment. Just Amp Baal and watch how fast his life will go down.

VIII. My Character stats and gear:

Usamahuuu clvl 94
str: about 93 (enough to equip Marrowwalk with the bonus from Trang-Oul’s Wing)
Dex: enough to have +60% block with Trang-Oul’s Wing.
Vita: rest of the points
Energy: 75 points

Light +75%
Fire +70%
cold +55%
Poison +75%

Rare diadem with +2 skill, 75%light resist, 35% C/F/P resist. Um’ed.
Death’s Web socketed with a perfect Poison facet.
Crafted caster ammy with +2 skills, 10% FCR, 7% FMR and lvl2 teleport charges.
Trang-Oul’s Wing socketed with 4/4 rainbow facet.
Trang-Oul’s Girth.
Trang-Oul’s Claws.
Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band.
8x skillers with bonuses to life/FHR/FWR.
Inventory full with SC’s.

Pnova damage is 10500 over 2 seconds. I have a total Lower Resist from gear and skills of about 133%. I can summon 11 skellies and 9 revives. Baal’s minions on /players8 sp takes less than three minutes. Baal himself takes about 1-2 minutes.

Merc: HF will now be replaced with either Might or Prayer!
Crescent Moon runeword on ethereal superior Great Poleaxe (gives static field and great damage)
Duriel’s Shell
Crown of Thieves

IX. Conclusion:

This build is the best for Necro’s because it is safe, kills fast, is a lot of fun and there is no area or monster immunity that you can’t handle. Have fun.

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