I just made it to hell for the first time (woo hoo, yay for me!!!). However, I find that I don't last especially long, which I find interesting because NM was/is a complete breeze. I have an Act 2 Holy freeze merc with insight (I am workign on getting obedience, and it will be a long time before I have the req's for Infinity). I am not opposed to the idea of losing this merc though (I'll simply pass my insight off to my Hammerdin) if a different one will be better. As soon as IM is cast he dies in 3-4 hits (what a wussy).
My gear is nothing special either as this is my first time gettign this far in the game my hopes were that this char could collect the good stuff, eventually.
SM/RS - maxed
RSm - 6
GM - 4 (I know I should max this one but I love C/E)
All Golems - 1 (4 with equip)
Decrepify - 1
AD - 1
Attract - 1 (I love this one)
Confuse - 1 (not as effective when any random attack will most likely be against my army)
C/E - 14
All the rest of the skills I rarely use and may have one point in. I do not have any poison skills, IM or revive.
My resistances in Hell are quite low despite the fact that more than half my inventory is resistance charms and most of my equipment (radiance, Rhyme, +3 SM/RS +3 RSm wand, some crappy armor and MF boots, gloves, and rings with a +18 res, +13 dex ammy) is admittedly pretty lame, comparatively speaking. However, I see potential in this Lvl 70 fishy and would like to at least take on Baal, eventually.
One other thing is that it seems to take my skellies forever to kill anything in Hell.
So, if any of you out there can see anyway I can make this build work please throw me your suggestions.
First, holy freeze aura mercenary is something you´ll want to avoid since it shatters corpses, making them unavailable to CE.
Get might one insted to help your skeletons´ damage.
Fishymancer´s primary killing method is corpse explosion, skeletons and mercenary are there only to protect you and get the first kill. With high level CE and amplify damage you can kill everything on the entire screen´s radius with one or two corpse explosions.
Insight is great as mercenary weapon, you´ll be needing that meditation. Just make sure that he´s got some crushing blow gear on to speed up boss killing. Few good and cheap sources are Guillaumes face helmet or rattlecage armor.
The mercs might aura will increase damage noticeably. Shop for a golemancer wand (+3 to summons skills and easily obtained, though keep your eyes peeled for necromancer wands with +3 to summon resist and +3 to revives. Gamble for a golemancer amulet (will take time) and then for golemancer headgear (more time and a lot more gold). In the meantime make a lore helm for the +1 to skills and LR.
Give some thought to possibly using a spirit shield.
Time to decide whether to max one of mages/CE/golem mastery. One point only needed in revives/golems/summon resist/all curses. Carry levelling in nm Baal till 75 to minimize frustration.
Unequip your merc's weapon if you see IM on him. That should keep him alive and keep his aura around.
My necro went max SM, RS, RSm, CE, one point into each curse, one point into everything else on the summon tree, one point into Bone Armor (absorbes 170hp with all my +skills). He just dinged 89 and has a skill point sitting in the bin. I'm not a fan of making an Iron Golem out of decent items, because he will die at some point. Also, the 10 extra points (at 99) into Golem Mastery is ~2000 more HP for the IG. I don't think that is really worth my time. One point into Bone Spear will do 154-162 current damage... My skellies do over 9 times that each swing that connects >_<. They connect a lot with infinity... If I stuff the rest of the points into Bone Wall (which could have some applications for Ubers) my Bone Armor will absorb almost twice as much, which isn't a very big increase number wise.
Suffice to say I am at a loss on where to put my last 10 points...
I have +19 to each curse... so I don't think more points will be very effective. It only takes 1-2 casts of amp damage to hit everything on the screen. I have +19 to the summon tree while I am killing... and I put an Arm of king leo on when I summon things for +24 to the skills that really matter. The PnB tree only has +15 skill points going for it...
(If that previous post was directed at me... if it wasn't, my apologies for assuming it was)
First off, as already stated, i would also suggest act 2 offensive merc (for Might aura, which will increase the damage made by your skellies). Another thing is that after you get the runes for Obedience (which isn't very expensive), you can make iron golems from a low dmg insight, for the meditation aura. I mean low dmg for the case it gets IMd. Put the extra points into golem mastery and you will get a very high-lifed IG.
Wow, that's a pretty impressive strategy for the iron golem. I see what eruditious is saying about the IG's dying eventually, but insight is cheap enough that I could make them up again if I need to. I can then get that act 2 might merc and hopefully my skellies kill speed will increase. I'm actually only one rune short of making obedience so I believe that I can make one quickly enough.
One last question though: Do you guys find AD to be more effective than Decrepify? Is IM ever used with regularity?
With my HF merc, decrepify and clay golem (if I have no good equipment for IG) I kinda like watching the monsters slow right down, sometimes they don't even get a swing completed before they're killed, it's pretty fun to watch, and I find it is a really effective combo to deal with bosses.
Your main problem is equipment. Try to buy a homunculus shield (lem or 15-20 pgs for a low one) and skin of vipermage. (about the same) This way, you'll get +3skills and tons of resists. You can also get a low shako for that price, , which adds another 2 skill + many more
On curses: I only use AD and decrep, cause I'm lazy. When you face a lot of monsters: AD and then blow them off (dont switch insight unless you make IG, which I only suggest if you have 20+ golem mastery when you summon) Against bosses and strong unique's groups: decrep
holy freeze may be fun to watch, but nearly not as effective as might