Latest Diablo 3 News
DiabloWiki Updates
Support the site! Become a Diablo: IncGamers PAL - Remove ads and more!

The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

Discussion in 'Necromancer' started by Wizdomm, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. Wizdomm

    Wizdomm IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    62
    The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    The Acrid Axemancer

    What is the Acrid Axemancer?

    The Acrid Axemancer is a melee necro that takes advantage of gear that has chance to cast attributes. The primary examples of such gear are: (1) the "Breath of the Dying" berserker axe with its 50% chance to cast a level 20 poison nova when you kill an enemy, (2) the "Bone" runeword armor with its 15% chance to cast bone armor when struck, and (3) Andariel's Visage with its 15% to cast a level 15 poison nova when struck.

    Can you see why such items are so powerful for a melee necro? By maxing the synergies to poison nova (poison dagger and poison explosion), our axemancer is constantly firing off relatively powerful poison novas as he mows down enemies with his axe, and his bone armor is constantly refreshed as enemies strike him.

    One note for those that may be interested in trying this character out is that there is no "untwinked" way to play this character. It is very gear-dependent and gear-specific and is built around a couple of core items that are mandatory ("Breath of the Dying" and "Bone").


    Breakpoints

    FHR frames:
    13 - 0%
    12 - 5%
    11 - 10%
    10 - 16%
    9 - 26%
    8 - 39% (very easy to get with boots, jewels, charm, etc...)
    7 - 56% (I'm here)
    6 - 86%
    5 - 152%
    4 - 377%

    FCR frames:
    15 - 0% (I'm here since this is not a caster character AT ALL.)
    14 - 9%
    13 - 18%
    12 - 30%
    11 - 48%
    10 - 75%
    9 - 125%

    IAS frames (for a Necro wielding a berserker axe):
    18 - 0%
    17 - 7%
    16 - 15%
    15 - 23%
    14 - 35%
    13 - 52%
    12 - 72% (I'm here just from wearing eBOTD and Andy's)
    11 - 117% (would require sacrifices in gear to get here - not worth it IMO)
    10 - 194%


    Skills

    Curses - 1 point in all (Attract and Confuse are optional)
    Summoning - none at all.
    Poison Dagger - 20 (synergizes the "chance to cast" poison novas)
    Poison Explosion - 20 (synergizes the "chance to cast" poison novas)
    Poison Nova - 20 (you will need a secondary attack sometimes so you should max this since you will max its synergies)
    Bone Armor - 1
    Bone Wall - 20 (synergizes your bone armor)
    Bone Prison - As much as you can. (synergizes your bone armor)

    I also have Battle Command, Battle Orders, and Battle Cry with the "Call to Arms" flail that I have on switch.


    Stats

    Strength - None (or very little depending on gear selection).
    Dexterity - None.
    Vitality - Everything!
    Energy - None.


    Suggested Gear

    Weapon: Ethereal Breath of the Dying beserker axe
    No other choice at all. This entire character is built around this weapon and its 50% chance to cast a level 20 poison nova when you kill an enemy. Also contains massive life leech, plus 30 to all attributes, self-repairs itself (REALLY nice) and all in a high-damage weapon.

    Armor: "Bone" Runeword
    No other choice at all. This almost-never-used runeword seems to have been tailor-made for melee necros in mind. Plus 2 to necro skills (helps our curses), 30 to all resists, and the very nice 15% to cast level 10 bone armor when struck. May as well put it in an Archon Plate because this necro will have a huge amount of strength from the other gear we use.

    Helm: Andariel's Visage
    Plus 2 skills (helps our curses), big life leech, increased attack speed to meet our breakpoint, massive poison resist, and a massive bonus to strength. Oh...and it has 15% to a level 15 poison nova when struck. Socket it to help with resist problems.

    Shield: "Phoenix" Runeword
    Adds 400% enhanced damage, bonus to life, and increased maximum fire and lite resist. On top of that we get big fire sorb. The chance to cast firestorm is a bit of a turnoff but not too big a deal. Melee necro's don't have blazing speed anyway. You will hardly notice the firestorm delay.

    Belt: Thundergod's Vigor
    We have to have some lite sorb and this fits us well. We also get increased maximum lite resist, 1-50 lite damage added, and big bonuses to strength (helps us equip other gear) and vitality.

    Amulet: Metalgrid
    You will be lacking resists, AR, and defense and this helps out in all these departments.

    Boots: Rare Tri-Resist Boots
    Andy's helm took care of our poison resists, but now we really need some fire, lite, and cold resists. Some FHR and FRW is also a plus.

    Ring #1: Ravenfrost
    We need some more AR and the "cannot be frozen." The cold sorb is a welcome bonus as well.

    Ring #2:
    Any unique/rare/crafted ring that fills in the gaps of what you feel is lacking: resists (fire especially if wearing Andy's), AR, life, etc...

    Gloves:
    Trang's gloves to add damage to your Poison Novas. Otherwise, any unique/rare/crafted gloves that fills in the gaps of what you feel is lacking: resists (fire especially if wearing Andy's), AR, life, etc...

    Switch Gear:
    Call to Arms and Spirit Monarch for battle orders.

    Charms:
    You will carry an Ani and a Torch, of course. If you want to carry grand charms, I would carry Curse grand charms since PnB charms won't help your "chance to cast" novas. Or you could just carry small charms that fit whatever you need/want: life, fhr, frw,damage, AR, etc. A wealthy person might stack up on 451 poison small charms. :)


    Merc – Act 2 Normal Offensive

    You absolutely must use the Blessed Aim merc. Your AR is terrible and without his aura you won't be able to hit anything. For example, I notice that without my merc I often have a low chance to hit monsters (say 50-60%), but with the merc I have 90%+ chance to hit.

    I tried early on using a Doom cryptic axe on him for Holy Freeze. The merc was awesome...very nice damage, busted corpses preventing resurrection, and he rarely died. But eventually switched to Pride because of the Concentration aura. My max damage (with no damage charms and no auras activated) is around 4K. Just by having the merc's aura, my max damage increases to 6K. I have no doubt that Infinity would also be a fine choice. The main thing is that merc be a blessed aim merc.


    What Can And Can’t Hurt Us

    We will have max resists (hopefully) with most of them at 85 or 90%. Add to that one item each for fire sorb, lite sorb, and cold sorb and we can practically ignore all elemental attacks from monsters. Even poison isn’t a problem because it will drain so little of our life that our life leeching while meleeing will quickly replenish the small amounts lost to poison.

    But we can’t sorb magic damage. So be aware of those groups of Vipers that shoot bone spears. They will hurt and your bone armor does not protect you against them.

    So (outside of the occasional encounter with Vipers) we really only have to worry about physical damage killing us. As long as the axemancer isn’t completely surrounded by very quick and very strong monsters (the last wave in the throne is nasty), his life leeching and the chance to cast bone armor should keep him safe in almost all skirmishes.

    Oh, there is one thing that will kill you…and I mean quick. Iron Maiden. It will kill you and it will kill your merc; and without your merc’s blessed aim aura, trying to melee is quite a bit slower (assuming you avoid IM-killing yourself). You either have to avoid the Chaos Sanctuary altogether or switch over to just being a plain old poison nova necro (these situations are why I suggest going ahead and maxing poison nova).


    Melee And Massive Chains Of Poison Novas

    Your EBOTD has a 50% to cast a level 20 poison nova when you kill an enemy. You will notice it doesn’t qualify that with “how” you kill an enemy. For example, say I decide to take on a large crowd of monsters. I attack with my axe and bring the first monster down and (50% of the time) it triggers a poison nova. Now the entire group of monsters is poisoned. Say they are weak enough that the poison nova kills them. Well, 50% of their deaths will trigger more poison novas in very rapid succession. You can get some unbelievable chains of poison novas firing off of you while you are meleeing (the chance to cast skills don’t interrupt your attacks or your running).


    One "Unusual" Way To Trigger Poison Novas

    There are certain areas of the game that have fires burning on the floor (like in the Tower and Catacombs. for example). Since you absorb fire, stand in it. It counts as being struck...repeatedly. This will quickly generate a click-to-cast poison nova from the Andy's helm (15% to cast when struck). This is useful if you want to get a chain of novas going without wanting to take time to swing the axe, kill a monster, and hope it's death triggers one.

    Other things that work great in triggering the "15% chance to cast when struck" novas:
    • Those statues that spit out fireballs.
    • Those lightning spires in arcane.
    • Hydras and meteors cast by Ghoul Lords.

    The Use Of Curses

    You put a point in (at least eight of) the curses and you will have use for most of them. There are two curses that are the most useful are Amp Damage and Lower Resist. Amp is best if you need to kill those first few enemies to start the nova chains, and they are not poison immunes. Lower Resist is best if the monsters are poison immune; after all, you won’t get any long chains of poison novas if they can’t be killed by them. If you are too lazy to switch between Amp and Lower Resist depending on the monster’s immunity, then I would use Lower Resist all the time.

    Dim Vision is also very useful against very large groups of monsters that do either magic (Vipers) or large amounts of physical damage quickly (Dolls are especially dangerous when they surround you). Dim Vision is also useful if you are in a hurry to get somewhere and don’t want to fight every monster on your way. You just Dim them and run by them.

    The other curses are used only in special circumstances. Decrepify is useful on all the act bosses and on the last wave at the throne. Life Tap has its uses early in the game before you are fully geared. It’s also a nice party curse to have since some people will request it.


    Videos Of Game Play

    My computer lags badly when using video making software, but I decided to make these low-quality vids (1st vid is really bad, 2nd one is a bit better) anyway since some people will need to see this character in action to see exactly how it is supposed to work.

    It's very hard to see what I am doing in these vids, but the only things I am doing are casting lower resist and swinging my axe. The bazillion poison novas and re-casting of bone armor (as well as a couple of bone spears) are all "chance to cast."









    (I may make more videos - hopefully better quality - in other game areas later and add them here if possible.)


    Conclusion

    This game is too dang old to continually play with the same old cookie-cutter builds. And few of these experimental builds are both fun to play yet reasonably effective in PvM. The Acrid Axemancer is quite tough and pretty hard to kill (I tank the waves at the throne in 8ppl baal runs – LOL), and he does decent enough damage (more than the other popular melee necros) that it is a viable alternative to standard builds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  2. Bladewind

    Bladewind IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    Looks interesting, maybe you could try Bramble armor and see how much faster it gets the job done. :p
     
  3. Wizdomm

    Wizdomm IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    62
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    I actually did play around with Bramble (and some other armor) but the added damage just didn't make up for the constant recasting of bone armor from the "Bone" runeword. With "Bone" I can just run into a crowd of twenty or thirty monsters with no worries. Without "Bone" my bone armor will destroyed in a couple of hits and then I'm pretty vulnerable in a long skirmish against multiple monsters.



     
  4. spunky

    spunky IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    That is awesome. Creative and stylish. Well done!!!
     
  5. The Son Of Disaster

    The Son Of Disaster IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    Love this.

    Seems like it would be very weak against bosses though. Since Bone Armor is constantly re-cast, does it need to be fully synergised? I would skip the points in Poison Nova too honestly.

    I just never thought of Bone Armor being constanly re-cast, so I'm even intrigued to put it on a Merc for survival.

    I heard once before that + skills can effect auras granted by equipment for example + lightning resist effects its synergy on holy shock. Is this true for proccing effects? Or true at all? If so poison/bone charms would be massive boost for your damage and armor. I say attack rating charms > curse charms since you cant hit well.

    Out of curiousity, what attack frame does a necro get in Bear form with Botdz? Even at 6-7 frames thats a huge improvement plus big bonus to life.

    Any info I threw out there I have not tested just stuff I've heard here or theory crafting.

    That's my two cents. Very inventive build man :D
     
  6. Wizdomm

    Wizdomm IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    62
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    First off, I didn't fully synergize bone armor because I'm not gonna have enough points to do so (will only get about 10 in Prison likely) but that will give me about a 540 bone armor. But I recommend synergizing as much as possible. Your bone armor will recast 15% of the time. It works out OK if your armor is strong and can take a few hits. It won't work out OK if your armor is not synergized (100 defense is all it will be) and every attack you receive will destroy it.

    Maxing Poison Nova (while not absolutely necessary) really helps in situations where (1) you are IM'd, (2) your Merc died and without his blessed aim it's just a b*tch to try to hit anything with your axe, and (3) if you don't want to take so long whacking away at act bosses (since you won't be getting any "chance to cast" novas going off). And it's good to have a non-physical secondary attack.

    Putting "Bone" on a merc would likely be a disaster since his bone armor is not synergized. It will just be a plain level 10 bone armor (100 defense). That will barely help your merc at all. And it is so weak that every single strike he receives will destroy the armor.

    Skill charms are unnecessary. PnB charms will not help the "chance to cast" novas and will only add 10 defense (per charm) to your bone armor. I'd carry curse charms before PnB. And really, I'd skip the skillers altogether and just stock up on small charms that help with resists, dmg, ar, life, etc...

    Not sure about bear form...but obviously we'd have to wield a Beast to transform to a bear, and then we wouldn't have EBOTD for all the poison novas



     
  7. The Son Of Disaster

    The Son Of Disaster IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    I wanna say a Botd War SPike could hit 6 or even 5 fps in bear form so just throw beast in inventory and put it on with spirit before battle then take cta back out since inventory space is mildly less significant with this build as we dont need 9 skillers or anything like that. just a though could be cool.
     
  8. Wizdomm

    Wizdomm IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    62
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    Interesting with the War Pike. But I wonder how the damage would be compared to the beserker with Phoenix (400% enhanced damage)...and the berserker would definitely have better fps for attack speed. But I'd have to go to that German ias calculator and crunch the numbers.



     
  9. The Son Of Disaster

    The Son Of Disaster IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    war spike. faster than zerk. lower damage though, not much lower aveage damage though. id take the speed any day. Could then pull the beast back out vs. bosses for crushing blow and open wounds. just thoughts.
     
  10. Wizdomm

    Wizdomm IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    62
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    Ah...war SPIKE not war PIKE. Got a bit confused on that one. :thumbup:

    And I've already named my character "Axemancer"... :banghead:



     
  11. The Son Of Disaster

    The Son Of Disaster IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    122
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    well warspike is "axe" class :D
     
  12. moneymango

    moneymango IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2008
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    I love love love unique builds. A+++ is my books
     
  13. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,054
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    Nice to see someone put those CtC rune items to good use. If I had the gear I'd be trying it.

    I think Damric tried something like this, with the recastable bone armor, as well. He also found it very useful.
     
  14. sequoia

    sequoia IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    346
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    This build looks really fun. Do you get smacked around a lot without max block? Does your necro still get stunned if the damage was absorbed through the bone armor?

    If so, have you considered max block with bramble instead? Phoenix's redemption, bramble's FHR/13 life per kill, and ebotd's life leech should keep you alive as long as you are hitting and killing things.
     
  15. Wizdomm

    Wizdomm IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    62
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    Yea, I get smacked around alot but it's actually not too bad. The bone armor can tank a few hits and most of the time it re-casts itself before being completely destroyed. You are stunned when monsters strike you and your bone armor, but the plus is that you don't have to pause to re-cast bone armor yourself. It happens automatically with no pause in your actions (whether melee or running around).

    The only monsters that I have to be careful with are those that do high damage and do it very quick....because the more damage they do in the fewest strikes really hurt your odds on the bone armor recasting. If they can kill you in 3 or 4 hits and inflict those in a couple of seconds, you are not really happy about the 15% to recast bone armor. Being surrounded by dolls is rough...and the last wave at the throne is rough. But decrep or dim vision takes care of those situations.

    The great majority of monster groups I can just run right into swinging...and don't have to worry about death. I wouldn't want to trade out my "Bone" armor for anything. Going max block with a different shield is certainly an option. But I didn't go that route since I thought the points in DEX would largely have been wasted since I have bone armor up all the time. Max vita, ctc bone armor, and more damage (melee'ing to start the novas) seemed like the better way to go than less life, no ctc bone armor, max block, and more powerful novas.



     
  16. Norcim105

    Norcim105 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    44
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    Real interesting build. I accidently stumbled onto this today, and with the name "Acrid Axemancer" I just had to check it out.

    I have one idea for you: If you can afford all this crazy gear you can certainly get an Infinity for your merc, which would do more for your chance-to-hit than the blessed aim merc. I think infinity gives you like -83% defense. You could then use any other act 2 merc you liked. Also, Infinity has 40%cb which will drastically improve your kill speed against bosses. You could prebuff enchant from demonlimb which will last like 10 minutes or stay with the chance-to-cast theme and grab lavagouts. Great job with this man.

    Edit: Had another idea, for bosses, as they seem to be the only real weakness of this build. You could grab a fleshripper fanged knife. Sooo many tasty mods for boss killing it one tiny package.
     
  17. Wizdomm

    Wizdomm IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    62
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    Nice ideas. Yea...I had wanted to try out Infinity as I do own a couple on other characters...but never got around to swapping gear around..and the Doom and Pride were just sitting on a mule so that's how that worked out. Enchant with demonlimb would be a nice addition for damage. Will definitely experiment with that.



     
  18. wickedswami

    wickedswami IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,573
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    255
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    as norcim said, fleshripper might be usefull, since you maxed poison dagger and its synergies, you'd end up doing some nice damage with it imo. (dno how poison nova and dagger cointeract though)

    Have you considered maxing bonespear in stead of poison nova? Since bonespear has been partially synergized by bone wall. Or wouldn't it be strong enough( haven't played many necro's)
     
  19. Wizdomm

    Wizdomm IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    62
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    Swapping out BOTD for a dagger would take away the whole "50% chance to cast lvl 20 poison nova" angle I was going for...but I could see keeping a dagger in inventory to play around with sometimes. And yea, dagger and nova together doesn't work. They will override each other rather than stack.

    The bone skills (spear) in place of poison would be too weak when not fully synergized to be of much use...especially if going strictly on "chance to cast" gear. And they won't affect an entire crowd of monsters like nova can...unless they conveniently line up in a straight line for you.



     
  20. CCCenturion

    CCCenturion IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    255
    Re: The Acrid Axemancer - Unusual "Chance To Cast" Melee Necro

    VERY interesting build. Looks like a lot of fun.

    I never even considered using poison skills to synergize BotD's novas. Not that I've ever owned a BotD anyway. But you've got me thinking about doing something similar with a Bonehew, with its 50% ctc Bone Spear on striking. With all your bone skills loaded, that'd be a 50% chance to cast a very lethal missile. Still wouldn't be as cool as your setup, though. Kudos.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009

Share This Page