(I don't blame you, this ended up pretty long.)
Primarily a summoner with heavy focus in skeleton warriors and a bit of revive. Mages can rot. Remaining skill points: poison nova, bone spear, bone spirit, or golem mastery?
So, I'm playing a summoner necromancer for the first time since something like 1.06. At that point skeletons were so pathetic and internet connections were sufficiently unrelaible that the ubild was almost universally reviled, but Revive was badass and it was fun in the end. Clearly things have changed significantly since then, as I find myself relying more on my skeletons than my revives.
I've reached Act 4 Hell mostly on my own (having had a bit of help from a friend to get through normal where my summons were weakest). Things are still moving forward, but I'm starting to see things slow down a bit. I suspect a respec is in order, but before I do that I'd like some advice from folks here.
First of all, the intention here is to build a character that can farm for runes and general MF in areas my sorceress has trouble with. She can do act bosses with no problems, but my attempts at rune farming and the like by clearing the River of Flame and the Worldstone Keep didn't go so well. Ideally I'd like this necromancer to be able to farm such places reliably.
1 teeth, 1 bone armor, 7 CE (and skill points gained from here on out are getting put into CE)
1 amp, 1 weaken, 1 terror, 1 decrep, 1 dim vision, 1 confuse
20 raise skeleton, 15 raise mage, 12 revive
1 clay golem, 1 blood golem, 1 iron golem
20 skeleton mastery, 1 golem mastery, 1 summon resist
Strength 156 (no prizes for guessing why)
Vit <however many stat points I've gotten + base vit- (156-base str)>
Spirit broad sword
Spirit monarch - Hopefully to be replaced with a PDiamond Homonculus soon, but the guy I was trying to trade with hasn't responded to me yet.
Harlequin Crest (PTopaz)
Skin of the Vipermagi (34 resists, PTopaz)
Chance Guards (29 MF)
Rare battle boots (18 MF, 40 LR, not much else)
2x Nagelring (30, 27 MF)
Goldwrap (upped to Battle Belt)
Mara's Kaleidoscope (30 res--just found that tonight, couldn't be happier about it)
Secondary weapons - storage for some items I want to keep around for another character.
Act 2 NM Offensive (might aura)
Insight Cryptic Axe (16 med, 260 ED)
Duriel's Shell (197 ED)
For now, Stealskull. Once I find one of my Tal Rasha masks I intend to switch that out.
---What I'm observing---
First of all, between amplify damage and the might aura, my standard skeletons are beasts. This blows my damn mind: I still have memories of the old skeletons and how crap they were so I'm just not able to really process this right now. They also seem pretty sturdy: right now I'm more likely to lose them because I screw up and get killed myself.
The mages, on the other hand, seem pretty wimpy. They die easily and I spend a lot of effort replacing them. Even after that, they don't seem to be doing much damage. Plus, the frost ones deny me corpses that I'd really rather be using to revive or start a CE chain. Perhaps if I invested in Lower Resists it'd be one thing, but unlike Amp, LE isn't doing its maximum damage boost with just one point. Furthermore, I don't like the idea of having to choose between amp/decrep or LE.
The Revives would be awesome if I could keep them with me. But I can't. They wander off and their pathfinding is crap so I'll lose whole groups of revives behind a wall. With +skills I'm currently looking at 21 revives at once, and while I can get there, I can't stay there.
I use a clay golem for the slowdown and a bit of tanking. Once I'm heartier myself (my resists are currently too low to reliably survive: burning souls ruin me) I'll make one of the normal-quality Insights I used to level into an iron golem and hand my merc an Obedience thresher I have waiting in the wings.
And a minor note. I don't like Confusion. Haven't tried Attract yet, but it seems that in any situation I need control I'm better served by Dim Vision's superior radius or, any situation I need damage I'm better served by Amplify Damage's better effect and radius. (And of course, Decrepify ruins act bosses.)
---What I'm considering---
First of all, those mages are gonna go. They're not doing much for me (cold ones are messing up corpses too) and there's a lot of points tied up in them. CE is going to get the points saved there. This is pretty much set in stone unless someone makes a compelling argument to keep the mages around.
Next, I'm going to put fewer points into Revive. I'm still going to get Revive, but it'll probably be a one point wonder: +skill items do a LOT for it and generally ~10 is a good number of revives that I can reliably keep around.
Where the points saved on Revive go is where I'm not sure what to do. My first instinct is go move toward a hybrid build; there are situations where the skeletons are bottlenecked to a point where only one or two are attacking the target at once, and it takes a long time to get anything done. I'm strongly considering picking up either Poison Nova, Bone Spear, or Bone Spirit to handle these situations. Just speed things up a little, get that CE chain beatdown faster and more reliably.
Alternatively, maybe I should put points in Golem Mastery? I'm aware that damage-wise all of the golems are basically crap, but it'd be a pain in the neck if my Insight IG doesn't hold up for long.
Before I commit to this, I was hoping to get some input from more experienced Necromancer players. Any advice would be appreciated. Especially on that last bit, but on anything. I'm open to gear suggestions too. (Yes, I know, Marrowalks, I'll use them when I get them)