The "Pure Summoner" Build Introduction Iâ€™ve noticed that there really isnâ€™t a guide for a true summon nec, and people sometimes ask me about mine when they see it in action. So I thought Iâ€™d write one for the â€œMF Summon Necâ€ that I have always used since deciding I didnâ€™t like the Sorc most people use for MFing. Youâ€™ll need to redefine â€œMFingâ€ somewhat in order to use this build properly for itâ€™s most useful purposeâ€¦ doing solo Ball/Diablo runs in full 5-8 player games. You arenâ€™t teleporting to the boss in 90 seconds with this characterâ€¦ you are completely clearing level three and the Throne through to Baal, and River of Flame from the waypoint through to Diablo. All of these places are max item level drop areas. In my experience, you get something good from the boss at the end of the level once in every 10-20 times. Youâ€™ll find several really good things on the way there with this build, in a 5-8 player game, every single timeâ€¦ and youâ€™ll find something truly godly every ten or twenty times. Put in simple terms, Baal and Diablo are almost worthless compared to actually clearing the path too them in terms of what you find using this build to clear their levels in games with a high number of players. This build is not cheap. But it is, I think by far, the most versatile build there is. You can do absolutely anything except Torch runs with this build, and anything but Ubers in high-player count games (donâ€™t try Chaos Sanctuary in a high player game until you are fully equipped and well-practiced with this nec, itâ€™s the only place you really have to work hard to win). The â€œPure Summonerâ€ may do things a little slower in some places than some other classes and builds, but it can pretty much go anywhere and do well. I guess I have to come up with a name for this build, huh? I guess Iâ€™ll call itâ€¦ what everyone else would, the â€œPure Summonerâ€. Stats Strength You need 106 for an upped Homunculus, so that is your target. If I already have an anni and torch for him when I am building him I will give him exactly what he needs to have 106 with the anni and torch he will have. If I am starting out new (this is always the first character I build) I give him 85 which will be enough when you have an anni and torch. The 106 ST also means your Enigma will be built on Archon Plate. Dexterity While most seem obsessed with â€œmax blockâ€, I am happy with anything 66% or better. With Homunculus and 150 into dex, youâ€™ll be up around 70% (with the stat bonuses from gear/charms) when you are level 94. You really, really, really want block. Iâ€™ve done it with and without, and it is a huge difference with this specific build. You almost never get hit by anythingâ€¦ blocking 2/3rds of those rare occasions really leaves you feeling invincible. Life Of course, the whole goal of stat points is to leave as much as possible for life, everything else goes here. Energy Most seem to advocate no points at all here. I bring this build up to 50 Energy. Skills Obviously, your focus here will be on the Summon tree. But youâ€™ll also need some points into both the Bone and Curse trees. Summon Skills This is your primary area. Max all three. Skele Mastery, Skele, and Skele Mage (Yes, I said max Magesâ€¦ you absolutely *NEED* them). Put 1 point into all other skills on this tree. I personally use a fire golem, and you probably have too with only 1 point in the golem and golem mastery. Although you are an all-out summon nec, you donâ€™t need more than 1 point in revive. For one thing, they are almost totally unnecessary with this build and you will probably almost never use them because they donâ€™t last long and you have to keep bringing up new ones. More importantly, your Revive will be above level 20 from +skills so you will be able to revive more than 20 anyway. But youâ€™ll only do it for fun, because the revives are not needed no matter where you are or what you are doing (except for killing Lillith or Uber Diablo). In the end, I generally wind up with 42-45 level on my maxed summon skills with this build. This translates into 16-17 of each, skeles and magesâ€¦ 32-34 total. Bone Skills Hear your primarily need Bone Spear and Bone Armor. Put one point in the pre-reqs for Spear, max Spear, and put one point in Bone Spirit. With the +skills of this build you will find that your maxed Spear and 1-point Spirit wind up doing about equal damage, but are different types of attacks each of which has itâ€™s uses. Learn to use both depending on which is best for the situation. Then put a single point in all of the â€œright sideâ€ skillsâ€¦ Bone Armor, Wall, and Bone Prison. You really only need the Armor, but Wall and Prison provide synergies to wall and will enhance it a little for the one point, and with your +skills your Wall and Prison will actually be useful in most areas. I almost never use Wall or Prison, but I like having them for versatility and just throwing down a wall for fun sometimes. Bone Wall is actually were I put the final points when I am in the 90â€™s and am done maxing everything, it provides a synergy for the armor which increases the armor about the same is putting into the armor itself, and just 4-5 points makes all the difference in the world for the wall and actually gives you a pretty good wall with your +skills. As for the armor, I just go with 1 point and I always have it on. With your +skills itâ€™s like 225 points of extra lifeâ€¦ how much do you pay for a measly 20 life sc? Although you max Bone Spear, and only put one point into Corpse Explosion, CE is your primary attack skill. Groups of monsters die very quickly in lower player games. While the Pure Summoner can solo anywhere except Ubers in 6-8 player games, 5-6 players is really an ideal number for purposes of killing speed. One reason for this is that your Corpse Explosion becomes fairly ineffective in 7-8 player games. Running Baal is actually pretty easy even in an 8-player game, it is Chaos Sanctuary that you need to be careful with. Curses This one is easy. 1 point on each and every one. You, yourself, do almost nothing with this build. You hardly lift a finger. You use tele to keep your army together and sometimes to focus the power of the entire army on a single monster. You become a master of curses, learning which one to use in which situations. (For _chose your deity_â€™s sake people, use Decrep on Baal!!! I am so tired of battling other necs in baal runs and being called a â€œnewbâ€ for spamming Decrep on Baal to over-ride the other necâ€™s dumb Amp or Lower Res. If you cast Decrep on Baal, he just sits there and does nothing and lets you kill him. He doesnâ€™t use any of his special abilities as long as he is Decrepified!!! Newb, indeedâ€¦ So you need 1 point in every curse, which will give you 24-27 (Homunculus gives you +2 Curses) with +skillsâ€¦ and you need to learn how to use them. They are all good, depending on the situation, but the most important are Amplify Damage (used most of the time), Decrepify, and Lower Resistance (used on physical immunes and in exp-Baal runs with a lot of sorcs and trap sins; use Amp Dam when there are more Melee/Bow/Hammerdins). Gear This really isnâ€™t cheap, but it is darn impressive to see in action... and is the most tolerable means to MFing your own wealth that I have found in this game. One of the reasons I decided to write this guide is because every once in a while I just â€œstop the showâ€ and a game I am in just stops with everyone wanting to know how my nec army is doing the things it is doing. Wellâ€¦ itâ€™s mostly in the merc, so weâ€™ll start with him. You need a Might merc from act 2. Merc Helm This is your cheapest merc item. Eth Delirium. The goal of this Merc is to provide as many auras to your army as possible, but the only aura you get from a helm is Holy Shock, which is pretty much useless. Delirium, on the other hand, will always confuse every monster on the screen in any fight that lasts more than a few seconds. This really makes a world of difference in keeping your merc aliveâ€¦ the monsters fight each other and donâ€™t gang up on the merc. Merc Armor Here you will have Eth Bramble, preferably on Eth Hellforge Plate. Bramble doesnâ€™t add a lot of def, so it is pretty vital that you have an eth armor with a high base def. Personally I look to ebug a Hellforge Plate to partially make up for this, but any good high def base armor will do. This gives your army Thorns. Merc Weapon This is the absolute most critical item of this entire build, even more important (just barely) than the Enigma (tele) that you will be wearing. Here you need Pride. The only stat you care about is the level of the Concentration aura. It really isnâ€™t even important that this weapon be eth, because Pride adds no form of damage at all so there is really not any real difference between weather it is eth or not. It will be very weak as a weapon either way, despite itâ€™s excellent mods. â€¦but I always use an Eth Thresher anyway? The Concentration aura from this weapon, combined with the Might from the Merc and Thorns from the Bramble, make your melee skeleâ€™s absolutely deadly... and you have 16 or 17 of them. Itâ€™s this Concentration aura that really makes the biggest difference, even if you got a minimum level 17 conc aura. You will immediately notice the difference. This weapon is the key to the whole build. You donâ€™t need to use revives, but if you revive the right things, monsters that do big melee damage... well, now that I think about it that is what usually â€œstops the showâ€. The right revives run around killing pretty much everything in one whack. Most things take one of your skeles 2 or 3 hits to kill, the overload of reviving 15 or 20 high melee damage monsters that kill almost everything in 1 hit pretty much makes every monster you encounter just instantly drop with 35+summons out there. This, now that I think about it, is what sometimes puts an end to the game and involves me in a lengthy discussion of â€œwhat just happenedâ€. This really is ridiculous with this combination of auras. Character Gear Ammy The most important thing you are looking for in an ammy, other than +2 all nec skills, is res all. The gear listed below depends on getting 15-20 res all from your ammy. (With this build, by the way, you will have 70-80 res all.) Obviously, most immediately think of Maraâ€™sâ€¦ but I actually think Maraâ€™s kind of sucks. Probably because â€œIâ€™m in dâ€™ ammy bâ€™nessâ€â€¦ I make the other half of my wealth (other than doing Baal and Diablo runs with this nec) crafting ammys and rings and know them well. So you could get the coveted â€œMaraâ€™sâ€â€¦ or you could get, and probably cheaper, a crafted caster ammy with +2 all nec skills and 15-20 res all. This ammy will also have 5-20 FCR (which you donâ€™t really care about with this build), 5-20% Mana Regen, some mana and maybe some other mods. A few other mods you would value highly for this build in addition to the vital ones already mentioned are %Damage goes to Mana (buy it now!), Life, and/or any type of useful high level skill (Level 16 Blizzard, for example). Helm Shako w/Perfect Topaz. You are shooting for 300-350MF, and you need both the life and mana that this will give you. Armor Archon Enigma. You are primarily an MF character, and you absolutely must have tele. Your upped Homunculus requires 106 Strengthâ€¦ there is no other rational choice here. Belt Twice-upped Goldwrap (donâ€™t up it the second time until after you have Enigma, you wonâ€™t have the strength to wear it before then). I know, you are thinking â€œNo way, Arachnidsâ€¦â€ Thatâ€™s what I thought originally way back when too. But I consider the minimum level of MF to spend my time MFing to be 333, so thatâ€™s the minimum for me on this guy. Itâ€™s really a choice of giving up the +skill from Arach or a ring (to replace with a Pnagel). Arach doesnâ€™t really give you anything you need since FCR is of absolutely no concern too you with this build, and you almost never get hit by anything. The BK rings, on the other hand, are giving you 80-90something life in the higher levels. Twice-upped Goldwrap. Rings Two 3LL BK Rings. You really have little use for Energy if you brought it up to 50 like I suggested so you donâ€™t need a Soj, the rest of your gear will give you all the casting power you will need (youâ€™ll drink a potion to raise your 32-34 skele army). You have no use for the LL on the rings, so get the cheap ones. You want the skills and life. Weapon There is kind of a dual answer here. Get Leoricâ€™s Arm early, itâ€™s really cheap and immensely powerful for this build. As a final touch on items before working on the charms you really want and stuff like that, replace this with a Hoto. You need the res from the Hoto, the few extra points you get to skele skills over Hoto is not worth having to find 35+ res somewhere else. Shield Upped Homunculus w/P Diamond. This is your blocking and res and energy boost andâ€¦ well, just get one. Itâ€™s amazing how cheap these things are. Itâ€™s definitely one of the very best items in the entire game, rivaling even many of the better runewords. If you are really rich later you can unsocket it and use an Um, or just do that from the beginning, but thatâ€™s only worth it if you have enough wealth that an Um is unimportant too you. Gloves Twice upped 40MF Chances. Between these, your Gheedâ€™s, and Goldwrapâ€¦ man, do you find a lot of gold. The typical gold drop is 1,000-1,800; the unique monsters generally leave piles of 8,000-18,000. If you are a big gambler like me, this is a really great thing. I generally have 10-20 million gold spread among my characters and mulesâ€¦ you have to keep muling it to everyone else because you just canâ€™t spend it fast enough. If you are into anything that requires a lot of gold, this build will overload you with gold pretty quickly. Boots 45+ War Travs. I usually have perfect or close to perfect, but this is always my â€œmain guyâ€ that I poor wealth into until he is perfect. Definitely get perfect Chances because they are cheap compared to what you are spending on this build, but you certainly might give up a few points on the Travs considering how much those last few points cost. Charms I carry my Horadric Cube in my inventory and leave one â€œfull spotâ€ of 8 spaces (enough to fit a polearm into). If playing with other people this allows you to pick up any size item, then quickly open your inventory and put it into your cube to make room to pick up another item of any size. I put a book of TPs and the Torch under the Cube. This leaves 6 columns for 1 GC and 1 SC each. You need an almost max MF Gheedâ€™s, and really as close to perfect on all three stats is what is best for this build. Then 5 Summon GCs (later upgrading to high lifer Summon GCs as you can get them). Your anni takes up one of the SC spots, and if you want to carry keys to open locked chests (I do), that takes up another. You have 4 spots for SCs. At first I usually have 4 6-7MF SCs, but look, as soon as I have everything else, to find 4 7MF SCs with 15-20 life each. If you really want to max out charms you can carry one more GC and SC in the cube, but leave room for a polearm so you can pick up two things when you are playing with other people. Youâ€™ll really be cursing yourself if you miss a Griffonâ€™s Eye because you were holding a Tomb Reaverâ€¦ leave room in the cube to hold the Tomb Reaver and still pick up a 4soc GM Bow or anything else that might drop. This build will generally have a little over 1100 â€œbase lifeâ€ (based on the gear and stat distribution listed above). Your Bone Armor essentially adds another 180-225 life depending on what level you are. If you upgrade to â€œgodly charmsâ€ you will wind up with around 1300-1400 life depending on the quality of your Torch, Anni, and Ammy. Thatâ€™s around 1500-1600 life if you add in the Bone Armor. This is a huge amount of life considering that once you become good at using this build you will almost never, literally almost never, be hit even once. On this build, like the ammy, it is important that you get high res (15-20) out of both your anni and torch. Stats actually arenâ€™t that important by comparison; you really want res a lot more with this build. Notice how you donâ€™t need any res chamsâ€¦ your res will be around 70-80 depending on the quality of your anni, torch, and ammy.