A Necromancer's View on Skills


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A Necromancer's View on Skills

[size=+2]A Necromancer's View on Skills[/size]

After spending countless lunch hours and (supposedly) productive work hours browsing the various Necromancer's forum and strategy guides. I feel that it is finally time to teach the young ones a few tricks of the old Necromancers.

The main reason is the lack of clarity on the parts of many of the guides. Many of them simply say "the rest is up to your taste." Sadly, most young Necromancers lack the refined "taste" of a more experienced Necromancer. Naturally, this means that my guide will attempt to dispell as many of the misconceptions and to relate as many of the truths as possible.

First of all, this guide is purely meant to educate you in the skills available to the Necromancer. It is a compilation of the theories, tests, and suggestions of countless Necromancers. Their names are long lost in the dank tomes of my library. But, their lessons are none-the-less useful whether you travel in the new land of 1.10 or the more ancient lands.

I will break this guide into three parts discussing the 3 skill trees. To start, I will discuss the most popular tree of late, Summoning. I will then move onto the Bone/Poison tree. My last discussion will be the Curses. The skills will be listed logically based on relation. For example, there will be a sub-sections for Golems in the Summoning section.

  1. Summoning Tree (Golem, Skeleton, Miscellaneous)
  2. Bone/Poison Tree (Poison Attack, Magical Attack, Protective/Passive)
  3. Curse Tree (Alphabetical listing)


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[size=+2]Summoning Tree[/size]

Something about turning base inanimate things to moving servants of war and labour intrigues the Necromancer. Perhaps it is the study of the paradox of life itself, that pushes us to create these creatures. Or perhaps, it is because we find the company of the living so overwhelmingly irritating and seek quiet substitutes...

Blood Golem
The Blood Golem has been a staple of many builds in 1.09. Most of them were for flavour. In the far more competitive 1.10 environment, the Blood Golem seems to have been relegated to at most a secondary role.

This is not to say that the Blood Golem is without its uses. Like all of the Golems, the Blood Golem is situational. While you would never use the Blood Golem for an elemental heavy area (i.e. most of Act 4) or a wide open area (i.e. Bloody Foothills), the Blood Golem is extremely powerful in the cramped areas, like Arcane Sanctuary and Maggot's Lair. In these areas, the Blood Golem is rarely overwhelmed by creatures. Its leech ability allows it to tank almost anything as the terrain forces creatures to attack it one or two at a time.

  • Powerful in cramped quarters, where it cannot be swarmed and overwhelmed.
  • Strong leech ability that heals the Necromancer and the Golem, for when the Necromancer is in need of health in a bad way.
  • Leeched health is a percentage of the targeted monster's current health level.

  • Use Bonewall (Bone/Poison Tree): Use Bonewall to create narrow channels of attack. (Thus, limiting the number of creatures that can swarm Blood Golem)
  • High Summon Resist (Summon Tree): Being the weakest against Ranged and Elemental damage, ensure that your Summon Resist is in the 60s.
  • Iron Maiden (Curse Tree): Iron Maiden is very powerful when used with Blood Golem. There seems to be a confusion around whether the old Blood Golem-Iron Maiden trick still works. It DOES! The trick is as follows, the system considers all attacks emanating from Blood Golem for the Blood Golem leech ability. Iron Maiden, as far as the system is concerned, is considered an attack emanating from Blood Golem.

Clay Golem
Unlike the old Clay Golems of 1.09 and previous, the new 1.10 Clay Golem has more uses than just a meat shield. Not only does it have the highest life of all the Golems. It also has the ability to slow down the enemy when it hits. This ability is similar to the Decreptify Curse.

Although the Clay Golem is one of the more commonly used Golems, its power is still often mis-applied. Many bleary-eyed Necromancers will use it only in emergancies. Consider this: "Whenever a non-Necromancer makes a new build, the first question is innevitably 'survival.' The most common way is to use cold damage to the opponent."

There are too many Necromancers depend solely on their Bonewalls, Bone Shields, Skeletons, and Revives to draw attacks away from them. These same Necromancers use Decreptify to slow monsters. How powerful would is be to be able to free up that curse and use Clay Golem instead?

  • Slows opponents down, removing the constant need to Decreptify creatures. (For additional crowd control, use Attract for larger monster groups.)
  • Highest Hit Point of all the Golems.

  • Use Attract (Curse Tree): Naturally, one Golem is not enough to slow all the monsters on the screen. Therefore, throw a few attracts for additional crowd control. All this is to free up the curse slot (the glowing effect over monster's heads) for more powerful curses, like Amplify Damage or Lower Resist.

Iron Golem
The Iron Golem has the potential to be the most powerful Golem, for a price. This price is often a powerful item that will need to be sacrificed.

While you may think that sacrificing a rare powerful item is a good idea, I will tell you now that it is not. In practice, once the Necromancer enters later Acts and difficulties where Elemental damage and Magic damage is more abundant, the Iron Golem will die very quickly.

So what is its use then? Very simply, it is an excellent corpse maker for Skeletons. When a Necromancer first enters a new land, there is very rarely a ready supply of corpses to consume for your Skeletons and Revives. The Iron Golem is very useful for making those corpses in the Act 1 of every new land.

Being one of the most hard hitting Golems and the one with the highest attack rating, it drops weak small creatures fastest. Some may argue that a Fire Golem is better for this purpose, but bear in mind that most of your Act 1 corpses come from Devilkin or Fallen who are resistant or Immune to Fire damage.

What about the 'Thorn' ability on the Iron Golem? There are very few monsters in the lands that will do enough damage for the Thorn to kill them quickly. Instead, you should use it for the above-mentioned corpse making jobs. This will ensure that all the creatures around the Golem are weakened by the time the Golem finishes one and moves to the next.

  • High Attack Rating and Damage.
  • Decent Thorn ability to keep opponents relatively weak.

  • Use Corpse Explosion (Bone/Poison Tree): The trick with Corpse Explosion and Iron Golem is simple. Gather a large group of monsters (6 or 7). Amplify Damage them all and let them attack the Iron Golem (a well placed Attract Curse will help gather the monsters in a tight group). As soon as the first or second corpse drops, Corpse Explosion it. This should drop all of the remaining monsters.

Fire Golem
The most commonly sighted Golem of all is the Fire Golem. While most players simply consider the high damage output of the Golem, they fail to recognise why their precious Golem is so useful. You may argue that it is the absorb fire ability. Wrong. Or you may argue that it has the highest or second highest in all the Golem stats (life, damage, attack rating, etc.) Wrong again. Exasperated, you might suggest the Fire Aura. Ding ding ding!

The Fire Aura, despite what most think, is not meant for killing monsters. Although the aura can kill most monsters in Act 1-2 of Normal, it is next to useless in higher Acts and Difficulties. So what is it used for instead?

It is used to get the attention of all the monsters within and beyond sight range. It is to make sure that those monsters all come and attack the Fire Golem exclusively. With that in mind, it makes the death explosion damage of the Fire Golem much more useful doesn't it?

The Fire Golem is more often used to setup a large group of monsters for Corpse Explosion. With its high damage, the Fire Golem can usually take down one or two monsters before it croaks (especially if you have a good mercenary and curses).

  • Great Fire Aura that is useful for attracting monsters.
  • Absorb Fire ability makes it an ideal tank for Diablo.

  • Use Corpse Explosion (Bone/Poison Tree): Cast the Corpse Explosion just as the monsters around the Fire Golem are at their closest. It also helps greatly to have Amplify Damage on the monsters (as half of Corpse Explosion's damage is Physical)
  • Use Attract (Curse Tree): If your Fire Golem is taking too much damage, try casting Attract on some of the enemy monsters. This will often remove 50% or more of the attacks on Fire Golem due to the close proximity of all the monsters.
  • Use Dim Vision (Curse Tree): Your Fire Golem has enough to worry about without the range attackers toasting it. Make sure you have a decent sized Dim Vision and cast it on all the range attackers. This also takes a lot of heat off of you, in case the range attackers decide to concentrate on you...

Golem Mastery
Golem Mastery for an average Necromancer will be stuck at 1 for most of the Necromancer's career. The skill bonuses from the items you find will often boost it to respectable levels. For an intensive Golem user, you may consider raising it to 20. I say may as, even in the extreme case of a Golem-mancer, the synergies the Golems give each other will often be sufficient.

Call me an old fashioned Necromancer, but I have always considered Raise Skeleton as the ultimate skill. Perhaps I have spent too many nights in my crypt watching old Horror movies?

The sight of dozens of mindless skeletons serving you is truly a sight. Which begs the question why so many Necromancers still insist on relying solely on the Bone and Poison Tree. I say leave that kind of spell casting for the more frail and more feminine] of our kind.

Bah! That asside, let us proceed.

Raise Skeleton
The skeleton can take on any of the roles described in the Golem Section. For each role, it performs to the best of its ability, but so often fall short of the task-orientated design of the Golems. The one thing that skeletons excel above all others is its ability to kill and keep killing. When all others have fallen to the blade of the enemy, there will often be those few persistent skeletons that remain at the Necromancer's side.

In the lands of Diablo, the skeleton will often be summoned just prior of actual battle. This practice is to ensure the maximum killing speed of the skeletons as they are much more powerful as a group than as an individual.

Being the mindless things that they are, skeletons will attack anything that mildly resembles a threat to the Necromancer. Quite often, it will investigate even neutral objects (as seen by its seemingly random wanderings). The skilled Necromancer will often try to focus this using curses or Bone Walls.

  • High survival and damage.
  • Very good at drawing enemy attention away from the Necromancer.
  • Always spawns with a shield; depending on the difficulty, the block rate is around 10% to 20%.

  • Use Attract (Curse Tree): The most astute Necromancer may notice that skeletons are attracted to the same monsters cursed with Attract. The idea of this is simple and will be discussed in more detail in the Curses section for Attract. For the moment, you need only know that once your skeletons finish whatever task they are busy with, they will often home in on the 'Attract' monster provided they were in the curses range when it was cast.
  • Strategic Running ( - ): For the daring few, a more advance tactic is available. This tactic is know as Strategic Running. Being mindless, the Skeletons will follow their master anywhere, but it also means that they will attack the closest opponent or greatest threat. By running past your desired targets (as opposed to the ones the skeletons are already attacking), you can force the skeletons to follow you and consequently readjust their targets. This tactic is very dangerous for those who do not have a good Bone Shield or who are easily hit.
  • Dealing with Physical Immunes: Against the few creatures that are immune to the Skeleton, the curse Decreptify will often remove their immunities. For the even rarer few that are still immune, it will often be necessary to lead them into a field of corpses and casting Corpse Explosion.

Skeletal Mage
One of the prime reasons Necromancers abandoned the Mage Tribes to their squabbling, the ability create skilled mages from corpses is powerful in the hands of a skilled Necromancer. However, it is a suicidal ability for those novices of the Necromantic Arts.

Compared to the Skeletons, the Mage counterparts are often even more mindless. In cramped areas (doorways), they will often block the path of all other skeletons so that they may fire their spells. This instantly rules them out as a primary killing force. Their innately weak intelligence prevents them from taking more useful roles.

Instead, a Necromancer will often only use them to prevent enemy monsters from healing. This means that only the Poison Mage is really useful. Little has changed since the times of 1.09, their attack is still as pitiful as before even with the aid of your curses.

  • Useful for the occasional physical immune (Decreptify and a few Corpse Explosions will often negate this use)
  • Poison mage prevent monsters from healing.

  • Use Lower Resist (Curse Tree): Aside from calling for the aid of those gaudy Paladins, the lone Necromancer must rely on his Lower Resist Curse to increase the killing power of his Skeletal Mages.

Skeleton Mastery
Unlike the Golem Mastery skill, Skeleton Mastery is useful in two fronts. Not only does it increase the killing power of you skeleton forces, but it also boasters the forces of your revives. This alone should give most Necromancers reason to maximise their learning in the invaluable skill.

I have no flowery introduction for this section (not that I would have any for this guide), but I will say that the following two skills are often the most mis-used in the novice Necromancer's arsenal.

Summon Resist
Most Necromancers will realise quickly that while the initial bonus from Summon Resist is high, it drops severely at high levels. In an attempt to discourage and prevent such folly, it is recommended that you check all urges to raise this skill above the 5th level.

Unless you are a Necromancer set on specialising in the Revival of dead monsters, leave this skill at a meager 5th lvl or less. The duration of the Revives are often too short for extended use or for strategic deployment. Revives are more suited for a tactical role to swing the tides of a battle. They are used to provide the extra range attack that Skeletal Mages lack. They are used to provide the extra meat shield that sometimes appear.

For those reasons, it is often recommended that you revived only monster with good range attacks and lots of hit points.

Instead of providing a list of advantages, I will provide a list of good revives that are often missed in the Tips.

  • Dark Lords (the Vampires): These revives have great staying power through their leech ability, just recall those novice days when you faced one of these creatures. They also provided excellent support with the Fireballs, Firewalls, and Meteors. Is it any puzzle, that Trang Oul should choose these creatures as the form of his Avatar?
  • Witches (the Winged FEMALE Demons): Much like the Dark Lords, these demons provide an excellent source of ranged attack. While their attacks do not leech, they do have very speedy attacks with good damage. Just beware of their ability to Curse. Always Curse after them, and you should have no problems.


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[size=+2]Poison and Bone Tree[/size]

[size=+1]Poison Attacks[/size]
They say that the Infernal Hells are drenched with a tangible evil. They say that this evil lives, breathes, and eats the souls of unwary adventurers. How appropriate that the Necromancer should be so skilled in creating deadly toxins to kill this evil from its very core.

By using the rotting flesh and stenching pus of corpses, we, Necromancers, have become not only masters of reanimation, but also Chemistry. Try not to drink from the same fount where we draw this poison...

Poison Dagger
It is very rare that a Necromancer will want for a weapon other than his Wand or army. For those rare occasions, the Poison Dagger provides a Necromancer a speedy way of dispatching weak opponents. As one may suspect, this skill is primarily intended to provide the first few key corpses to setup the Necromancer's army. Aside from this use, the Poison Dagger skill is impractical for actual battle.

  • Excellent for dropping early corpses.

  • Use Bone Wall: The bane of a Necromancer using a Poison Dagger is a large crowd of monsters. For those times when it is unavoidable to confront large groups, the Necromancer should create a 'funnel' for himself where the long open end faces the opponents. This allows the Necromancer to focus the group of opponents and avoid being swarmed.

Poison Explosion
Arguably the most potent of the Poison skills, the Poison Explosion is often used in replacement of the Corpse Explosion skill. Unfortunately, the slow nature of the poison limits its combat applications to simply preventing monsters from healing.

On the positive side, it has a very large range which almost ensures that all of your opponents will be caught in the blast.

  • Very large blast radius.
  • Long duration.

  • Use Lower Resist (Curse Tree): For those that insist on using this skill as a primary damage attack. You will need to use Lower Resist heavily. It is advisable to maximise the synergies and raise Lower Resist to 10.
  • Crowd Control ( - ): Poison Explode the first corpse. The duration of the poison should last the entire skirmish, especially if you have high enough skill boosting equipment. This will prevent the opponents from healing the entire battle.

Poison Nova
Poison Nova is a skill that is easily mis-used. Due to the slow casting speed of the spell, often the Necromancer is left defenseless whilst the spell takes effect. In less crowded areas, this may not prove a problem, but, in heavily monster infested areas, this often spells the Necromancer's doom.

  • Very large blast radius.
  • Decent damage output with skill boosting equipment.

  • Use Decreptify then Lower Resist (Curse Tree): To minimise the great weakness of Poison Nova, it is advisable to first Decreptify all your opponents. This gives you those precious seconds to finish casting your spell.
  • Attract Monsters to Fire Golem ( Summoning Tree ): Make heavy use of the Fire Golem to attract opponents to him. This provides you with a central location to concentrate your poison assault. This also prevents monsters from focusing on you.

[size=+1]Magical Attacks[/size]
It is inevitable that all Necromancers will feel the urge to take a more active role in battle. They will want for a role that is not just centered around Cursing and Summoning. For these times, our great order has provided a number of powerful ranged attacks that rival even the foolish cousins of ours.

A mostly useless skill. It lacks the damage to provide combat use or even initial corpse dropping. Use this skill only as a synergy.

  • Large fan shaped attack makes for easy aiming.
  • Multiple 'teeths' can hit the same target.

  • Useful for attracting attention ( - ): When you are in dire need to attract attention to yourself, the teeth skill can be very effective at attracting the attention of everything within sight and a little beyond that.

Corpse Explosion
Easily the most high damage skill of the Necromancer. The Corpse Explosion often tempts players to boost it to high levels with promises of higher blast radius.

Resist this URGE! Raising the blast radius will also increase the cast cost greatly. To most Necromancers, the benefit of greater radius is simply not worth it. You may now ask the reason for this.

Most of the time, your opponents will be crowded around the wonderful skeletons or revives. For those times when they are not, they will be crowded around themselves due to a well-placed Attract curse. This means that you will not need a Corpse Explosion that hits everything in sight. You will only need one that hits everything in that small area.

For most circumstances, 1 point is enough. By the time you find yourself in situations where a larger radius is desired, you will have means to increase the skill above 1 without spending precious skill points.

  • Very high damage.

  • Use with Fire Golem ( Summoning Tree ): As mentioned in the Summoning Section, use Fire Golem to attract a tight group of monsters and Corpse Explosion one of the corpses to start a chain.
  • Use with Amplify Damage ( Curse Tree ): Half of all the damage from Corpse Explosion is physical. (The other half is Fire.) Therefore, you should always Amplify Damage the monsters that are about to be blasted.

Bone Spear
Bonespear is an ideal skill for the cramped areas, like Maggot's Lair. At high enough levels, it can become a potent damaging spell that rivals Corpse Explosion for the ability to damage large clustered groups.

A few obnoxious young Necromancers like using Bonespear to hunt game in the jungles of Kurast; while you will likely not have time for such entertaining pursuits, you will often find yourself in need of a spell that can deliver damage quickly to fast moving targets, like Flayers. Bone Spear's high projectile velocity make it ideal for such circumstances while minimising the casting cost to allow for retargeting should you miss...

  • Shoots a long straight path that tunnels through all opponents in that line.
  • Good damage for mana cost.
  • Very high speed making it ideal for hitting fast targets.

  • Use with Fire Golem ( Summoning Tree ): As mentioned in the Summoning Section, use Fire Golem to attract a tight group of monsters and shoot into this cluster.
  • Use Attract (Curse Tree): Should your Golem die too quickly, the Attract curse will also work, but you will want to read the section of Attract before investing heavily in the skill.

Bone Spirit
Where the Bone Spear may hit multiple targets, Bone Spirit provides an attack that is better where Bone Spear was weak, but also lacking where Bone Spear was strong. Bone Spirit is a slow homing attack that requires little aiming. It has a high damage output, but requires much more mana than Bone Spear.

Some elder Necromancers advocate the use of Bone Spirit-- I am not one of them. For me, it is moves far too slow to provide adequate attack. Why use such a wasteful attack when a good skeleton will do the same job for less mana?

But my personal biases aside, the Bone Spirit skill is powerful when used as against a single target, like a hostile adventurer...

  • High damage and homing ability.
  • Can go invisible.

  • Invisible Bone Spirit ( - ): A curious ability of the Bone Spirit is that it goes invisible once it reachs its designated target (should this target be void of any actual thing).
  • Auto Homing Bone Spirit ( - ): You know that, if you aim the Bone Spirit at a certain target, the Bone Spirit will hunt out this target until its timer is run out. If you aim the Bone Spirit at an empty target, the Bone Spirit will automatically begin seeking out a target when it reaches this point. This can be useful for hitting creatures that are not visible or outside of your sight.

[size=+1]Protective/Passive Abilities[/size]
We are a fragile race. Unlike the hellbeast, our bones and sinew is easily destroyed by burning fire or violent force. Fortunately, our tribe has provided us with a powerful array of skills to fend of any harm that may fall our way.

From massive columns of bone to spining shield of bone, there are few attacks that can penetrate our defenses.

Bone Armor
Your average mage will go through a curious cycle. At the beginning of their apprenticeship, the Bone Armor will often prove an invaluable skill that saves them from many a dangerous experiment. When they reach the mid-cycle of their journey, they will shun the Bone Armor for more powerful protection. And at the end of their journey, they will realise that this same simple skill is so powerful.

The Bone Armor is a strange skill. It will absorb a limited amount of damage and then disintegrate. However, this is not the strangeness I refer to. The oddity is the Bone Armor's ability to absorb all of the damage of a single attack no matter how great. That is, if a single attack is far beyond the limit of the Bone Armor, the Bone Armor will absorb all of the damage and then collapse. None of the damage that is over the limit of the armor will spill onto the Necromancer. This can save the Necromancer a great many painful and deadly wounds.

Be aware of this at all times and make frequent use of this skill.

  • Ability to absorb all the damage from one attack.
  • Permanent until it takes damage above or equal to its limit.

  • Strategic Running ( - ): As mentioned earlier, a Necromancer will often perform Strategic Running to control the movements of his minions. These 'Runs' will often lead the Necromancer into the heart of danger. The Bone Armor is like a second chance. It allows the Necromancer to escape one attack. When most attacks will stun a Necromancer, this usually is the difference between life and death.

Bone Wall
When curses and minions still are not enough, the Necromancer must done the mark of the Tradesman and contruct a great wall. The Bone Wall is the last line of defense between the Necromancer and direct physical combat.

  • Large wall that covers great attack angles.
  • Has many tactical uses.

  • Funnel Building ( - ): By using two angled Bone Walls, the Necromancer can form a funnel to control the flow of enemies. This is often used if the Necromancer has very few minions.
  • Range Attack Blocking ( - ): When the ranged attacks are too much, a Necromancer can call on the Bone Wall to block some of the attacks. However, there are quite a few ranged attacks that the Bone Wall does not defend against.

Bone Prison
Bone Prison is likely the least used of the Bone/Poison skills. In truth, there are very few uses for this skill. It is rare when a Necromancer encounter a single opponent that requires such drasitic segregation. For those times when a Necromancer does encounter such an opponent, one can be sure that such an opponent has more than enough ways to break out or attack through the barrier.

For that reason, the Bone Prison is really only meant to hold an opponent to allow the Necromancer to beat a hasty retreat. Often used in conjunction with 'Funnel' Bone Wall, the Necromancer can create a large 'jug' with the Bone Prison as the lid. This gives the Necromancer a collection area for the monsters and an area to avoid.

  • High hitpoints.
  • Surround a single target at all sides.

  • Funnel Building w/ Lid ( - ): Two Bone Walls using the Funnel method described in the Bone Wall Section. Bone Prison the first monster that is at the 'top' (closest to you) of the 'jug'. This forms a lid. Use this collection method to either create escape oppurtunities or concentrate monsters for area based attacks (Corpse Explosion).


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[size=+2]Curse Tree[/size]
Ah yes, the curses. Unlike our wispy 'friends,' we, Necromancers, take a much more practical approach to curses. We dislike cursing things to eternal damnation or to birth abominations (these things are given when battling the Damned Legions of Hell). Instead, we tend to curse specific things about their general well-being.

Unlike the other sections, the Curses section will be a simple list of all the Curses alphabetically. This is because there really is not logical organization that will satisfy all the readers. Some may want a focus on 'Damage' based curses and 'Intelligence' affecting curses, while others prefer 'State' affecting curses, 'Control' curses.

I will also only occasionally offer tips. As most of the common uses of the Curses are mentioned in the above sections. The few tips I do mention are reminders of the curses' abilities and of the common misconceptions.

So to strike an uneasy balance, I begin the list alphabetically.

Amplify Damage
Amplify Damage is a very basic Curse that doubles your damage. Nearly all of the Necromancer's Summoning Tree will work in conjuction with this Curse to provide optimal killing speed.

Tip: Amplify Damage reduces the target's Physical Resistance by 100% (as in -100% to the initial value). Therefore, you can use it to remove Physical Immune!

Attract is a very complex curse. Unlike its siblings, Attract is not a simple 'Curse-em and Leave-em,' as the Barbarians like to say. To understand how the Attract curse works, you must delve a bit into the workings of the opponent's mind.

Whether you are fighting Greater Evil or minor evil, the workings of their mind is all the same. Aside from a bestial need to pillage and plunder, they also judge their actions based on a simple 'Stack' system. That is, they will decide an action and place it in the stack. Any subsequent actions are also placed in the 'Stack.' Actions are completed in the order they enter the 'Stack.' If an action cannot be completed, it is discarded and the next action initiated.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that when you first curse a monster with Attract it continues on its deadly path towards you. The simplest solution to this problem is to place something in between you and the monster. This forces the monster to discard its plan of attacking you and make a new action. Since you Attract action entered the 'Stack' before the new plan of the monster, the monster begins being attracted to whatever target you chose.

This is not a simple lesson to learn. Most Necromancers will never accept it and will vehemently argue that the Attract curse is sub-standard. To those fools, I say: "May your grave be warmed by your heart's blood as it spills from the grevious wound of your mistake."

Tip: Unlike most curses, Attract cannot be overridden. This means that after cursing a monster with Attract you can lay on Iron Maiden or Amplify Damage on the neighbouring monsters without fear of affecting the Attracted monster.

Confuse works on the same principle of Attract. Like Attract, you need to provide a 'distraction' to clear the 'Stack' of actions of the monster. Unlike Attract, Confuse causes the monsters to start attacking their closest neighbour.

Tip: You get the experience for monsters killing monsters.

Lowers Damage, Speed, and Physical Resistance by 50% (as in -50%). This curse is very useful for later Acts when monsters start dealing a lot of damage.

Tip: Never mix Decreptify with Attract.

Dim Vision
Empties the action 'Stack' of affected monsters. Only targets that are in the immediate range will enter the 'Stack.'

Tip: Excellent for use against Ranged attackers and Resurrectors (i.e. Fallen Shaman). This Curse prevents them from range attacking and reviving fallen monsters.

Iron Maiden
Returns the damage dealt. Damage returned increases with level.

Tip: Iron Maiden and Iron Golem's thorn damage are applied seperately.

50% of damage dealt against cursed monster is given as health to attacker.

Tip: Lifetap also applies to the Thorn damage of the Iron Golem.

Lower Resist
Subtracts a percentage from elemental resistance of cursed monster.

Clears the action 'Stack' of the targeted monster and adds the action to run in the direction directly away from the Necromancer caster.

Tip: Very useful for herding monsters and creating paths when you want to rush through an area.

Decreases the target's damage output by 33%.

Mad Mantis

D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator
Nice one. :thumbsup:

Some interresting information. I'll examine it a little more closely later on.


Diabloii.Net Member
Your dedication to defend almost all the necromancer skills is laudable.

I think there are a few pointers you should think about and maybe include.

Perhaps mentioning that the wise minionmacer or meleemancer knows when it is time to kill fast with Amplify Damage and take some steam off one's hard pressed defenses with Decrepify.

You should perhaps also note that the slow effects of the Clay Golem and Decrepify stacks, which can have a great effect on act bosses that can be almost paralysed.

Clay Golem:
You forget to mention it's cheap casting cost allowing for quick strategic resummonings (and making it viable early where it's hitpoints have not matured yet).

Iron Golem:
Your points are indeed correct if you make it out of for example a Hellslayer. If you want it more as a tank and fear elemental damage a socketed paladin shield with diamonds can do wonders.

In most situations it's damage is sub-standard. It can shine in a few situations however. I have found it a good skill to spam when stairtrapped with a bonemancer. When properly synergised it might be able to keep large packs stunlocked.

Bone Armor:
Just a little reminder to never boost Bone Armor by putting points into itself. Always rely on one of the synergy skills.

Mad Mantis

D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator
Indemaijinj said:
Bone Armor:
Just a little reminder to never boost Bone Armor by putting points into itself. Always rely on one of the synergy skills.
...unless you are a dedicated Meleemancer. Then it is prudent to pump BA in the beginning.


Diabloii.Net Member
Nice compendium of information...though I think alot of folks on the forums already knew a good deal of it. Still..it's good to have this kind of source info readily available and I'd reccomend it be stickied just so it's there to peruse.

I will say that you come off a wee bit high handed...I've always felt the "let me offer you some insights that I've learned.." approach to be much better than the "I'm the veteran expert with years under my craw, lemme edcucate you ignint youngin's.." approach. It comes off a little less condescending and makes me want to read anything you might want to share with a little less skepticism or bias.

Otherwise...great tome of knowledge and again, I vote to have it stickied...



Xiamet said:
I will say that you come off a wee bit high handed...I've always felt the "let me offer you some insights that I've learned.." approach to be much better than the "I'm the veteran expert with years under my craw, lemme edcucate you ignint youngin's.." approach. It comes off a little less condescending and makes me want to read anything you might want to share with a little less skepticism or bias.

Otherwise...great tome of knowledge and again, I vote to have it stickied...

I agree completely with Xiamet on this one. You did good work, Hotdog, but you can't just waltz in here with maybe only around ten posts total (form what I've seen) on this board since I've been posting, (about a year) and expect us all to "bow down". That tude is no good. (Your basic message is sound though, for the most part, considering alot of the new necro players don't yet understand certain subtleties of playing with the class.)

That being said, your work looks to be a good addition to the encyclo, if your so inclined. A new chapter. I'm surprised you didn't make mention of this in that thread, as this is pretty much exactly the type of thing I was looking to add to the "Necromantica".

If you'd rather it stand alone, for whatever reason, that's cool too. I'll just post a link to your guide through my Handbook.

I'm also surprised that this almost slipped to the second page without me noticing it...O well.

Good work. :thumbsup:
Ver' nice use of format and "personality" especially.



Diabloii.Net Member
Thank you for all the replies.

Guilty as charged. I am a Necromancer fanatic. To be sure, I have not posted much in any of the Forums. I prefer to skulk around and read instead.

The odd instances when I do post-- I try to make my posts provocative (of discussion, silly).

As for the "high-handedness," I actually had that in mind when I wrote it. I did not mean it to be offensive in anyway. I am just a Role-Playing fanatic to boot...

I wrote the thing at about 1 in the morning and had originally intended it to be sorta like a "Necronimicron" fiction... with little short stories and all.

But, University and time constraints got in the way.

All this aside, I would like to reply to some of the notes and additions made by the other forum posters.

To Indemaijinj
Your points are well-noted:

  • Clay Golem: I do realise that Clay Golem is cheap to cast, but the strategy of recasting it repeatedly late game can become bothersome (and problematic in places where it dies in one hit)
  • Iron Golem with High Res: While it is true that you can create a High Res (even Immune) Iron Golem, this causes it to suffer in the Physical department. Ideally, you want something that can survive many situations or is expendable. It is difficult for Iron Golem to meet these conditions. Thus, I relegate it to such a simple role.
  • Teeth: I was not aware of this little trick. It goes to show you that no matter how much testing you do... there are always things that you miss. :)
  • Bone Armor: The point I was trying to get across is that Bone Armor does not need to be high level to help you (skill bonus equipment or not). It's sole purpose is to take that one hit that could prove fatal (which is nearly everything in some games...)

Lifetap and Iron Golem Trick
The last time I confirmed this was in 1.10 BETA. Since most of the things in 1.10 BETA made it into the final patch, I can only assume that it is still true. The link to the old Necro FAQ is gone... so I can't really post any links as proof.

The only suggestion I can offer is to try it out for yourself!

[size=-2]All this serious stuff aside, I hope you guys enjoyed my little jabs at the other classes...[/size]


Diabloii.Net Member
Nice guide man..I guess you answered my question for which golem to use with a poison nec. The answer is ALL of them...1pt plus skillies in all three, mast, and summon resists...all will be good. I still wish blizzard could figure out a way you could have a golemmaster. Like having all 3 golems at once..now that would be kewl.


Diabloii.Net Member
You can still build a Golem-mancer.

The main problem is balancing it with the right set of skills. Depending on your mindset, I would recommend the Fire or Iron golem. As mentioned by others, they are probably the easiest to use exclusively. (I would favour Fire above Iron as it does not require a sacrificial item.)

As for having all of them at once... I think that would be a bit too powerful... Heaven forbid the day when people start comparing Necromancers to a Sorceress.

We actually believe in spending time making our characters.