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Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

Discussion in 'Necromancer' started by shijo, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. shijo

    shijo IncGamers Member

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    Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    This may or may not warrant a guide, but I'll call it that for now. It should all be common knowledge at this point, but frankly I've seen a lot of threads on a weekly basis discussing the same exact equipment questions. Much of this information can be found throughout other guides and threads. My goal is to target equipment specifically and combine it into one thread for easy and quick access and reference.

    As a disclaimer: I'm no expert, and I don't know everything about necros. I have little to no experience with poison and bone necros. Same with any pvp build. This is for a pure summoner, aka fishymancer, aka whatever. Any input, advice, criticism, and things I've made mistakes on are -very- welcome and I will make corrections as they are made available to me. If I forget something, please let me know so I can update the list!

    Now, on with the show!

    I'll list the top few items (numbered in order of quality) a necro would use for each slot, and then discuss the pro's and cons afterwards.

    Lets start with a slot by slot breakdown of gear.

    note: CBF = Cannot Be Frozen
    **If someone has good suggestions for a rare circlet, ring or amulet listing, please post it. I'm not real familiar with rares.


    -=Helmet=-
    1) Harlequin Crest "Shako"
    2) Kira's Guardian
    **) Rare Circlet
    ----------
    There's not a huge discussion for this slot. The shako has the best overall stats, except for a godly rare circlet. A good argument for Kira's could be made because of the resists and CBF mod.

    -=Shield=-
    1) Homunculus
    2) Spirit Monarch
    3) Boneflame
    ----------
    Homunculus has the best all around stats. If you're aiming for max block, you'll want to use this shield. Spirit is great if you want FCR, but the strength req on a Monarch is a bit high at 156. Boneflame is great for prebuffing if you get a +3 skills one. Variable resists, and lack of other mods make the Homunculus and Spirit better though.

    -=Boots=-
    1) Marrowwalk
    2) Sandstorm Trek
    3) War Traveler
    ----------
    Marrowwalk has the best mods with +2 Skeleton Mastery, 10% extra mana, +str and dex and a half freeze duration. Sandstorm Trek has insane poison resist, and is a great option, especially if it's ethereal. War Traveler adds a lot of magic find in a slot that normally doesn't. It also has +str and +vit which is useful.

    -=Gloves=-
    1) Frostburn
    1) Magefist
    1) Trang-Oul's Claws
    ----------
    These gloves are pretty equal in their pros and cons, so it's up to preference. Frostburn adds 40% mana, which is pretty substantial. Magefist adds FCR and +1 fire skills which I believe works on Corpse Explosion. Trang's also has FCR, along with +2 curses and 30% poison resist. Take your pick here.

    -=Belt=-
    1) Arachnid Mesh
    2) Verdungo's Hearty Cord
    3) Trang-Oul's Girth
    ----------
    No other belt adds +skills, so the Arachnid Mesh is an easy #1 here. Verdungo's is another amazing belt, especially if it has a high % of reduced damage. Adds a lot of hitpoints with the +vitality too. Trang's Girth was mentioned simply because of the fact that it has the CBF modifier and has low requirements. It's severely lacking in other mods though.

    -=Rings=-
    1) Stone of Jordan
    2) Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band
    3) Ravenfrost
    4) Wisp Projector
    **) Rare Ring
    ----------
    SoJ is easily the best with a boost in mana and +1 skills. If you're building your summoner correctly, you won't get mana except from your equipment, so this is a great source of that. Bul-Kathos' comes in a very close second, because of the +hp it adds with its +1 all skills. Ravenfrost is another excellent ring with the CBF mod, quite a bit dex and 20% cold absorb. Wisp Projector was mentioned soley for its lightning absorb.

    -=Amulet=-
    ----------
    1) Mara's Kaleidescope
    2) +3 summon amulet w/ life
    **) Rare Amulet
    ----------
    Mara's has it all. +2 skills, resists. Not much of a discussion here. The summon amulet speaks for itself and is the best choice if you don't need the resists from Mara's.

    -=Armor=-
    1) Enigma
    2) Chains of Honor
    ----------
    Enigma is easily the best here because of one word: Teleport. No surprise here. Chains of Honor is mentioned because it has crazy resists where the Enigma doesn't. If you go the CoH route, it might be a good idea to have an Enigma on hand or some other means of teleporting.

    -=Weapon=-
    1) Beast
    2) Heart of the Oak
    3) Arm of King Leoric
    4) Call to Arms
    ----------
    Beast has level 9 fanaticism and adds a lot of strength. If you put that in a double axe, the requirements for using it are very low. This will increase the damage and attack speed of your mercenary and your entire skeleton army. Nothing else does that, so Beast wins. The HOTO is a solid #2 though. +3 skills, great FCR, great resists makes it easily the best non-aura weapon a non-melee class could use. AoKL is not something you want to use once you have a Hoto or a Beast except to prebuff your army. Keep one around just for that purpose. CTA is another great prebuffing item, but it's far from necessary.

    -=Mercenary Setup=-
    Q: What type of merc?
    A: Act 2 Nightmare Offensive Merc (aka Might Merc)
    ----------
    Might aura. That's all I have to say.

    -=Helmet=-
    1) Guillaume's Face
    2) Andariel's Visage
    3) Vampire Gaze
    ----------
    Crushing blow is absolutely crucial for your mercenary to be sucessful. Guillaume's Face has a massive 35% and it's dirt cheap. You can also slap an IAS jewel in this. Andy's Visage is excellent also. With a possible 10% life leech and 20% IAS this is a monster helmet. Make sure you stick a Ral in there though to make up for the lost fire resist. Vamp Gaze is a good helmet because of the life leech and the damage reduction. The cold damage places is it in a very distant 3rd because that's not condusive to Corpse Explosion or raising undead minions.

    -=Armor=-
    1) Chains of Honor
    1) Fortitude
    ----------
    There isn't a whole lot of choice here. Chains of Honor has 8% life leech and amazing resists. Fortitude has amazing resist and %ed. It's a matter of preference. If you're using an Andy Visage, you may opt for the better defense instead. If you're using the Guillaume's Face, you might prefer the leech from the CoH. It's a matter of personal preference.

    -=Weapon=-
    1) Infinity
    2) Obedience
    3) Insight
    4) Pride
    ----------
    This is probably the most frequently discussed topic from what I can see. "What's the best merc weapon?" It's an easy answer if you know what to look for. Infinity has 40% crushing blow, prevents monsters from healing and has a level 12 conviction aura on it. That debuffs defense by 83% and resists by 85% within a 13.3 yard radius. That increases how effective your army melee is, your merc melee is, your mage missile damage, your corpse explosion damage. There is no comparison at all. Obedience is #2 because it's cheap, has great resists and 40% crushing blow, debuffs fire resist (great for CE) and adds to resists. If you can't afford an Infinity, Obedience is a great choice. Insight is excellent for mana regen. If you're always short on mana, and don't want to chug potions, this is a good choice too. It lacks crushing blow, however. Pride gets an honorable mention because of the concentration aura. No crushing blow, no + %ed, freezing damage and 3hrs to craft it makes it a low 4th. Make sure these runewords are in ethereal elite polearms.

    Q: What Polearm do I use?
    A: Cryptic Axe, Colossus Voulge, or Thresher.

    Cryptic Axe is really well balanced and probably the most expensive of the ethereal polearms. Colossus Voulge has a high strength requirement, but is probably the least expensive of the polearms. Thresher is also very well balanced in stat reqs and has the fastest attack speed of the three. Doesn't have the highest damage though. Thresher is the best of the 3 because damage isn't important when crushing blow is involved. The amount of hits is what matters.

    -=Charms=-
    I'll mention this for the sake of clarity, but it's probably not necessary.

    Summon GC's
    Annihilus
    Hellfire Torch
    Resist SC's
    FHR sc's
    MF sc's
    Gheed's
    ----------

    -shijo
     
  2. MYK

    MYK Diablo: IncGamers Member

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    Re: Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    Maybe instead of listing the "uber gear" that everyone knows about, it would be more beneficial to construct gear setups instead?

    I mean, one could easily pick all of the +skill gear, and end up with breakpoints all over the place, goofy resists, and slow FCR. Would that be a top tier summoner, or just another "stack on the +skills 'til your eyes bleed" kinda thing?
     
  3. Barbarrister Voldamus

    Barbarrister Voldamus IncGamers Member

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    Re: Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    I do not claim to be an expert but it seems to me that there are a lot of people out there who sing the praises of Treachery as the primary armor for their merc. Anyone with experience could you fill me in on what really stands out.

    Another thing I woould not mind seeing is a little more discussion of gear to level and develop a fishy I am for the most part running what I find or can build for myself and like you said everyone talks about the top end gear a lot but what I could use more is help deciding what I can use along the way.
     
  4. Poppis

    Poppis IncGamers Member

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    Re: Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    I was actually thinking about some mid-level gear for my summoner before remaking him, but then I just started playing and just used whatever items I found along the way. I'm now doing NM baalruns, I have a gemmed leather armor on me(socketed with chipped ruby and saphire) and I'm doing just fine.:grin:
    And no, I didn't get rushed at any point, all normal quests done and only missing 2-3 nm quests.

    I was actually quite surprised myself how well I did in nm, even though I have many times heard that summoner can solo hell naked.


     
  5. shijo

    shijo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    That's a good point. I certainly don't know all the builds out there, but I can post a couple that I'm aware of. If anyone has a different setup they use, feel free to post it here.

    -=Stack Your +Skills 'til Your Eyes Bleed (my personal setup)=-

    Helm: Shako (Um)
    Shield: Homuculus (Um)
    Belt: Arachnid Mesh
    Boots: +2 Marrowwalk
    Rings: 2x SoJ
    Amulet: Mara/+3 Summon Amulet
    Gloves: Frostburn
    Weapon: "Beast" Double Axe
    Armor: "Chains of Honor" Dusk Shroud/Archon Plate

    Switch: AoKL/Homunculus (Um) on switch. CTA/Boneflame are other good options too.

    Merc:
    Infinity
    Fortitude
    Guillaume's Face (Um, IAS Jewel, Fal)

    Alternate Merc setups could be Infinity thresher, CoH Armor (life leech) and Guillaume's.

    Charms:
    9x summon gc
    Torch
    Anni
    resist sc's
    ----------
    I don't personally like the Hoto/Enigma setup. I prefer to walk through the WSK and MFon the way. I use the CoH for its resists. This is great at tackling dclone, the act bosses, and the other ubers. It can also solo quite well in an 8-player hell. The frostburn and sojs jacks up your mana pool pretty good, and you really only ever need a mana pot if you have to panic spam CE. Otherwise you regenerate it pretty quickly.


    -=Teleport Master and the Glob of Death=-

    Helm: Shako (Um)
    Shield: Homunculus (Um)
    Belt: Arachnid Mesh
    Boots: +2 Marrowwalk
    Rings: 2x SoJ
    Amulet: Mara/+2 necro with resists and/or 10-20% fcr
    Gloves: Magefist
    Weapon: "Heart of the Oak" Flail/Crystal Sword
    Armor: "Enigma" Dusk Shroud/Archon Plate

    Switch: Aokl/Wizardspike & Homunc/Spirit Monarch

    Merc (not 100% on the merc setup for this build, any tips welcome):
    Insight / Infinity
    Chains of Honor/Duress
    Guillaume's Face

    Charms:
    The usual, probably throw in some fhr charms also.

    ----------
    This setup gives you 90%-100% fcr. If you want to hit the 125% breakpoint, slap on a good spirit monarch and you'll be good to go. Gives you enough fcr to telestack bosses and teleport effectively.



     
  6. stephan

    stephan IncGamers Member

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    Re: Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    The -res on Obedience only works for your merc. It does not increase your CE damage.
     
  7. Dirkw

    Dirkw IncGamers Member

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    Re: Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    I like treachery. When fade procs, it's very good. Also helps to get rid of IM quickly, although that's of no solution when you can't tp your merc to safety to sit out im's duration.
    What I feel is the problem with treachery is that it can be a pretty annoying task to get fade to trigger. You can make runs and start with countess, there's a place in the tower where there's always some fire to put your merc on. But I'm not terribly satisfied with that solution.

    What you can use along the way is anything with +skills. Be it a rare severed head, a head with sockets to make runewords in or a golemlord's amu.

    From my experience, summoner's are really all about stacking +skills, yes.


     
  8. shijo

    shijo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    Wow, I totally missed that. Brain fart there. Thanks for that.



     
  9. chien

    chien IncGamers Member

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    Re: Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    I like to spam CE like crazy :) So, an Insight IG is nice. You're right. CoH is great if you do area runs. However, with Nigma, you have much easier time to adjust your/your army's position. It is a must have if you also invest heavily on mages :)

    No experience on pride, but same rank here : infinity>obeidience>insight(you can use CG now).

    Chien
     
  10. SnickerSnack

    SnickerSnack IncGamers Member

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    Re: Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    Sorry for the petty correction: that's +10% mana regeneration.

    Edit: Something a little more substantive.
    Depending on what you're goal is, CoH gets another plus. If your focus is bosses/ubers, like mine is, then you'll notice that CoH gives +200% damage to demons; so, if demons are your focus, then the only benefit of Fort over CoH is the defense.

    I think that Duress should get an honorable mention: if you're going to use obedience or vamp gaze, then duress' primary fault, cold damage, isn't an issue. It has crushing blow and open wounds (stop those ubers form healing) and resists. Again, the cold damage can be a problem, but if you're already using something with cold, then duress is an armor to consider.

    Edit: I see that you listed duress in the tele master build.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  11. Greyeagle

    Greyeagle IncGamers Member

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    Re: Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    Couple of additions:

    In the belt group consider adding t-god. Max+ light res and absorb means you can stand in gloam fire and not worry. Obviously curses can handle the situation, but not having to worry about it is a nice setup sometimes.

    In the boots group consider adding infernostride. +max fire res, +fire res, and goldfind. Again, standing around in fire without worrying is nice sometimes. The fire res also compliments the spirit shield nicely, since that is the one res missing from the shield. (Fire res is very helpful for nilly runs)

    In the weapon category, at least add an honorable mention for wizardspike. I still use it as end game gear because I don't need +skills on my combat switch. It should at least get mention because it is pgem cost end game quality gear.
     
  12. shijo

    shijo IncGamers Member

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    Re: Guide: Top Tier Summoner Equipment

    Great corrections gang. @Snicker, thanks for the Marrowwalk correction. I'm really irritated that I allowed that to get by.
     

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