Why do I suck at end bosses?


Diabloii.Net Member
Why do I suck at end bosses?

I haven't played Diablo 2 in a few years, but as I'm taking a break from World of Warcraft because it was too addictive (hah!), I'm rekindling an old flame.

I haven't played much of 1.10 before this, and as I've always liked Necromancers and heard they got quite the boost in this patch, I'm currently leveling a skelemancer.

Once I get my army built up, these guys will tear through anything with a little help from Amp Damage. If I accidentally get three packs of monsters on them, they're able to handle it no problem.The exception, like stated in the thread title, is end bosses. I first ran into this problem with Andariel. Maybe it was the poison she spews forth, but my poor skeles dropped fast. I had to quickly search around the room for corpses and luckily she was mostly dead before I had to rebuild my army. Strangely enough, I didn't have this problem with Duriel. I figured the Decrepify was working its magic and all would be well from then on.

Once again, facing Mephisto, I had to call a hasty retreat and townportal it when all my skeletons went down. I blame the Dark Lords and their walls of flame for that one, and even though there was no one around, it was so embarassing to go back to the spider forest to rebuild my army from scratch and try again. For some reason the Dark Lords had moved to the beginning of Durance 3 so I got to fight them and Mephisto solo and all went well.

Diablo hit me like a ton of bricks. The minion packs from the seals weren't too bad at all really. As long as I kept up the Amp Damage, they succeeded, even if it took them a while to hack through the hordes. Going into Diablo himself, I had 9 skeletons, 1 skeleton mage, 1 clay golem, and Amplisa, the rogue mercenary from Act 1. I had kept her equipment up to date (she had some nice rares) and she'd served me well, especially with her cold shot.

"Not even death can..." I trust I don't have to complete this sentence.

My army and I charged into Diablo. My plan was basically to sit back and Decrep him while keeping an eye on my golem. I thought the 13 of us could handle one little Lord of Terror no problem. I was wrong. Pink Lightning of Death wrong. The first blast wiped out six (6!) of my skeles, along with my clay golem. I supposed that having the skeles stand single-file on one of the points of the pentagram wasn't such a great tactic. I revive the golem, wondering how often he'll do that. He did that again immediately after, killing Amplisa and my remaining skeletons. My golem died shortly after. I tp'd it out of there, took the River of Flame waypoint, and tried again. I managed to get Diablo out in the open so that my army was surrounding him on all sides instead of facing him head on. This was so the PLoD wouldn't do nearly so much damage. Things were going great and we got him to under half until the PLoD came out again. Nearly a full wipe, I had to go to town to restock and regroup. Fortunately, there were still some death knight corpses lying around and I used those to get a small army together. Once more with the decrepevery few seconds until we got him past the D in Diablo. My skeles died shortly after, and I came up with a new strategy. I picked up the remaining mana potions in the Chaos Sanctuary and I would use my golem to distract diablo while I kept him decrep'd and Amplisa would do the damage. It was hard to get this set up at first, as when you're not face to face with Big D, he uses those moments to use his long range attacks, his rivers of flame, circles of flames, and of course the PLoD made a few more encore performances. Eventually I got the golem to stay alive for more than a second at a time, I went to decreping and kept an eye on my merc. It was slow going, but this worked until I ran out of mana potions. My next strategy was to just run around like a flayer, hoping that my merc would get the ocassional shot off. To my unholy surprise, this is what did it. I was almost dead when my computer lagged. The sweet lag of Diablo's death animation! I had finally done it after losing nearly 3 whole armies and all of my license to call myself a decent Diablo player.

Long story, but I just had to get that out there. It should also be noted that I play on /players 8, even for end bosses, but I didn't expect anything like this. I'm level 34 and I have 23 points in Raise Skeleton, 12 in Skeleton Mastery, 2 in Summon Resist, 1 in Amp Damage and 1 in Decrepify. Is there a better strategy than just to sit back and decrep bosses?

Diablo was insane.


Diabloii.Net Member
Hi and welcome back to LOD hehe. Like you i returned after a long time and this patch rocks! Hmm i take it that you are making a pure summoner - or are you going bone/summon or poison/summon as at lvl 34 its still possible :D Hmm my first char ladder was a bone/summon necro and once he hit act 2 normal he employed a Prayer merc, with any polearm that i find and sigons armor+helm for 10% life leech. Ok i engaged Diablo normal at lvl 24 and with prayer merc, some skellies, clay and bone spear i took him down w/o problems with a Nokozan ammy lol. It has uses and the fire resist came in handy hehe. I would actually run around that pentdragam thingy and once Big D is surrounded i recast my clay so he be right next to him and deceprify. To keep my army tanking him i cast life tap and switch between deceprify/amp. Since i have spear i spam it like crazy and drink blues hehe. Also at your level i'd finish act 1 nitemare, go to act 2 and hire a might merc - he rocks for your minions! Then i go back to Normal Baal and level till i hit 42 then solo nitemare. I made an ethereal 'honor' partizan and that kept him going till end nightmare hehe. With maxed RS/SM nightmare is a breeze.Hope i helped :D


Diabloii.Net Member
I'm following Nightfish's guide right now so it's a pure summoner. Prayer merc might be a good idea when combined with life tap, but I'll probably keep my rogue merc around since I've made it this far with her anyway and I've spent too much money rehiring her. :) I'll just wait until I can get a might merc.

As for my equipment, it's mostly rares, no name-brand uniques. I have a lot of MF gear on (my armor and my helmet are socketed with topazes, and I've got MF rings and an MF ammy) so that might be slowing me down some. Maybe I should also looking into putting at least one point in life tap, as this build is very flexible when it comes to skill points. If I may ask, how are you stat points allocated? I have 55 energy, 48 strength (with items), 75 vit, and 25 dex (haven't put a single point into it). I have many unused points because with this build I hardly ever get hit. I put enough into strength to wear my items, enough into life so that I can take a few pot shots if I get ahead of my skeles, and enough into energy so that I'm not totally out of mana after raising my army. Any suggestions there?

Finally, I'm heading into act 5. Any tips on defeating Baal (normal)?

Edit: Also, thanks for all the advice. Where are my manners?

rubberband shooter

Diabloii.Net Member
It is normal for skelemancer to have problem with normal Diablo. You playing on /players 8 also add to the difficulty.

The key to beating Diablo is to prevent him form using his lightning sttack at all, which can take out most of your army in one shot. Cast your clay golem behind diablo as soon as you see him, so that he is not facing your main army and will most likely force him to use his melee attack on your clay golem, intead of casting lightning at your skeletons. Cast decrep immediatly, it is important to slow Diablo down. Also remember to keep recasting your clay golem when it die to distract Diablo so as to prevent him from attacking your other minions. Some cold skeleton mages may also help with their slow effect if they were not taken out by diablo's attack (and if you actually put point in mages, which you do not seems to).

Also, there is no shame in having to resummon your army, it is quite common for skelemancer in difficult situation. If you have to do it to win, do it.

Don't worry about Baal, he should be much easier than Diablo. In fact, having beaten normal Diablo, the rest of the game should be quite easy for you.

About your stats point, you should not put too many points into energy, in fact, I suggest not putting any points in it at all. You should be relying on mana potions early on for your mana problem, and the problem will slowly go away as you level up. Put just enough points in strenght for your ideal equipment (and dex for certain items). Put points into dex only if you want to go for max block. Put the rest of your points in vitality, the extra life can save you in the later game.

Mad Mantis

D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator
slax0r said:
Diablo was insane.
Welcome Newcomer to The Darkness. Grab a brew :drink: and feel free to raise some corpses.

Indeed norm Big D is insane. It will be one of the most, if not the hardest fight for a Skelliemancer. Many people have problems with him and there have been a few threads on this. Try using the
search function.

rubberband shooter said:
Also remember to keep recasting your clay golem when it die to distract Diablo so as to prevent him from attacking your other minions.
Just to emphasize, when your Clay dies you must recast it on the opposite side of your army. Clay has a higher threat rating than the Necromancer or the Skellies so Big D will try to kill Clay first.


Diabloii.Net Member
Actually it sometimes pays to recast Gumby (affectionate name for the Clay Golem) just to refocus Big D's attention even if Gumby is still alive.


Diabloii.Net Member
Actually, since he almost never dies, something like 99.9999999% of my Gumby-recasts are for reasons such as blocking monsters or diverting their attention elsewhere. Gumby is my only recastable minion, so that's what I'm doing: I'm constantly recasting him where I want him.

Gumby isn't just useful for Diablo --- he is the Universal Punchball.


Diabloii.Net Member
Hmm ya i understand that at lower levels your build would be hard up for mana :D Just get a pair or frostburns or a ring with the 'Bahamut's' prefix and you'd be ok. I am leaning towards base dex for a pure summoner as u have a wall of minions with you and if you wish to have a decent blocking the only shields worth having it is Homonculus and maybe 60% with trangs? Also there was one time Anys actually gave me a +1 necro head and not some junk i'd sell for gold hehe so thats another avenue (though long shot) to get more +skills gear Good luck and happy levelling :D


Diabloii.Net Member
If you start playing on the realms, I would make a new necromancer on US-East since I could help you out.

Also IMO, normal is the hardest diff for any char besides a zealer or any barb really.