Trang-Oul shield or Homunculus - which is better for Poison/skellymancer hybrid?

Liessa Wyrmbane

Diabloii.Net Member
Trang-Oul shield or Homunculus - which is better for Poison/skellymancer hybrid?

Hi all,

I have a new poison/skellymancer (this build needs a good catchy name) coming up and I was wondering which shield is better for him: TO shield or Homunculus. I'm going for max block. The rest of my gear is Shako (psn facet), Death's Web (psn facet), Vipermagi (psn facet), Mara's amulet, TO gloves, Marrowwalks etc. One minute I'm thinking Homunculus is better, other minute that TO shield is better. What do you think? If I go with TO shield then I obviously have to wear TO belt too to get the -25% psn res bonus. On the other hand, if go with Homunculus I can use Arahcnid or Thundergods. Also, Homunculus has better block, res and more skills to my skellies.

ps. This is for Hardcore, by the way.

Regards,
Liessa
 

Mad Mantis

D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator
Homunculus seems like the better option. The chance to block will save you in PvP. The other mods are sweet as well and you get more versatility in equipment. Poison is not a great killer in PvP (IIRC) so it doesn't matter if you miss out on the -25%.

As for a name......Vile Overlord. Or Plague Leader?
 

Liessa Wyrmbane

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks, MM. My thoughts exactly :)

I don't PvP though. This is strickly a PvM character. I guess the same advice still applies for PvM?

Oh, Vile Overlord sounds pretty cool :)
 

Liessa Wyrmbane

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks, guys. I will go with Homunculus. I made some calculations how my final poison damage varies with both shields against monsters with different amounts of poison resistance and with and without LR. The damage difference between the two shields was not as high as I had feared.
 

JoJeck

Diabloii.Net Member
Liessa Wyrmbane said:
Hi all,

I have a new poison/skellymancer (this build needs a good catchy name) coming up and I was wondering which shield is better for him: TO shield or Homunculus. I'm going for max block. The rest of my gear is Shako (psn facet), Death's Web (psn facet), Vipermagi (psn facet), Mara's amulet, TO gloves, Marrowwalks etc. One minute I'm thinking Homunculus is better, other minute that TO shield is better. What do you think? If I go with TO shield then I obviously have to wear TO belt too to get the -25% psn res bonus. On the other hand, if go with Homunculus I can use Arahcnid or Thundergods. Also, Homunculus has better block, res and more skills to my skellies.

ps. This is for Hardcore, by the way.

Regards,
Liessa
That is an impressive array of equipment and you should few problems with whichever you decide to go with. I have Poison / Skelli hybrid Necro that uses the Trang Oul partial set and it is very good, probably the best equipment you could put in those slots.

However, I feel the other commentators are missing many points in giving their advice. Poison Skellie Hybrids have to decide whether to emphasise either the Poison side as the main killer or the skellies / revives with CE, and from the large sprinkling of facet jewels it is obvious that poison is your main form of attack. Therefore, I would advocate anything that enhances that method of killing.

Essentially you are comparing the Trang Belt and Wing against the Arachnid Mesh and Homunculous in the two slots and it is interesting to compare their various advantages and disadvantages... the analysis has some subtleties considering you are wearing Marrowwalks and these have a high strength requirement of 118 (for a Necro).

The main advantages of the Arachnid Mesh and Homunculous are the extra skill points in the areas of Skeletons (effectively + 3) and Curses (+ 5) and they are considerable bonusses ... but you have so many other +skills from other equipment that curses gain relatively little while skeletons / golem will get a nice boost.

I'm not sure why you have to max blocking for this build despite it being hardcore since few players will be better protected than you :surprise: ... You have a wall of skellies to hide behind and then over 500 points of bone armour (assuming you use the marrowwalks synergy). I'm sure that 70% blocking will be as good as 75% if the spare points are invested in vitality (and hence protect against elemental damage as well as physical... but the choice is yours.

But consider this. Superficially the Homunculous has 12% better blocking than the TO Wing but remember the 15 dexterity AND 25 strength that the Wing has. The 25 strength means you can save on hard stat points needed to equip Marrowwalks and invest in deterity. I'm not sure which of these is the best blocker after accounting for that 40 extra points in dexterity the Wing has... can someone do the sums for us please?

The other major drawback is resistances and the TO partial set has the same resistance in Fire, Cold and Poison but loses 40% Lightning, and that is a serious but easilly solved with a charm or two. The extra mana regeneration is roughly equivalent for both options but a Death web will mean that is largely irrelevant anyway.

The TO partial set has several really valuable special features the other commentators missed. The Cannot Be Frozen is a very valuable mod and can be a life saver if you have to make a hasty exit. The fireball from the set is weak but the firewall is a very useful additional way to help your army when you face the unbreakable Poison Immunes and can add enjoyment as you cook the monsters already marinaded in green sauce :lol: . But seriously I do find the firewall very useful since you can place it anywhere on the screen and it will be able to kill things given your large number of + skills.

You say the difference in poison damage is small but I doubt that when you consider the toughest poison targets like the ones you have had to use LR to break the immunity. The large number of facets you are planning to use could swing the calculations towards the benefit from the extra +1 skill the Homunculous gets but generally the Trang's -25% resistance will be decisive. I would be very interested to see your calculations of poison damage if you don't mind publishing them here.

Anyway good luck and either of these two options will do a very good job for you. I just thought you should have a more rounded comparison.
 

Peacrusher

Diabloii.Net Member
very nice response JoJeck... Kudos :thumbsup:

as for a name... May I suggest a name that prolly won't score high on the coolness factor.. but I think is a great name for a poisonmancer.

Possible names (bathroom humor coming)

Vapors, FartNaCan, PU-eyestink, SmellersdaFeller, and my personal favorite....


ATOMIC_BURRITO

:D
 

Liessa Wyrmbane

Diabloii.Net Member
Wow thanks for the extensive analysis, JoJeck :)

Yes, my necro will focus on poison skills.

I chose to go with max block because my last similar necro went with max vita instead of max block and he used the three TO set pieces too. Anyway, he died to a pack of Fanatism + Cursed archers on The Pit and despite my very expensive gear (2/2/49 Death's Web etc), I could do nothing. That death led to my decision to try max block next. All of my sorceresses have always been max block ones so that route is very familiar to me. Maybe max block is overkill, but one can be never too careful in HC. I think survivability is more important than raw damage.

My calculations showed ~ 15%-30% increase in inclicted poison damage with the three TO set pieces against variable types of poison resistant monsters. If used with Lower Resist curse the increase was only ~ 0%-15%.
 

Mad Mantis

D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator
JoJeck said:
I'm not sure which of these is the best blocker after accounting for that 40 extra points in dexterity the Wing has... can someone do the sums for us please?
Blocking % = (Shield Block% × [Dex – 15]) ÷ (CLevel × 2 )

Blocking % = The chance to actually block an attack
Shield Block % = The chance to block displayed on a shield
Dex = Dexterity of your character
Clevel = The Level of your character

We take a level 85 Character. With 70 points in Dex.

Homunculus:
(75 × [70 – 15]) ÷ (85 × 2 ) = 24%

TO's Wing:
(70 × [85 – 15]) ÷ (85 × 2 ) = 28%

What do you know. TO is better for blocking. I should do more calculations to see when TO is better than Homun, but I do not have time for that right now.
 

JoJeck

Diabloii.Net Member
Mad Mantis said:
Blocking % = (Shield Block% × [Dex – 15]) ÷ (CLevel × 2 )

Blocking % = The chance to actually block an attack
Shield Block % = The chance to block displayed on a shield
Dex = Dexterity of your character
Clevel = The Level of your character

We take a level 85 Character. With 70 points in Dex.

Homunculus:
(75 × [70 – 15]) ÷ (85 × 2 ) = 24%

TO's Wing:
(70 × [85 – 15]) ÷ (85 × 2 ) = 28%

What do you know. TO is better for blocking. I should do more calculations to see when TO is better than Homun, but I do not have time for that right now.
Thanks for the formula Mad Mantis, and remember I did say it was subtle so that is probably why you and the others missed it :p Incidently, I think you used the wrong values for shield blocking which are 72% for Homunculus and 60% for the TO Wing.

Taking the formula and doing some simple algebraic manipulation we get the dexterity required for a given chance to block to be :

Dex = 2 * Clvl * Block% / Shield% + 15

So for level 85 and Homunc
Dex = 2 * 85 * 75 / 72 + 15 = 192

For To Wing
Dex = 2 * 85 * 75 / 60 + 15 = 227

which is a difference of 35

But the wing already has 15 dexterity on it

AND very importantly it has +25 strength that the Homunculus build has to get from elsewhere to use Marrowwalks... so those 25 stat points can be used for Dexterity instead. Then there are 40 dexterity available.

So at level 85 the TO Wing needs 5 less stat points to give max block. Those points can be invested in extra life which is very useful for a HC character I presume :)


As more levels are gained the TO option needs slightly more Dex to maintain max block but not until level 96 do the 2 become equal.

Liessa Wyrmbane, hearing how your last character died to fanatical and cursed archers reminds me of the only things that give my old Necro using a Homunculus a really bad scare and that is when he's hit by monsters that are cold enchanted. Once my guy turns blue he moves like a snail and the 20% r/w form Marrowwalks don't help much then. I strongly recommend you get one piece of equipment with CBF.

What is more in my first comparison above I missed the +66 life that the TO Belt gives as another compelling reason to chose that option. :cyclops:
 

jmprockstar

Diabloii.Net Member
Excellent analysis, JoJeck (and MM). I needed the same advice for my hybrid poisonmancer (ugly name and hard to type).

I have a question for this thread, then. I am wearing Vipermagi right now; is it worth getting Bramble? I might be able to trade for it or the runes required for it in the future. With the TO partial, a Death's Web, and Bramble, you have an amazing combination of poison damage and a Thorns aura (if that helps), but you lose two resistances and a +1 to Skills. What do you think? Vipermagi vs. Bramble?
 

Peacrusher

Diabloii.Net Member
I think that you could keep your viper and give the bramble to a merc? thenyou still get the benefits of the aura w/o giving up the viper's sweet mods...
 

Peacrusher

Diabloii.Net Member
Another combo I thought of though poisonmancers don't need the might....

MIght merc with bramble and doom runeword weapon.... Might, Thorns, Holy Freeze... will this work? Do they stack? I could be off but it's a thought.
 

Necrochild313

Diabloii.Net Member
p/s= poison skellimancer.

The name has already been set :D

great analysis JoJeck, the fact that T/O shield is better for blocking 'til lvl 96 is quite compelling :)

:thumbsup:
 

grogthecaveman

Diabloii.Net Member
it seems to me that bramble was made for poison/skellie necros. the practical and useful differences between Skin and Bramble are:

+1 skills
fast cast
+all resists

vs.

tons more poison damage
tons of poison resist
50% faster hit recovery
+13 life for each kill

that last stat is cool if you can kill fast, even better if it counts when your skelies kill. and since you can get resists elsewhere, and since you probably don't need that much fast cast, i'd go with bramble.
 

grogthecaveman

Diabloii.Net Member
Peacrusher said:
Another combo I thought of though poisonmancers don't need the might....

MIght merc with bramble and doom runeword weapon.... Might, Thorns, Holy Freeze... will this work? Do they stack? I could be off but it's a thought.
but if you give bramble to your merc you don't get the benefits of +25-50% poison skill damage.
 

jmprockstar

Diabloii.Net Member
I tend to favor grog's position on this. I didn't think that I would benefit from the poison damage increase if my mercenary is wearing the armor. Am I wrong? If so, then I would favor Peacrusher's.
 

Mad Mantis

D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator
JoJeck said:
I think you used the wrong values for shield blocking which are 72% for Homunculus and 60% for the TO Wing.
Are you sure about this? I got these values from d2data.net. If they are wrong I'll mail them. I wouldn't know, because I only play untwinked. No hoarding equipment for me.
 

JoJeck

Diabloii.Net Member
Well yes I am pretty sure. They are the figures quoted on the Arreat Summit and come to think of it they're also the ones on the equipment I have on my two Necros. :lol: One has Homunculus and the other the TO Wing. I'll let you guess which one has the Wing :bow:
 
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