Do fishymancers suck or is it just me?


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Okay so I have recently gone crazy and decided to farm the runes for enigma on my untwinked summon necromancer.

I had for a long time wanted to make a summoner from scratch and really make him viable, without twinking him. The project was kind of set aside for a long time since any summon necro just eats ass without enigma. A few days ago I just decided to go for it and farm all the runes needed. I did that and managed to also get a CtA for him, although it only rolled 2 BO, it still works.

I managed to find Arach and Shako today so he is really steppin his toes up. His gear at the moment is as follows:
Spirit sword
Enigma bp
Trang gloves
Aldur boots
Arachnid mesh
10 fcr 16 str 6 mf ring
32 mf ring
CtA + splendor switch

+1 nec skills, 12 str 5 fr amulet
+ a bunch of nice scs farmed from LK
Tal Rashas helmet

Ideally he would want to find some SoJ's, a Mara's Kaleidoscope, Homonculous, Arm of King Leoric or maybe another Ber rune to make a Beast, or two to give my merc an Infinity, and maybe a Bramble ( if that is even benefitable )

He is doing quite well on p3, doing cows, pits, meph, andy, diablo and baal, but once he gets up to p8 where the real XP is gained, he is really really really really slow.

Will a summoner with all this ideal gear ever be viable? Am I missing something? Did I waste 25 hours doing LK runs? :D


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I never used summoner on p8, but from what I read he's much slower, but still viable, on higher settings.

The problem is that on p8 CE - the true/main weapon the summoners use - is less effective and you have truly rely on skeletons to kill stuff.

You still can improve your char - use beast as weapon and give infinity to merc - but don't expect him to be really fast.


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I did Baal runs with a fishymancer (so did Cyrax, all the way to 99) and didn't have problems with killing. I went the Infinity route and I believe Cyrax did too - worth it in my opinion.


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First of all, if you're playing an untwinked Necro, join us for the untwinked 99er challenge! :) My second entry there is also an untwinked Fishymancer (after also playing a twinked one quite a bit last year) and I think he is great. I'm using the following gear on him:

+2/10 FCR/adds craft amulet
Enigma BP
Beast Double Axe
35% Spirit
FCR/adds ring
SoE (just for the DR, still looking for Arach)

Merc (Might):
Insight eth Cryptic Axe - he is close to Infinity, and will switch to Infinity + Insight IG once it's done
eth bugged Fortitude
Tal's Helm (really looking for that Andy's)

IMO getting him to be effective is mostly about realizing that (1) 95% of your damage is from CE, (2) therefore Skeletons serve close to no purpose at all apart from being meat shields, and especially (3) how incredibly important the Merc is. His gear is just as important as the Necro's. In fact, Andariel's visage for Merc is probably the best overall upgrade I can find at the moment personally. :) Fortitude makes a massive difference, it single-handedly improved my run times a lot just due to him providing the first corpse much faster for a quicker CE chain. Maybe it would do the same for you! As @mir said Beast is good as well, though IMO again mostly to help Merc kill the first mobs faster (though I wouldn't mind Hoto's skills for higher CE range either...). But Fortitude is the key piece IMO.

I am mostly running P7 Pits with him and I've been happy with his performance with rather basic gear. Also as @Kitteh said he's a great Baal runner. No idea if he can actually perform well for CS/Diablo, never tried really hard... Regarding boss running: Before having Infinity this also requires some setup tweaking IMO, since it will be too slow unless with crushing blow on Merc, which Insight doesn't provide. IK hammer Iron Golem helps, but for Meph running I used Obedience on Merc because of that. (So different setup than for area running.)
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He should be good for CS because the second best method is P1 seals and P7 Diablo, so he should rip groups apart and likewise Diablo. Gripphon runs are quicker but I can’t remember the specifics of them, so can’t comment on suitability, but I suspect it would be absolutely fine!


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Thanks for your answers guys.

I am of course spamming, or "fishing" CE if you will. Or else I think I would have gone completely mad.

I also always go to Durance to revive some maulers, especially when killing bosses.

@Kitteh holy shit that must have taken some time on a summoner?

And about CS, arent the seals where most XP can be gained?

@ffs awesome thanks for exposing your nec. And yeah I thought about joining the challenge. I have of course been lurking for a bit on all you tough guys going at it. But seriously I don't know if I will ever make it to 99, it is just such a big time investment. My highest is 95½ amazon, she is quite fast though.

I see, it seems I really need a stronger merc then. I had 6 Lo runes before I cubed them to enigma! damnit! So Bramble will not be good? And is there not a risk by spawning an Iron Golem with beast or something like that?

Also I was thinking about getting max block, do you know if that is worth it?


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The fishymancer is my main character I play. One thing I always did until Enigma was to have a sorceress staff with teleport charges on switch to move my crew around. Obviously not as ideal as Enigma, but a heck of a lot cheaper and easier to get the source of teleport.

Might merc has always served me well, increase his damage and the skeletons damage...getting to that first corpse to spam CE.

One thing to remember with this build is to get a point in Decrepify before the end of Act 2 Duriel fight, it is a challenge without it.

From a Baal running perspective, it is a little time consuming to get your army built up for every game. That being said, I always sit in Act 5, raise my army in Pindle's garden, kill Pindle, then off adventuring / running. Also, I tend to hit all the bosses and some A85 areas every run, instead of re-running just one boss. Not as efficient, but cuts the monotony down greatly.


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The runs are fairly quick actually :)

Regarding the CS runs, see the 99er Compendium for details. It links to specific posts by Gripphon, explaining the runs etc.


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@matjex Regarding max block it depends on which areas you run I think. I statted for Spirit because I can't hit 75% FCR in a sensible way otherwise (no Arach yet) and because it enables 125% FCR. IMO that's ideal not only for LK but also for stuff like Pits or Cows, where resists are irrelevant and teleport speed is quite important. For stuff like Baal or CS, max block/high resists is probably the way to go, given these areas require less teleporting (Baal at least) and better defensive stats. But personally I never ran these areas for extended periods of time with this build, so not much experience here.

IMO Bramble, Summoning skillers, Pride polearm and whatever else helps summons doesn't really improve the build. Yes I know it's a summoner :) but it's all about CE and getting the first corpse ASAP. As to the IG issues you mentioned I think it's that on bnet IGs occasionally just poofed away. In SP that's not an issue, but of course in any case Beast IG is... ballsy, to say the least. :p


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I had max block with Homunculus, but I wouldn't bother if I was using spirit. Bone armour provides a decent bit of protection too.


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I have an untwinked poison necro going who's pretty solid. Whether you go with summoner or pnova, Heart of the Oak is very helpful for faster cast rate for teleport with Enigma and faster CE (not to mention resists and +skills). You could give the novamancer a try if you have respecs available (revives are very helpful for safety). And, yes, please join the madness over at the untwinked 99er challenge! :)


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While we're at it, I ran a bit with Novamancer and Summoner in between. Both twinked and with very good gear... And I must say, I'm still not sure which build is objectively stronger honestly. In both cases CE is main damage dealer of course. Novamancer has slower first corpse, but the advantage that after the first CE he will mostly be able to start the CE chain immediately. Nova AoE damages other mobs enough so that the first CE (at least almost) kills them, and the second CE goes off quickly.

Summoner using Beast has better single target damage, and gets the first corpse more quickly. But the second CE, which starts the actual chain, is in turn often delayed until Merc or (rarely) Skeletons finish off a second monster. Also CE range is a little lower, though that matters probably less outside Cows. He's also easier to gear very well, unless you're @PhineasB. :D

IMO they are really close, probably just a matter of preference, I like to play both to be honest. :)