sp melee necro gear/weapon choices


Diabloii.Net Member

I have a hybrid melee necro in Hell (bone armor, ampl/decrep/lifetap, iron golem from ethereal magic balrog blade with 300-650 dam, +lots of revives). I often coop with a Pala that has among other Fanaticism. I have an act 1 rogue as hireling which helps to reduce defense of enemies and offers some support fire while the Pala has a holy freeze merc. We play mostly on /players 4.

Since now I have been playing with a shield but the shield is kindy crap (ancient pledge, nice +res but it drains my mana completely when I am hit) and cannot find any worthy shields so far. On the hand a high block rate does combo well with Bone Armor.
But have found 3 interesting weapons and I am pondering which one is best for me:

1) a rare flail with mainly:
- ~270% incr dam
- 30% ias
- ~250% incr dam to undead
- ~350 attack rating to undead
I have the runes and gems to up it 2 times, though it might be a bit wasteful but it would be the most damaging option in raw physical damage.

2) Butcher Pupil with 185% dam with nice deadly strike and openwounds, its what I am using atm and I can up it to elite. The open wounds on it is not that needed though since I already have a blood belt which offers it. And the upped damage might not be that much of a difference?

3) A Glorious Axe with 3 sockets (2-h, elite). Since I cannot find any good shields and it has decent weapon range I have been thinking about just giving this a try, but other than the crescent moon runeword I am not sure what runeword to choose. Its crescent moon any good in this? The lack of resistances from shield I can make up with a Smoke runeword armor.

Speaking about armors, I am now using a Peace runeword armor for critical strike and valkerie and it was cheap to make, but I am thinking about replacing it. What would be a good fairly cheap runeword to replace it? I think I can make the following (except missing a good 3 socketed armor):
- Lionheart
- Duress
- Smoke
- Gloom

Thanks for for taking the time! :)


Diabloii.Net Member
Butcher's Pupil
Small Crescent
One-Hand Damage: 142 to 228
Required Dexterity: 83
Required Strength: 115
Required Level: 52
+197% Enhanced Damage

Horizon's Tornado
One-Hand Damage: 11 to 301
Durability: 65 of 65
+277% Enhanced Damage

Hard to answer because I'm not so good with the calculations regarding DS and the bonus to undead (and Amp/Decrep on top of it) but at least you can compare between the elite versions.

As for shield, how about Rhyme in necro head as improvement over Ancient's Pledge?

Armors (as I would rate them):

1. 'Bone' runeword – great armor for melee necro, resists, +skills, providing bone armor, magic damage and so on….
2. 'Treachery' – huge speed, high resists, FHR, %DR. Much better then Smoke or Gloom if you looking for resists
3. Duress – if you have the resists covered than this armor is great for a melee build with CB and nice cold damage to slow the critters a bit
4. Lionheart – nice resists and nice stats bonuses that can help if you go for max block and allow you to put more points in Vit
5. Smoke
6. Gloom – not worth it for a necro, you will get hit and it has high chance to cast weaken and override your curses


Diabloii.Net Member
Hey tnx that was helpful. Preferable i would indeed want to make a bone or treachery but i miss a 2nd umn or lem. But maybe I will find one soon. I thought about Rhyme, but do you think its worth also only for the block rate and chance and +res? Since i already have cannot be frozen and mana regen is good enough. Also do you think crescent moon is good for my normal attack? (say if i happen to find a 3 socketed fast 1handen weapon)


Diabloii.Net Member
The biggest advantage of rhyme is the ability to get the resists with the skills the base provide, but it can be quite a problem to utilize the increased block of rhyme AND get good skills rolls.

The best shield is the uniqe necro head so rhyme is a temporary solution anyway as such I wouldn't bother to look for the best base.
Another thing to remember is that the runes are not hard to find, so you can make new shields in the future if needed.

I think CM is a good weapon (mainly because of ITD mod) but if you have good AR and you also use rouge merc it's a bit wasted on necro, especially if you co-op with a paladin (ias covered with fanaticism). Anyway check the breakpoints and see if you reach them.


Diabloii.Net Member
Check out Oath in a fast Ethereal base since it provides indestructible:

4 Socket Swords/Axes/Maces
Shael + Pul + Mal + Lum
30% Chance To Cast Level 20 Bone Spirit On Striking
+50% Increased Attack Speed
+210-340% Enhanced Damage (varies)
+75% Damage To Demons
+100 To Attack Rating Against Demons
Prevent Monster Heal
+10 To Energy
+10-15 Magic Absorb (varies)
Level 16 Heart Of Wolverine (20 Charges)
Level 17 Iron Golem (14 Charges)​

Coupled with:

Bone (Necromancer)
3 Socket Body Armor
Sol + Um + Um
15% Chance To Cast level 10 Bone Armor When Struck
15% Chance To Cast level 10 Bone Spear On Striking
+2 To Necromancer Skill Levels
+100-150 To Mana (varies)
All Resistances +30
Damage Reduced By 7​

If you pump Bone Wall and Bone Prison for their synergy to Bone Armor, they will also synergise the 30% Chance To Cast Level 20 Bone Spirit On Striking from 'Oath', 15% Chance To Cast level 10 Bone Spear On Striking from Bone and 15% Chance To Cast level 10 Bone Armor When Struck from 'Bone'.


Diabloii.Net Member
Hey harhar, welcome to the forums. Alot of questions come to mind: Is this HC or SC? wats ur current gear? Wats ur skill placement? Wat crowd control curses you have? Sounds like you wanna go melee so why a HF merc? Get Might. How do you already have CBF? We can help you more if you give us some info.


Diabloii.Net Member
The rogue sounds like an excellent complement to the other party members, keep her!

I would recommend Butchers pupil for the OW. It may not be significant in most battles but really helps against immune and resistand ones, or for hit and run tactics against very hard foes - the rare but hard times for a melee character. As a melee necromancer can use decrepify I usually think damage reduction but if you are comfortable with the bone armor for protection, I recommend Duress and Crescent moon in that axe - immunes will then not be much of a problem, and normal monsters will be so much easier for you with the ignores target defense mod.