For the first points you
should allocate, I recommend this order:
- Bone Armor (Poison and
- Raise Skeleton (Summoning
- Skeleton Mastery (Summoning
- Amplify Damage (Curses)
You may want to take bone
armor after Raise Skeleton, or even after Skeleton Mastery, but I like
not having to drink any potions right from the start :). I've been able
to get out of Act 1 without ever having to drink one of those pathetic
Minor Healing potions with this strategy.
The order after the first
four or so levels is up to you, but I recommend making sure you take
a golem at each level you can get a new one. I also recommend saving
skill points for the gateway levels (6, 12, 18, 24, and 30) so you may
put one point in each new skill you're going to need.
Here's the level of skills
you should go for:
They're useless later, but put a point in to it for the skills
that come after it. Quite useful when you first get them.
It increases the Damage and Hit Points of all of your skeletons
and revives. Start putting points in to this one right away to
help you with your crappy skeletons, and later on, your already
Just one point so you can get to the other golems... Useful at
level 6 though.
Increases the hit points, and speed of your golem. Five points
should do it with some plus to skills. You basically just need
enough points so that your golem can survive killing one creature
in Act 4 Hell difficulty, and stand up to Diablo for a little
while. Also, you'll want your Blood Golem to be able to take a
couple hits from Duriel in Hell difficulty. Personally, I only
put 5 points in to this.
Revision: In retrospect , you only
really need one point in this to be effective. Having decent plus
to skills will increase your golems health enough to be effective.
Raise Skeleton Mage:
They're useless later, but put a point in to it for the skill
that comes after it. Quite useful when you first get them.
Just about the most powerful golem in terms of simply having a
cool ability. When he gets hit, you take some of the damage. When
he hits back, he steals life for the both of you. And there's
a great trick with Iron Maiden. When a monster cursed with iron
maiden hit's something it is damaged by it. So when it it hits
your golem, and your golem damages it from Iron Maiden, it steals
life, meaning that instead of taking damage, you and your golem
are healed. However, with the recent gameplay changes this isn't
quite as powerful as it used to be. More information on this is
explained in the curse section where it talks about Iron Maiden.
With plus to skills one point will go a long way. Only one is
needed, since it's being on a curve makes any extra points wasted.
Create a golem out of an item. The item can be armor, weapons,
and I believe boots, helms, gloves, and possibly belts will work.
But it only works with metal items. (So no making an Iron Golem
out of Quilted Armor :) These are quite power full if you find
a nice item that you don't want to use, and doesn't make much
selling money. Such as a Superior Lance, or a Superior Martel
de Fer. A Martel de Fer would be a better choice, since weapon
speed and range are ignored when you make a golem, so just go
with the weapon that has better damage, or enchantments. Iron
Golems also heal rather quickly, and have an automatic weak version
of Thorns that is applied separately of Iron Maiden.
Some people don't like Fire Golems, because everybody has them,
but that's for a good reason!. They absorb Fire Damage and turn
it in to health, have a weak version of Holy Flame (the Paladin's
fire damage Aura), and when they die they do a ton of fire damage
to the monsters in melee range (the damage is based on your golem's
hit points, which should be quite a bit). Extremely useful when
fighting a lot of fire attack monsters like Vampires, Fallen Shaman,
Fetish Shaman, and plenty of other Monsters.
Since this skill revives monsters based on their power, your revived
monsters in Act 4 Hell difficulty are still just as powerful as
they are when you first get them. The number of points in to Revive
determines how many you can Revive. Ten can be enough, but twenty
Revision: With decent plus to skills,
just five points in to Revive can go a long way. (as much as level
14, not counting if you get a wand that has a special + to Revive)
and Bone Spells
Note: I didn't say
anything about the Poison Dagger > Poison Explosion > Poison
Nova skills, since they're not worth it. Don't put any points
in to any of those skills.
It's useless, but put a point in to it for the skills that come
after it. Doesn't even help enough on level 1 to be worth wasting
A necessity for any Necromancer, but many points are not needed
if you have enough items with plus to skills. Increasing to level
twenty wouldn't be a bad idea, but if you really want you can
get by with five all right, or even one if you're really crazy.
Always keep this up when headed in to battle.
I personally only put one point in this, and let my plus to skills
do the rest. You may want to put as many as three points in to
it for a good radius. Good for Getting rid of corpses so other
monsters can't revive them, while doing some damage at the same
time. More powerful in games with less people in them, devastating
if you're the only one there.
Bone Wall: 1
With plus to skills one point will be plenty to be helpful even
in hell. Use it to block off creatures in to an area, block you're
self in to an area until you're minions deal with them, or use
it to stop lightning from lightning enchanted enemies.
Helpful when you first get it, and it may remain so for a good
long while. If you're going to max an attack spell decide between
this one, and Bone Spirit. They both do respectable damage in
Act 4 Hell difficulty. This one does less damage, but can go through
enemies, and hit multiple targets.
Same as bone wall, except it makes a complete prison around the
enemy. Useful against enemies you don't want to move, like Diablo.
Make a Bone Prison around Diablo and your Fire Golem while Diablo
is cursed with Iron Maiden. He'll take out plenty of golems
though, so you'll probably run out of Mana constantly from recasting
your golem inside the prison, and either have to go to town
a lot or use a lot of Mana potions. Eventually he'll have killed
so many of your golems, he'll have died of it :) . If you don't
have a Fire Golem yet, or can't stand the Mana cost, make Iron
Golems out of stuff you find in Diablo's Chaos Sanctuary. If
you don't even have an Iron Golem, use a Clay Golem. And, as
always against bosses, try to team with a Sorceress who is intelligent
enough to use Static Field.
This one is debatable. You may want to put no points in to it,
or you may want to max it out. Once you've maxed out all of the
good stuff, on really high levels you'll have plenty of extra
points to put here, or you may want to max it right away, or just
completely ignore it. You're call, although I personally don't
use it. It does more damage than Bone Spear, and turns to seek
enemies, but only attacks one at a time.
Note: I didn't mention
the curses that I didn't recommend taking: Weaken, Terror, and
Decrepify. Lower Resist is mentioned, however.
This is the only level one spell that is worth using throughout
the game. So much so, that I keep it bound to a hot key. Extra
points only increase the radius, but plus to skills will increase
it plenty, and even if you have to cast it a few times, it's quite
a cheap curse, so it's not a problem.
This should be self-explanatory. It's like casting "stop
attacking me" on ranged attackers. They see you if you get
within melee range, but it's quite helpful when you don't want
to deal with a lot of enemies simultaneously.
Strategy: Dim Vision is also good for keeping Shamans, and Mummies
from raising their monster brethren from the dead, although
I would suggest simply making use of the corpses instead with
Corpse Explosion or Raise/Revive a minion from it. For that
purpose skeletons are handy even in hell.
A great curse, get this one to twenty as soon as you can. Don't
altogether stop putting points in to the other skills, but make
this the first to hit twenty. This has become especially important
with the recent gameplay changes where the power of the Blood
Golem/Iron Maiden combo is weakened (and with good reason, it
was way too powerful of a strategy), but it still works
wonderfully once you get Iron Maiden higher. The problem is that
with the recent changes low level Iron Maiden will still steal
life for you and your golem, but not as much, and when combined
with elemental damage that your Iron Maiden doesn't effect, your
golem will eventually die. The solution is not more points in
to Golem Mastery, since that just means he'll still die, just
take a longer time of doing it. For him to steal enough life from
Iron Maiden get Iron Maiden up higher, eventually to level twenty.
This is not the main purpose of Iron Maiden however, although
it is a reason to increase it's level. The main purpose of having
level 20+ Iron Maiden is that when you join a Hell difficulty
game with eight people, and go to Act 4 with your fire golem,
Amplify Damage and attract won't be enough to get that vital first
kill to make your first revive, but high level Iron Maiden will
cover it well. The reason why is must be first to reach twenty,
is that Necromancers typically play well ahead of their level
in quest games, and they can reach Act 4 in Hell difficulty, and
even kill Diablo there to become a Baron before hitting level
30 if they wanted. (Although I don't recommend going that far
without revives! :)
Only works properly when the Monsters don't see you first, and
as such doesn't work too well. But it is necessary to get to the
Attract curse. I think it may work well if you cast Dim Vision,
and then Confuse, but I haven't tried this yet.
Life Tap: 0-1
It's quite possible to get by without it, but any melee characters
you party with who don't have enough life steal would be grateful.
:) It can also work well if you're not using a Blood Golem, and
you want to heal him without going back to town. If you decide
to get Lower Resist, then you'll need this one.
One of the more under-appreciated skills. If you're fighting a
huge swarm of monsters, and don't have enough minions to keep
them from attacking you, cast Attract on one of them. Another
example is this: once when I was running ahead of my minions looking
for the stairs down (I was in Act 1, Catacombs Level 3, Hell difficulty)
I came across a group of four zombies, and my minions were stuck
on a corner, as usual, so I cast Iron Maiden on all of the zombies,
and then cast Attract on one. The other three zombies attacked
him, and died from the Iron Maiden, and the one who I cast Attract
on died from taking all of the hits.
This one is debatable. You may want to put some points in to it
if you plan on partying with a friend who has a Sorceress a lot
(a powerful team, since the Sorceress has not minions to distract
the enemies from killer her mercilessly, and the Necromancer has
no way of doing as much wide area damage as a Sorceress.) The
main drawback to this one is that you would have to put points
in to Weaken, Terror, and Decrepify, all of which are nothing
terribly great for a Summoner. Also keep in mind that Lower Resist
also lowers resistance to Bone Spear and Spirit.
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