WrathOfMages, a Vengeance Necro


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This thread will be devoted to the Necromancer in my Oskill Sept. The principle of the Sept is simple: every character will use an oskill as main attack. In the case of WrathOfMages this oskill is Vengeance, granted through the Kingslayer runeword:

+30% Increased Attack Speed
+230-270% Enhanced Damage (varies)
-25% Target Defense
20% Bonus To Attack Rating
33% Chance of Crushing Blow
50% Chance of Open Wounds
+1 To Vengeance
Prevent Monster Heal
+10 To Strength
40% Extra Gold From Monsters
This character will be played on SC SP, twinked. Player setting will be adjusted depending on killing speed. For most of my twinked characters this means /p8 for at least normal and nightmare. A melee Necro isn't the strongest of characters though, so I suspect the player setting will be different as well. Respecs are allowed. In my past 2 Septs this was only allowed to optimize stat distribution, but for this Sept any respec is allowed. I'm not going to level up that Wolfbarb to 79 with just normal attack available ... o_O. I will try to keep respecs somewhat limited to the theme. So for example that Zealing Sorc won't be a Charged Boltress early on, or that Bear Paladin a Hammerdin.

On to the plan ...

Character name

WrathOfMages. I'm terrible at coming up with good names. So which name does a Necro, using Vengeance as main skill and maxed Skeleton Mages as backup skill, get? Exactly ...


Vengeance Necro with maxed Skeleton Mages and Lower Resist as main curse.

Planned skill layout

Skeleton Mastery: maxed
Raise Skeleton Mage: maxed
Bone Prison: maxed
Revive, Summon Resist, Bone Armor: 1 point
Lower Resist: 16 points after +skills
All other curses: 1 point
Rest of points in Bone Wall, Clay Golem or Golem Mastery
Corpse Explosion: definitely none, too cheesy

Since Vengeance is all about elemental damage and I pair this with Lower Resist, I choose to go with Skeleton Mages. They are probably still quite worthless, but thematically they fit really well. And I won't use them now, when will I ever do so? 1 Point in Revive so I can also use monsters which (mainly) inflict elemental damage. Bone Prison to beef up my Bone Armor. Level 16 LR, because after that there is almost no return for the points invested. I need a points in almost all Curses to get to LR, and the other 3 are useful enough to all get a point as well. Clay Golem because I want a tank. And he makes boss fights extremely easy.

Planned endgame gear

Note: with my planned endgame weapon, a Kingslayer Decapitator, I need 20% ias for a 15 frame attack, 40% ias for 14 frames and 65% ias to get to 13 frames. I haven't done the calculations, but judging by the available gear, I think it will be best to go for the 13 frame breakpoint. This will heavily determine my gear choices.

- Helm: Andariel's Visage / Shako / Nightwing's Veil / CoA

Next to weapon ED%, Vengeance benefits most from +skills, so I'll want a lot of those. Andy's, Shako and Nightwing's have +2, CoA only +1 but has terrific mods for any melee character and certainly for my Necro, who will be quite squishy and could definitely use the socket(s) for more ias. Problem is: I don't have one, never found one, and don't feel like going on an mf hunt just for that item. Andy's has built-in ias, which is great. Shako would give me some much needed life, DR% and a big mana boost , which might make mana steal not needed. Nightwing's Veil would boost Vengeance's cold damage ... I think. But I don't have one, and don't feel like farming for one.

- Body Armor: Chains of Honor

+2 skills, huge resists, DR% ... tailor made for this character.

- Belt: String of Ears / Verdungo's / Arachnid's / Death's Guard (combined with the gloves) / rare with fhr and resists / IK (with gloves and boots)

A lot of options here, and I can't make up my mind. A lot will depend on where I get the ias needed to get to 65%. I would rather not use the Death's sash / gloves combo because of the 2 row belt, but if needed to reach the 13 frame attack speed, it's not the end of the world either, as Death's sash / gloves is very good. All the other options have their own merit.

- Boots: rares with resists, frw and fhr / IK (with gloves and belt)

With my other gear, I'll probably need resists, frw and fhr here. Rares could provide it, but so does the 3pc IK set. Probably to a lesser extent, but with the benefit of a more than welcome AR boost.

- Gloves: Lava Gouts / Death's (with the Sash) / Bloodfist, Laying of Hands / IK (with boots and belt)

Lots of options here as well... Lava Gouts for some much needed AR, ias, fire res, Bloodfist for huge fhr, bit of ias, +life, LoH for ias and huge fire res, Death's see above.

- Amulet: Highlord's Wrath

Scaling DS, lightning res and a much wanted +skill. Mara's would be another very good option, but it would make reaching the 65% ias breakpoint a lot harder. Also, the scaling DS on the Highlord's will probably be needed to increase my physical damage and as such my leeching.

- Ring 1: Ravenfrost

CBF and massive AR

- Ring 2: rare with mana leech / AR / min damage / resists

Pretty self-explanatory

- Weapon: Kingslayer Decapitator

A onehander would be some 2 frames faster, but Vengeance is all about weapon damage and ED%, so I think a twohander is the best option here. Swords need much more Dex and Str than Axes, so an axe is the logical choice here.

- weapon switch: CtA and Spirit shield
No-brainer there.

Socketing will depend on gear choices.

So as you can see, still lots of things I'm not sure about. Advice would be very much appreciated :).


Act 2 BA Merc with Infinity, Treachery and Andariel's Visage


Act 1 Cold Rogue with Harmony, Treachery and Andariel's Visage

The Rogue would fit very well thematically, using a weapon that also deals rainbow weapon. Her IS would help my chance to hit a lot, which I'll definitely need. The act 2 merc would probably be the strongest option against all but low resistant monsters though, due to his Conviction aura. Not sure if BA is still needed with Convinction around, if not probably a Holy Freeze one or even Might.

AR will surely be an issue. Luckily Kingslayer has 20% bonus to AR and -25% enemy defense. Hopefully that, combined with the benefits of my merc, will be sufficient to hit reliably.

Items from the above list I still have to farm

4os Decapitator, Highlord's Wrath, Sur (or Ber) and Ber for Infinity, Arachnid's, maybe but probably not Mara's, Nightwing's Veil, CoA.

Build before Kingslayer
(probably level 54)

Max Mages and Skeleton Mastery as fast as possible, rely on melee + Amp early on, LR with high elemental weapon (Harmony, 1H + Tiamat's Rebuke) afterwards. Wands can get very high elemental damage, so that would be cool, but I don't think I have a suitable one in my stash.

That's about it as far as the theory is concerned. Time to start things in practice. I will give frequent (hopefully) updates here as I progress. As I said before, suggestions, criticism, advice is more than welcome to help me get the most out of this character. This applies to all characters in the Sept, but particularly to this one, which I expect to be the most challenging to play of the entire Sept.



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I started WrathOfMages a few days ago and got him to the start of Act 2.

With my usual twinking gear (3os Jewel of Envy Breastplate, Hsarus' boots, Death's gloves and sash, 2os helm with max dam jewels, Pelta Lunata, 6os Crystal Sword with max dam jewels) and the help of Amp, things went really smooth early on. I started with pumping Skeleton Mastery, as well as putting a point in Bone Armor, Dim Vision and Clay Golem. At level 12 I started boosting Skeleton Mages. After a few levels, I continued alternating between Mages and SM. Golem Mastery and Bone Wall also got a point.

Act 1 was done rather fast for a melee Necro. Amp had a lot to do with this obviously, but the mages were also stronger than I expected. WrathOfMages killed Andy at level 18:


I decided to keep the Act 1 merc for now. She did get some armor upgrades with an eth Duskdeep and a Twitchthroe. WrathOfMages got those 2 items as well, alongside rare boots with frw and resists, Death's weapon for the full set bonus, some Fine Grand Charms, rare rings with AR and resists and The Eye of Etlich amulet. This way Radament was killed easily.

After that I decided to try out the Chieftain as weapon instead of Death's sword. Since I had the impression that the damage output was largely the same, and WrathOfMages will most likely wield a 2H axe as endgame weapon anyway, I decided to keep it.

Things went quite smoothly throughout the act, although I did tune down to /p5 at some point. Mainly because I figured it would be faster to spend less time questing, and then do some /p8 Pindle runs to gain xp. Basically the leveling strategy I have been using lately, but then adjusted to a character whose killing speed is good but not over the top fast. On /p5 I killed monsters in 1 - 2 hits, which felt right :).

Skillwise I kept alternating between SM and Mages. It wasn't until level 22 before I realized that Decrepify might come in handy for the Duriel fight. Since at that point I had not put a point in Weaken and Terror, and I reached Duriel at level 24, I went into the fight with Decrepify. I had to recast the Clay Golem a lot, but other than that the fight went really well ...


So here WrathOfMages is now, at the beginning of Act 3. I must admit I was a bit afraid for the early stages when it comes to this character, but so far it has been a lot of fun. Hopefully things will continue like this :).


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Congrats on the progress. I've always wanted to try a Lord of Mages. Have you considered Bonesnap? It's my go to 2-handed twinking weapon.
Also what about Fire Golem over Clay except boss fights? Get that massive couple hundred fire damage boosted by LR.


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Looking forward to this! And seconding Brak about the mages.

Probably the best choice to overcome the AR problem is indeed A2 merc with Infinity. But on the other hand Act 1 mercs are cool, and as a matter of fact my Zod God sept's meleemancer runs around with one. I also added Demon Limb and Enchant to the mix.


Moderator Single Player
I would go Infinity on the merc and use Decrepify as the main curse. I have done 3 meleemancers before and think you will struggle in hell with the 13FPA attack speed. You need to slow the monsters down so you don't get overwhelmed. Also with the low life of a necro, watch out for the FHR.


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Thanks :).

Fire Golem ... interesting suggestion. Would be more of a novelty than anything else, though, I'd think. The Holy Fire damage is low, attack fire damage is some 700 at level 29, so not too bad, but won't hurt too much either I'm afraid. Also, I've heard it attracts lots and lots of monsters, which would be quite hard for my fragile Necro probably ...

Bonesnap ... yeah, definitely one of my favourite twinking weapons as well. Might be a bit slow for the Necro, but I'll give it a try. Should hit like a truck on Amped monsters :).

Grape, I agree with you: Act 2 merc would be the strongest option, Act 1 with Harmony would definitely way more stylish. I still need to make up my mind about it. I do see myself rocking a Harmony bow at level 39, with a merc doing the same. It's not like Infinity is available anytime soon at that point.

Edit: went away while making this post, and didn't see maxicek's input before posting myself.

Yeah, I'll definitely need Decrep a lot for crowd control. I still hope to be able to split packs up a bit and use LR one the ones I'm fighting. Time will tell ...


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Bonesnap + Twitch/Treachery + IAS gloves = smash

Fire Golem also does exploding damage when he dies, or you un/resummon him
I thought it was reasonably large at higher levels, but not sure of radius
He also moves faster, so he might make a better meat shield
Downside is his Holy Fire aura which can wake up stuff you dont want woken


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as to how you name your chars

i always like using latin names

for your build for example deadly vengeance:

mortiferum vindictae

cool project and good luck


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Try shopping for a +3 Skeleton Mastery wand for weapons switch to buff your mages, as Mastery is much more important than the Mages skill, since the Mastery is we're their damage comes from. Great idea, looking forward to your updates. [emoji2]
Why a Decapitator Axe, does a Necromancer swing an Axe more quickly similar to a Druid?

Edit: After looking at the different character speeds on elite swords and axes, you should be making that end game weapon in a Bezerker Axe or Phase Blade, since the Necromancer has the fastest attack speed with those and he could still use a shield.

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The way I understand it, Vengeance is all about weapon damage and weapon ED%. Other things like DS, CS, non-weapon ED% ... don't matter in the Vengeance damage calculation, hence you want a weapon that does a lot of damage on it's own. That's why I would go with a Decapitator Axe. Too bad the Basin wiki is still down, otherwise I could check there. Other 2H might be able to deal comparable amounts of damage, but require more points in Dex / Str.

I must admit I have never actually done the calculations. I would be surprised if a 1H / shield setup, with it's faster attack speed (13 frames for the Decapitator, 12 frames for the Berserker Axe, 11 frames for a Cryptic Sword and 10 frames for a Phase Blade) would be comparable or even better when it comes to damage output, but it never hurts to plug the numbers in a damage calculator. So I should do that at some point.


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it kinda depends on how much maxdmg we get from inventory/sockets

i'd say with 200 max dmg, 1 hand is ok, because of shieldblock


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I think I would build it in Bezerker Axe, because the weapon range is one better and the mean damage output is way better with that axe (95), over the Phase Blade (33). The PB is nice though in a high end RW weapon, because it is indestructible and those repairs can become pricey, but I don't think that is worth sacrificing 62 average damage. But if wealth isn't an issue, then I would definitely go with the BA. If you're wondering why the BA damage I've listed is so high, it's because you're strength needs to be well over a hundred, which doubles your damage where with PB it is your dexterity that needs to be well over a hundred, which does nothing for melee damage output. It would help greatly with your block and to hit percentages.

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Fire Golem ... interesting suggestion. Would be more of a novelty than anything else, though, I'd think. The Holy Fire damage is low, attack fire damage is some 700 at level 29, so not too bad, but won't hurt too much either I'm afraid. Also, I've heard it attracts lots and lots of monsters, which would be quite hard for my fragile Necro probably ...
A Fire Golem's Holy Fire aura has a level 30 ceiling, which gives it a maximum radius of 23 1/3 yards (at level 23): that's still almost an entire 800x600 screen width to the left and right.

Fire Golem also does exploding damage when he dies, or you un/resummon him
I thought it was reasonably large at higher levels, but not sure of radius
The Basin wiki is still offline and none of the others covers it, but FG death damage is only 200 (100 physical and 100 fire) regardless of skill level and in a fairly small radius (perhaps 4 yards, the same as a Fire Enchanted explosion in Hell), with 5% chance of a critical hit doubling it. It isn't substantial, and even if it were then the mana cost of continuously casting FG might make it impractical.

The way I understand it, Vengeance is all about weapon damage and weapon ED%. Other things like DS, CS, non-weapon ED% ... don't matter in the Vengeance damage calculation, hence you want a weapon that does a lot of damage on it's own. That's why I would go with a Decapitator Axe.
Other classes can't invest points in Vengeance or its synergy skills, can't have higher than level 12 Conviction and are restricted to the Kingslayer rune word with its +230-270% Enhanced Damage (although the Barbarian can attack with a second one-handed weapon), so the main ways to increase Vengeance elemental damage potential aside from skill bonuses are base weapon choice, minimum and maximum damage bonuses and attack speed (there's also +% Skill Damage and -% Enemy Resistance, of course).

All other things being equal, an average (+250% ED) Kingslayer Berserker Axe (47.5 average base damage, 166 average weapon damage) at 12 frames would match the Vengeance elemental damage output of a Decapitator (93 average base, 325 average weapon) at 13 frames with +268 Maximum Damage, to none... and while a Phase Blade at 10 frames may be 30% (13/10) faster, the Decapitator has ~182% (93/33) or almost triple the weapon damage.

So as long as you can survive with the help of your mercenary, Golem, Necromages, Bone Armor, Wall and Prison, Curses, Call to Arms and so forth, a two-handed weapon is arguably the best way to go.


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Thanks onderduiker :). You've come to the rescue for me many times before on the AB. I'm glad that you now do the same at the SPF ...


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@maxicek is right. Based on my experience with an Oath Meleeemancer, IAS is key to get to 13 FPA, and even then you will need some crowd control help to keep from getting swarmed and some good FHR.


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@zemaj 1.07 base, atma eth bugging, ... been there, done that, and as a matter of fact just posted my opinion about it ;). So yeah, while it would increase my damage a lot, I don't think I'll do it. And no 1.07 bases here, as I haven't been running that version (yet). I got some 1.07 items back in the day, but that was because I got them from a fellow Basiner (and SPF'er, who went by the name LongingForDeath here).

So I expect I'll only be using the lower /p settings instead.

As to weapon choice. I compared the average damage of quite a few weapons, and also threw them in the german weapon speed calculator. I have to recheck if a Feral Axe was one of them though.

And yeah, I agree on the curses. I usually don't use Terror at all, but it might indeed come in handy. DV, Attract and Confuse are curse I just love and use a lot.

@Atratees Glad this thread inspired you. If you like it, you definitely have to try a Vengeance sorc, with maxed LM and FM. They are ridiculously strong.


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So I just checked about the Feral Axe and ... I'm not sure. With the same ias I could hit an 11 frame attack with it, instead of a 13 one. Faster is always better, so it's definitely appealing. But a quick calculation of the dps shows me that the Decapitator would still come out first when it comes to damage. Problem is, I'm not sure my calculations are accurate. As a matter of fact, they probably aren't.

Anyway, here they are, and maybe someone else can jump in and correct me if needed.

Taken from this thread at the Basin, this is the formula I used:

First we calculate Physical Damage From Weapon:

Min = (Base Min Damage * (1 + (Enhanced Damage On Weapon)/100))+ (Total +Min Damage from all sources)

Max = (Base Max Damage * (1 + (Enhanced Damage On Weapon)/100))+ (Total +Max Damage from all sources)

Next we calculate the various damages delivered in our attack. You can run the numbers for both Min and Max, or just do what I do, and find the average and use that:
I didn't take the following steps in the guide, because I don't have synergies to take into account, and to keep it simple.

Here is what I came up with, counting +10 min dam and +40 max dam from gear and charms:

Feral Axe:

Min dam = (25 * 3,5) + 10 = 97,5

Max dam = (123 * 3,5) + 40 = 470,5

Average dam = 284

DPS = 619,6

Vengeance DPS @lvl9 = 4052,2


Min dam = (49 * 3,5) + 10 = 181,5

Max dam = (137 * 3,5) + 40 = 519.5

Average dam = 350,5

DPS = 647

Vengeance DPS @lvl9 = 4231,4

So this would mean that the Decapitator does more damage. BUT ...

1) the Feral Axe would apply CB faster
2) physical damage also benefits from Str, other off-weapon ED%, DS, which as a result will be bigger for the Decapitator
3) I don't know how realistic the +min and +max dam values of 10 and 40 are; if these are bigger, the difference in dps would become smaller
4) I didn't take stuff like facets into account

So yeah, it's hard to come up with a definitive conclusion. Even IF my calculations are correct.

After all this rambling, I'll take the opportunity to tell that WrathOfMages also has made some progress. He has killed Mephisto at level 28:


Decrep and the Golem made sure he never moved much, or hurt me.

Not much to say about the journey through Act3. I equiped a Bonesnap, set the player setting, to /p5 and started whacking stuff, occasionally using Amp or DV when needed.