Thinking of rebuilding my poison/skellimancer

Pherdnut

Diabloii.Net Member
Thinking of rebuilding my poison/skellimancer

I misjudged the number of points available and made a few mistakes on my current one but am fairly pleased with its performance. Here's what I'm ultimately hoping to have.

Summoning

SM 10
RS 20
CG/GM/Summon Resist 3 total

Bone/Poison

20 PD
15 PE
20 PN
2 to get corpse explode

Curses

7 to get LR
2 to get confusion

That puts me at 99 points. If I continue to level, I'll probably dump the last 5 points into Poison Explosion and then Skeleton Mastery. My current gear:

Shako
+48 all res Vipermagi (Um'd Upped)
+2 Necro amu w/random resists
Trang Shield, Gloves, and Belt
Waterwalks
1 Soj (woot! - I found it on my own!)
1 random res all ring
Death's Web

Prebuff alternate slots
AoKL and +3/+4 SM/RS Splendor Head

Might merc w/Guillaume's, Corpsemourne, Amned Bonehew

Eventually I'm thinking I'd like to get Enigma and Mara's, but I'm not sure what I want in place of that second ring. I can afford to put +skills on the merc with Arioc's and Andariel's, but I'm not sure if I'll like his killing power on cows without the CB from Guillaume's. Arioc's does give nice DS, however. I'm also planning on giving him Gloom armor once I find a nice 3 socket Eth elite to keep his resists maxed (I found a suit and then let it poof on the ground while xferring - Doh!)

I'm pretty happy with my poison damage as is and I don't have it maxed on my current character either. It doesn't kill the tougher monsters in Act IV Hell outright but makes pitrunning a breeze and those first kills for CE come quick. I also have no poison facets ATM. Do they make a noticeable difference? I don't really want to put my resources into getting perfect P-facets at this time and prefer socketing the Wing with a P-Diamond for resists

I decided to add Confusion this time because I did have problems with hordes of ranged attackers in some areas because they would focus on one target at a time and start wasting skellies or me with shocking speed. I like confusion because it has a nice broad range at only one point and is excellent for spreading ranged fire.

I'm also not decided on stats. I'll stick with minimal strength and put no more than 20 into Energy (It's PvM and I like having a little extra early on). Pure Vita just doesn't seem to help a necro out much when the chips are really down though. Trang's wing has decent block so I'm thinking I may take advantage of it this time. What do you guys think?
 

Mad Mantis

D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator
The confusion is the only thing I’m not very enthusiastic about, especially with Skellies. There is just something about things I can’t control and predict totally that doesn’t sit well with me. In addition to that Skellies tend to get close to enemies and at that point they will still target the other monsters. If were to choose an AI curse it would probably be DV, but Attract would also function very well.

What were the situations were you found that vita wasn’t all that? Would having block really mattered that much? Depending on how you feel about the Marrowwalk bug you could try Marrowwalk instead of block to help out your Necro.

The facets help in damage. Their effectiveness depends on the amount you’ll have and what the resists are of the enemy you’re fighting.
 

Pherdnut

Diabloii.Net Member
Well, my only need for crowd control is where massed ranged attackers are concerned and confusion has a better radius at 1 point than DV has at two. My skellies and I could handle getting smacked by one or two shots but 20+ of those stygian hag things focusing on one or two targets was devastating. I don't know if it was just bad luck but it took me like 10 attempts to finally get the Hell res bonus from rescuing Anya.

My experience with bonemancers has been that confusion shuts large groups down in no time. It's also a freaking hilarious spell to cast on cows. I also like it because unlike attract you can put one mob in disarray while amping another one without having them all in your face at once. Once the skellies have engaged it's back to LR, Poison, Amp.

Give confusion a shot. They pretty much seem to attack whatever is closest to them which typically means your skellies are never going to be getting ganged up on by more than a couple enemies. I've never been satisfied with using DV on meleers hot on your tail.

You may be right on the Marrows vs. max Block. It doesn't really bother me and I do have a point to spare for armor. The situations I'm talking about are ones where I got careless and ran ahead of the skellies into the welcoming arms of a champion/unique hell bovine or one of its minions. The extra life didn't prove to be very effective. 60% block may have prevented death and allowed me to run back behind my minions but on the other hand I would have died a lot faster against ranged.

Edit: Hmm, yeah just looked at Soulless Child's tables. I think another 340-50 HP is probably worth being more careful about hiding behind the skellies rather than merely having a 60%+ chance of escaping untimely death from a single blow.
 

Mad Mantis

D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator
Pherdnut said:
Give confusion a shot. They pretty much seem to attack whatever is closest to them which typically means your skellies are never going to be getting ganged up on by more than a couple enemies. I've never been satisfied with using DV on meleers hot on your tail.
Maybe just some bad experiences from playing Meleemancers. It just never seemed to work for me.

Regarding block, one thing to keep in mind is that you need to get that FBR up. Otherwise you run a good risk of blocking and then getting beat into a bloody pulp before you can recover. You already decided for Vit, but I thought I would add it just in case you did decide to go max block.
 

Pherdnut

Diabloii.Net Member
I first started digging it when I played bonemancers. Sometimes a monster or two would get through the confusion and Gumby but I never had a problem taking them out quickly. More often than not, a tight cluster of monsters would simply become paralyzed as they attacked each other and I could just Spear/CE them to death at my leisure. With a meatshield it's even less of an issue. The important part is breaking up the focus of their attacks and they definitely seem to attack each other first if you're farther away. Attract is undoubtedly cool but I'd prefer to save a point with a build this tight and Confusion gets a little more versatility than DV. Also Attract's radius is fixed at 6, which would explain why it never seemed to work on everything when I've used it. I like confusion because +skills will continue to crank it's range up.
 

Necrochild313

Diabloii.Net Member
A few things:

Pherdnut said:
Summoning

SM 10
RS 20
CG/GM/Summon Resist 3 total

Bone/Poison

20 PD
15 PE
20 PN
2 to get corpse explode
I would actually suggest less skeleton mastery than that, and fully synergized poison. Why? For a few reasons:

1. You have a deaths web, your poison powers have increased dramatically *cackles maniacally*, so your skeletons much of the time don't even begin to attack before the death rattles start singing.

2. Probably the most significant point, and why I use fully synergized poison and summon grand charms over pnb grand charms, +skills effects the skeleton's "synergies", whereas +pnb does not effect your poisons true synergies. Also, skeleton "synergy" is prebuffable, so you can be looking at a high level skeleton mastery with good +skills and a good switch, with a few real points into the skill. Poison does not benefit from +skills like skeletons do.

Pherdnut said:
Curses

7 to get LR
2 to get confusion
Confusion is interesting because of it's range, but attract is savvy because it only effects one monster, allowing amp or lower resistance to be used why still keeping a group congregated. I believe that the range listed on the skill description is pretty much "closest monster within 6 yards of the casting point", rather than effects all monsters within 6 yards. I'd think that (non-attracted) monster AI would be responsible for that.

I generally attract the monster in the crowd closest to me, so that the monsters coming my way will make a nice little "CE packet" for my skeletons to sandwhich and keep together for some poison and corpse-bomb lovin'.

I find it to be worth scooping a point into a skill/synergy or gaining that extra level.

Pherdnut said:
Trang's wing has decent block so I'm thinking I may take advantage of it this time. What do you guys think?
There was actually a good post eons ago that had a great comparison between trang shield and homoncolus.

When the stats saved from the str given by trang shield (and placed into dex instead) and the inherit +dex are taken into consideration, trangs shield actually has a better block rate than homoncolus until the character's level is in the mid 90s. I have found that shealing the trang shield is a VERY good idea if you decide to go max block with it though ;), for exactly the reason that MM pointed out above.
 

Pherdnut

Diabloii.Net Member
Well, I'm pretty pleased with poison damage at that level, but I do occasionally start losing skellies on Hell cows which is where I tend to use it most. How fast does your poison knock out cows NC? My DWeb is the lamest possible and I have no facets yet. On cows my poison gets things started and then the merc usually gets the first kill after Amp Damage. After that a single amped corpse explode usually kill every cow in it's radius due to the loss of HP from the poison.
 

Necrochild313

Diabloii.Net Member
It cleans them up quite effectively, though my pure venomancers seems to be better with cows I've noticed.
 
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