The Boneshadow


Diabloii.Net Member
The Boneshadow

My name is Nick. I play primarily on USEAST. I have been playing Diablo since D1 and still love it. I mainly prefer pvm but on accasion; especially an iron man occasion, I will do some pvp play. But PVM is what I like best.

I wanted a versatile necro build that would take advantage of some of the new 1.1 gear, as well as the newly de-nerfed necromancer's tactical capabilities. This necro was primarily pvm inspired, but It seems to work decently as a pvp as well.

I'm not going to pretend I came up with all of these strategies on my own some I learned through trial and error some I researched, and others I learned by word of mouth. It may be that many of you readers are well aware of some or even all of these strategies, and for some they may be new to them. Perhaps even if you dont like this build you might be able to glean something from this guide that might be helpful in making other builds of your own.

Item Procurement:
I won't insult anyone's intelligence by trying to pretend that I personally found each and every item that I use. While I have found many of the items that I use; some I got in trade some I gambled, and others were from the generosity of my friends, to whom I am grateful.

Id like to begin by talking about marrowwalk (unique boneweave) boots You see the thing about marrow walks is that they give the player level 33 bone prison. This can be cast as a spell with limited charges, but it also passively gives synergy without expending any charges. AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT PUT ANY POINTS INTO BONE PRISON THE MARROW WALKS WILL GIVE YOU 33 SYNERGY FOR YOUR OTHER SKILLS! Thats a savings of 20 skill points you can use elsewhere! It is this savings that will allow you to speicalize your build to suit your personal needs. BUt We'll get to that later. If you put a single skill point into bone prison the marrowwalks no longer function to give that synergy. So do not put any points into bone prison.

Stat points:Strength : only enough so that your BASE strength is enough to use all your items
Dexterity: enough to keep your block rate at 75% for your given lvl
Vitality : All the rest-life is good!
Energy : BASE 70

And remember as your lvl goes up your blocking rate goes down so you need to continually invest points into dexterity so that you can maintain a block rate of 75% which is maximum allowable.

This is a caster. Some of these items setups will work for other caster builds as well. For example on all my caster build I like to use

Amulet: Maras is great because it gives +2 to all skills and some decent resistance. You can also gamble some nice +3 to bone skill ammies, I suggest Jamala in hell mode for that.

Helm: Shako with um is nice, I actually use a shako with p skull in it. It might seem like a foolish decision but it works for me. Find what works for you and use it. A nice +3 skills with some increase cast rate and resistance would be very nice.

Armor: The enigma to me is one of the best items that came out of the new patch. It gives non sorcy characters teleportation ability. Of course the plus 2 skills and everything are very nice too. The enigma really makes a good necro great. Second runner up I would have to say would be a Perfect viper with an um in it. It is often over looked, but in my opinion one of the finest caster armors in the game.

Weapon: The white is perfect for this build especially if you can find a perfect one out there. ITs skills are well suited towards a bone necro and it gives skel mastery, but well get into that later. Hoto is one of the best caster weapons in the game. But I dont have one, on the other hand even if I did i think I would still use my white. Wizardspike, or even a spectral shard can serve if nothing else.

Shield: Homunculus with um in it is my shield of choice. But I don't have one what I have is a homuncuous with perfect diamond. I know a lot of people who claim the Darkforce or the boneflame are superior. I wont say they are wrong but I prefer the um homunculus.

Gloves: Frosties-In my opinion the finest caster gloves in the game. Maybe a nice pair of caster gloves, but frosites aren't hard to come by.

Rings: Stone of Jordan (soj) I like to use dual sojs because I know of no caster ring that is better. if not some faster cast rate and and res is always nice.

Belt: Arachnid arachnid has some insane mods skill points cast rate etc. You could also craft a nice caster belt, gloomstrap isnt a bad caster belt either

Boots: Marrowwalk this necro is built around the marrowwalk bone prison feature. By the way did I mention not to put a single point into bone prison?

psn bone skill granch charm
1 anilus
various life and res charms

Teeth 20
Bone Spear 20
Bone Spirit 20
CE 1
Bone Armor 10-20 optional
Bone wall 20
Bone Prison 0 see marrowalks

Skill quests
Den 1*3 = 3
Radamant 1*3= 3
Izual 2*3= 6
TOtal 12

BY lvl 81 all skills done

The rest is to do what you want.

I like to max teeth but I like to put one point into each bone spear synergy as it becomes vailable so that with my item bunuses i can take advantage of the synergies even at low lvls.
char lvl skill skill lvl at this point
lvl 2 : teeth 1
lvl 3 : bone armor 1
lvl 4,5 : teeth 3
lvl 6 : Corpse explosion 1
7-11 : teeth 8
lvl 12 : bone wall 1
13-17 : teeth 13
lvl 18 : bone spear 1
19-25 : teeth 20
25-29 : bone spear 6
lvl 30 : bone spirit 1
31-44 : bone spear 20
45-64 : bone spirit 20
65-84 : bone wall 20

Of course you will have those 12 points from all the skill quests in each lvl of difficulty so you should actually be at this point at lvl 74
so from lvl 74 on up all these skill points are for customizatons as you see fit

Here is my preference
lvl 73 : clay golem
lvl 74 : golem mastery
lvl 75 : summon resists
those 3 points added to all your item skil points gives about a 2400 life tank in hell mode which isnt bad considering hes immune to cold attacks.
lvl 76 : raise skeleton
lvl 77 : raise skeleton mage
now if you are using white as i do you will be granted points in skeleton mastery so no need to invest points there either.
78-83 : bone shield

lvl 84 : poison dagger 1 point only
lvl 85 : poison explosion 1 point only
lvl 86 : poison nova 1 point only
with you skill item you should have over 20 in all psn which isn't bad for alternative damage attack

Curses and poison are a couple more options psn is good particualrily that you may find your items grant more bone psn skills than summon or curses.

Lvling/ quest strategies:
Lvl 1-5 den, bloodraven, cain
I like to find a 3 socket bow and put a saphire, topaz emerald chip into it. This is a decent broad spectrum weapon that can be surprisingly combat effective at low lvl gaming. I prefer the bow because it is safer to shoot monsters from a distance.

This should be sufficient to get you to lvl 5 where I like to trade of for another bow using flawed saphire, topaz, emerald. Give your old bow to your rogue merc if she has nothing stronger.

lvl 6-12 Public Trist runs
lvl 12 Get a new bow and put a saphire, topaz, emerald in it.
lvl 12-15 Public Trist runs upgrade to a flawless saphire, topaz, emerald
lvl 15-18 tomb runs upgrade bow to perfect saphire, topaz and emerald.
lvl 19-20 continue tomb runs
lvl 21-24 public cows. Theres always a turkey in every crowd watch out for the king killers.
lvl 24 ancients
lvl 25-45 baal minion runs start equipping your character as you can and begin transitioning from a bow necro to a bone necro
lvl 45-65 nm baal runs continue placing your gear as your lvl and stats allow
lvl 65-84 hell baal runs At this point you should do about 5k bone sprit and bone spear depending on your gear. Your teeth should do over 1k

Now your main attack is bone spear it is faster than bone spirit, costs less mana, and does only slightly less damage than bone spirit.

Bone spirit is nice, especially in PVP mode. it is also a great way to attack monsters who are offscreen. it actually does slightly more damage than bone spear, but is slow and more mana costly.

Teeth are great for normal rushing, and for other apllication where you want to delivery a lower amount of damage (just over1k) to multiple targets. But for heavy duty nightmare and hell mode Bone spear and bone spirit are generally the way to go.

The one thing all these attacks have in common is that they are magical. The good news is there arent a lot of monsters even in hell mode walking around immune to magic, but they are there.

When, not if but when, you run into them I like to try to hit them with corpse explosion. SOmetimes there arent enought corpses to do them in. Well unless you have an alternate attack or a party memeber who can deal with them you can always shut them behind a bone wall and leave. Nobody says you gotta kill everything. BUt this is where the 3 points in poison can be useful.

Remember bone wall will attract monsters. Which can be used to your advantage. I like to throw up some bone walls and use them to tank and distract monsters. In some cases I will actually cacoon myself behind a bunch of walls and take out 3 or 4 monsters in a group and then let my corpse explosion do the rest. Sometimes I will use bonewall to slow some monsters down and give cover to my party, but it can also hamper your parties' efforts so use it judiciously.

A good bone necro such as this can take out hell baal alone with a full room if played well. And can pvp if that is your thing. I hope this guide has been useful. Thank you for taking the time to read it.


Mad Mantis

D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator
Welcome Newcomer to The Darkness. Grab a brew :drink: and feel free to raise some corpses.

You mention putting a point in Nova and letting you +skills boost it to usefulness. Is it just there as a points sink, or do you actually use it?


Diabloii.Net Member
Mad Mantis said:
Welcome Newcomer to The Darkness. Grab a brew :drink: and feel free to raise some corpses.

You mention putting a point in Nova and letting you +skills boost it to usefulness. Is it just there as a points sink, or do you actually use it?
Yes. I use the poison but as a last resort. In cases where I dont have bodies to explode or buddies who can deal with the magic immunes. This rarely happens but when it does I can use poison nova with reasonable effect.

I meant to mention the use of poison in the third to last paragraph of the guide, I see I left that part out. Thank you for pointing it out to me.


Diabloii.Net Member
I'm sorry that my first point has to be negative, but ye gods man! That font sucks!!! Don't use it again! Bad dog, no biscuit!

My level 34 Dentist just cleared out the jungles in Act 3 Nightmare (I 'self-rushed' through Act 2). He's great for laying the smack down on those pesky flayers. Teeth is a lot like multi-shot, except that unless I twinked I'd never get a bow that could do that much damage at such low levels.

It sounds like you might be having some problems with the early game. Since you're putting a lot of points into Teeth anyway, why not pretend to be a Dentist in the early game, and then later on do whatever it is that you would have done anyway?

So far as I can tell the differences are fairly small:
(1) you have much better equipment (so you should be doing better, not worse!)
(2) I put points into Bonewall earlier (I max Teeth, then put points into Bone Wall, and then alternate Bone Wall and Bone Spirit)
(3) Tactics? I use Bone Wall a fair bit... its like a great big one way damage filter.
(4) Merc - I don't know if you dich your rogue at some point... I upgraded to an Act 3 Cold Merc for extra defense, and because I wanted a ranged attacking merc so that we could both sit back and plink the bad guys from behind the Bone Walls. Most of the time an Act 2 Merc would do nothing for me if there were Bone Walls blocking off the monsters. Also if the merc gets trapped on the wrong side of the Bone Wall an act 2 merc is toast, whereas the Act 3 one is fine if he can get off a glacial spike.
(5) Insight. Why? Because Insight = infinite mana. Actually, even with Insight the way I spam Teeth is so mana intensive that I can still run out of mana, and I admit my mana pool isn't that large, so I could add some mana charms or something to help it out, but Bone Wall gives me the breathing space to recover. Insight is the primary reason I'd consider swapping to an Act 2 Merc so I could give it to him instead of carrying it myself (if you're going to carry it yourself, you get bonus style points for making it in a scythe btw) :D
(6) Before Insight is available, buy mana pots in shops.

By all means change back to your original plan at some later point (at level 80 noone would be able to tell whether you followed your plan exactly as outlined above anyway)

Alternatively, if you really love Bone Spear, you could hold back some points early on from Teeth (doesn't sound like you use it all that much).

Early on I like Javelins, gambling a semi decent rare Javelin isn't that hard from Gheed. Especially offline, where I can really crank up the number of players and still do 1-2 hit kills with a Javelin those first dozen or so levels fly by really fast. And repairing them is cheap too.


Diabloii.Net Member
Necrochild313 said:
What faster cast rate breakpoint do you suggest shadow?
Thank you for your interest.

According to what I have found:
The Following are the necro cast rate breakpoints;
125% FCR = 09 FPC
075% FCR = 10 FPC
048% FCR = 11 FPC
030% FCR = 12 FPC
018% FCR = 13 FPC
009% FCR = 14 FPC
000% FCR = 15 FPC

At my current build, I am only getting 40% which of course leaves me at the 12 FPC breakpoint. I don't feel hampered by what others, particularily pvp necros, might call an unacceptably slow cast rate. A Heart of the wolverine (HOTO) could get my up to 80, but I prefer my gear as is. I hit hard, and I can spam bone spears, teeth, or bone spirits as fast as I need. If I was going for pvp I would probably get a HOTO giving myself an effective FCR of 80. But for my needs, I feel that the benefits of using my white at a slower cast rate, outweigh the benefits of a faster cast rate using the HOTO.


Diabloii.Net Member
Thank you for your insight, and thank you for checking out my post. As I've often said, "we can't get better if we don't know what were doing wrong."

You're right about being able to start doing some decent damage early on with teeth but early in the game I'm leveling and questing so fast there isnt much time, so I have found, for me at least, that it is just easier and quicker to use those bows at low levels until I can start to use my high end gear.

You have a lot of great ideas. I like your idea of an interim build which leads to other builds and doesnt conflict with the desired end result. I also like how you describe the bone wall as a one way damage filter. That's it exaclty!

As for mercs, I like cold as an alternate damage source so I like cold rogues and cold act3 mercs. They tend to sit back and fire from a distance and dont commit suicide as often as the melee ones seem to.
Thank you for the input and suggestions.


Diabloii.Net Member
change frosties for mage or trangs, and dress an act2 merc nicely with arura fitting to u.


Diabloii.Net Member
I would suggest getting a higher fcr, since you'll end up dealing more damage over time with a higher fcr and lower spell dmg, tele faster, and stun more effectively...just a little constructive critisism from my experience with bone necs :p


Diabloii.Net Member
Necrochild313 said:
I would suggest getting a higher fcr, since you'll end up dealing more damage over time with a higher fcr and lower spell dmg, tele faster, and stun more effectively...just a little constructive critisism from my experience with bone necs :p
Well just to be different, I constructed a hoto 31% :( and using trangs gloves, im have an effective FCR of 80% What can I say I like it. :)


Diabloii.Net Member
Necrochild313 said:
I would suggest getting a higher fcr, since you'll end up dealing more damage over time with a higher fcr and lower spell dmg, tele faster, and stun more effectively...just a little constructive critisism from my experience with bone necs :p
Well just to be different, I constructed a hoto 31% :( and using trangs gloves, I have an effective FCR of 80% What can I say I like it. :)