Latest Diablo 3 News
DiabloWiki Updates
Support the site! Become a Diablo: IncGamers PAL - Remove ads and more!

Meleemancer Guide - Preliminary version

Discussion in 'Necromancer' started by Mad Mantis, Jun 28, 2004. | Replies: 152 | Views: 69889

  1. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Meleemancer Guide - Preliminary version

    On The Origin of Meleemancing by Means of Demonic Selection,
    or The Preservation of Favoured Characters in the Struggle for Patriarch


    Introduction

    Kersh’s Tale

    As usual it was Kersh who was lead scout. It was always Kersh who was leading the pack of Fallen. Kersh suspected that the Shaman did not like him. He was always the first to see the enemy and the first to fall to the enemies blade. He was also always the last to be revived. Well not this time! Kersh was determined to finally prove himself to his Shaman. Today he would not die. Today he would kill!
    With his tiny red hands Kersh parted the shrubbery. He could clearly see his target. Kersh was smart. He saw one of the pasty faced red pants known as Necromancers. This was Kersh’s lucky day. Without any corpses nearby and no stupid demons to provide them, Kersh could sneak up on the Necromancer and kill him. Starting tomorrow he would no longer be lead scout. And he would gain new spiffy red pants. Kersh grinned at the prospect. As quiet as a mouse he made his way to a rock near the hated Necromancer. He readied his Scimitar and darted towards his unsuspecting victim.
    A good second later Kersh reaped the fruits of his deed. He lay gutted on the floor. If he would have read the guides, he would have known that the Necromancer in front of him was a Meleemancer. A type of Necromancer who relies on his weapons to do damage.


    About the Meleemancer

    Meleemancers focus, as the name implies, on melee damage. Curses are employed to control crowds and increase the physical damage. Bone Armor and it’s synergies are used to protect your character and incapacitate strong groups. And then there are the trusty Minions. You can use them as cheap diversions, or create powerful summoning hybrids.
    All in all, the Meleemancer can be a versatile and party friendly build, capable of beating Hell.


    Disclaimer

    Although Meleemancers can beat Hell, caution must be taken. It is by no means an overpowered build. Certainly at the later stages of the game, the killing can become slow. If you are not familiar with all the Necromancer skills, this build can prove to be difficult. More experienced Necromancers, with the necessary patience, can find this to be a refreshing change of pace.


    About the guide

    When I made my first Meleemancer, I wrote down all the information I collected in one document. As I played my Meleemancer more and more the document grew with my own experiences and with ideas handed to me by other people.
    With the arrival of the 1.10 Patch, I started a new Meleemancer. I used the most basic Meleemancer build out there. Just curses, BA and synergies and a Clay Golem. I played him in Single Player, so it was an untwinked character. I changed the information in the document according to the things other Meleemancers and myself discovered. This guide is the result of that document. It was written for untwinked characters without +skills equipment.


    Stats

    Strength

    This stat is the Meleemancers version of the weapon mastery. It is the only passive way to increase your damage output. Now don’t go crazy and dump all your points in here just to get more damage. You will need enough points to equip your weapon of choice. One handed weapon require less strength than two handed weapons.


    Dexterity

    If you have decided to get max block then put enough points in here to let you reach max block with your chosen shield.
    Your blocking percentage is determined by the following equation:

    Blocking % = (Shield Block% × [Dex – 15]) ÷ (CLevel × 2 )
    In which:
    Blocking % = The chance to actually block an attack
    Shield Block % = The chance to block displayed on a shield
    Dex = Dexterity of your character
    Clevel = The Level of your character

    Max block is 75%. If you have decided not to block then put enough points in here to reach your weapons requirement.


    Vitality

    The rest of your points go here. Each one gives 2 points in life. So the more points you put into this stat the more life you will have. You are a frontline fighter. You will need all the life you can get.


    Energy

    Leave this at base. Your natural increase in mana will allow you to curse effectively. If you run out, just drink a potion.


    Skills

    Curses

    Amplify Damage
    During the first part of the game this will be your number one curse. It reduces the enemy physical resistance by 100%. Against targets without physical resistance this means a doubling of your damage. Later on when the monster packs get bigger and Decrepify will have a duration with which you can work, you will only use this in certain situations and against single targets.

    It is a prerequisite for most other curses. One point will give you a nice duration and radius.

    Dim Vision
    This is a fantastic crowd control skill. It reduces the enemies radius of awareness to about one yard. It will immediately stop enemy archer fire, rendering them useless. It’s effects are not limited to archers alone. More on this skill in the section Crowd Control.

    The duration is cut in half in Nightmare and then again in half in Hell. In order to reach a decent duration you will need to put in 16 points. As an added benefit this will give you a huge radius.

    Weaken
    Prerequisite. One point.

    Iron Maiden
    Because of the new change in monster damage/life ratio IM has become useless. Even maxed it can’t make monsters kill themselves effectively.

    A prerequisite for Life Tap. One point.

    Terror
    This is a last resort curse. When you are surrounded or are a large amount of enemies approach just cast this curse. The enemies will run away in fear giving you a breathing space. It can also be used to clear doorways in small dungeon areas. And to keep stairs free from monsters.
    Terror also performs good as a means of crowd control. More on this is the Crowd Control section.

    The duration is long enough with just one point. The small radius makes it more effective as a means of crowd control. One point.

    Confuse
    Making enemies fight each other sounds very interesting. Too bad that they are no longer able to kill each other effectively. All it does now is create a diversion. If you, your Merc or a minion comes too close to monsters under this curse, they will stop attacking each other. Besides creating a temporary diversion it does not offer a lot.

    You can either forget about this skill and put in zero points, treat it as a prerequisite and dump in one point or put in thirteen points in order to reach a decent duration in Hell.

    Life Tap
    A very valuable curse that you will probably not use a lot. It offers you 50% leech against all targets. Even targets that you can normally not leech from, such as Burning Dead, will give you life while under influence of this curse.
    The leech this curse gives makes it possible for your Merc to tank rather large groups of monsters. He will leech himself back to full health in no time. It will really increase the survivability of your Merc.
    You can also use this curse when you are fighting LEB’s such as Dung Soldiers. You will be able to tank them effectively even with very low lightning resist. It also works this way when you are cursed with IM. Although more caution is then required and other tactics will prove more useful.

    The duration and radius of this curse are with one point.

    Attract
    A great diversionary curse. It will force monsters in the vicinity and slightly off screen of the monster cursed with Attract to come in and attack the cursed monster. This will create large crowds of monsters all trying to attack a single target. Since the effects of Attract can’t be overridden by another curse you can curse this mob with another curse.
    The main problem is that it creates a large crowd of monsters. This can actually draw in more monsters than you can handle. If you are not careful you can easily mob yourself. So make sure that you have another means of crowd control, such as a Holy Freeze Merc present. Attract can be a valuable tool, or your worst nightmare.
    Attract can also be helpful for dealing with the Unravelers in the Act II tombs. Attract will cause the Skeletons to form tight packs, ideal for a well placed CE.

    If you think you can handle the large crowds put in 8 points to get an acceptable duration in Hell. If you feel that it gives more problems than it solves do not place any points in this.

    Decrepify
    A fantastic curse. Once you actually start fighting, this is the curse that you will want to use. It protects you and weakens the enemy. It slows the enemies movement speed by 50%. This means that you will have more time to think about how to handle a group and more time to move into a good position. It reduces enemy attack speed by 50% and also reduces enemy melee damage by 50%. So in effect it quarters the damage a monster would do to you, if it were not under influence of this curse. And the last effect is that is lowers enemy physical resistance by 50%. So against targets without physical resistance you will do 50% more damage.

    This curse starts out with a really poor duration. In order for it to have an effective duration you will want to bring it up to at least ten points.

    Lower Resist
    This curse is similar to amplify damage, but it works for elemental damage. It will reduce the enemies elemental resistance by a certain percentage. So enemies will take more damage from elemental attacks.

    If you play in a party a lot, it might be worth it to put in one point.


    Poison & Bone

    Teeth
    A prerequisite for Bone Prison. One point.

    Bone Armor
    This skill is your last line of defense. It will protect your life from all non-magical damage. It is recastable and cheap. A great way to make sure that you do not die.

    The synergies of this skill add more absorption than actual points in this skill. If you want you can wait until the synergies become available and put in only one point. If you want more protection early on it is a good idea to put in up to ten points.

    Poison Dagger
    If you are planning on making a Daggermancer, then you are a lucky. This skill will add a lot of poison damage and it will boost your attack rating.

    If you are not using a dagger you can abuse the poison dagger bug and gain the increased attack rating. You first put the Poison Dagger skill on your left attack button. Then you take a weapon that does not require you to throw it. If you now make an attack using the Poison Dagger skill on your left attack button, you will gain the increased attack rating. You will not do any poison damage and there will be no mana used. This is an easy way to increase your attack rating.
    I do not like bugs. Not even bugs that are present as long as this one is. But I thought that I should mention it because it has been around so long. It has lost a lot of its bug status and a lot of people consider it just a part of the game.

    If you want to abuse the bug, put in as many points as you feel you need to attain a decent attack rating. Otherwise do not put any points in it.

    Corpse Explosion
    This skill has some use in against the Unravelers in the Act II tombs. The hordes of Skeletons they summon can pose a problem. This spell is one way to quickly deal with that problem. However the mana cost and lack of radius means that it can and should not be a staple skill of a Meleemancer.

    Mostly a prerequisite with one single use. One point.

    Bone Wall
    This barrier is great against archers. Archers will fire blindly into it. It can also effectively be used to block off certain passages. This is mainly the case in tombs.

    The main use of this skill is as a synergy to Bone Armor. But you may grow to like the way it handles archers. Raise it to 20 if you put only one point in BA. If you put in ten points in BA, then raise this to ten. If you have extra points left after doing the rest of your skills, then put the points here.

    Bone Prison
    The prison formed by this skill is perfect to hold melee monsters. Since those types of monsters move around a lot, they will easily pass a Wall, but not a bone prison. You can attack monsters on the other side of the prison if you have a weapon with some range.

    The main use of this skill is as a synergy to Bone Armor. But you may grow to like the way it handles melee monsters.

    Poison Explosion
    No points.

    Bone Spear
    Prerequisite for Bone Prison. One point.

    Bone Spirit
    No points.

    Poison Nova
    No points.


    Summoning

    Skeleton Mastery
    This makes for strong and durable Skeleton Warriors, Mages and Revives.

    Since these summons are not used, no points. If you are going for a summoning hybrid, then max this skill.

    Raise Skeleton
    This skills allows you to raise powerful Skeleton Warriors. The warriors have a huge regeneration rate and can dish out a lot of damage. They are very capable of finishing the game for you.

    Since these summons are not used, no points. If you are going for a summoning hybrid, then max this skill.

    Clay Golem
    This Golem can be a very versatile and durable tool. You can use him as a simple distraction, because he is not expensive to cast. He also has the built in ability to annoy all monsters. Monsters always put Clay Golem at the top of their target list.
    His slow ability works fantastic against single hard targets such as bosses, but also does a nice job in controlling small groups that swarm your Golem.
    The damage this Golem does can be neglected. Don’t rely on him to do any damage.

    In order to get a decent amount of slow five points are needed.

    Golem Mastery
    Increasing the speed and life of your Golem will make him a more versatile tool.

    In order to get a workable amount of hit points, you will need five points in this skill.

    Raise Skeletal Mage
    This allows you to raise Skeleton Mages who will attack the enemy using elemental damage. They are not as sturdy as their Warrior variant, but they can pack a powerful punch. Care must be taken to keep these guys out of harms way.

    Since these summons are not used, no points.

    Blood Golem
    No longer a useful Golem. Ever since the weakening of the IM bug, the shared life ability of the Blood Golem will only get you killed.
    The damage this Golem does can be neglected. Don’t rely on him to do any damage.

    Since this summons is not used, no points.

    Summon Resist
    All the Minions of the Necromancer are not affect by the resistance penalties. They will always have zero elemental resist. This skill will allow you to give your minions elemental resist.

    Clay Golem will be used as a distraction. Other summons are not used. Only one point will give Clay Golem enough elemental resists to hang out for a while against elemental attackers.

    Iron Golem
    This Golem no longer serves the Meleemancer as he used too. He lacks the life of Clay golem and because he has no slow, does not perform as well as a tank.
    His built-in Thorns aura is no longer as effective against monsters because of the new change in monster damage/life ratio.
    If you are able to sacrifice a lot of good weapons and other gear you can make a relatively useful Golem, because Iron Golem takes on a lot of properties also found on weapons. This means you can make a Golem with slow, or a chance to cast something like static, or have him have an aura. You can also make him elementally immune. But this means that you will have to be rich.
    The damage this Golem does can be neglected for the most part. If you decide to sacrifice a rather good damaging weapon, he can kill a few monsters. Don’t rely on him to kill mobs.

    A relatively useful toy for Meleemancers with items to sacrifice. As a form of crowd control he deserves at least five points. More points will probably need to be invested, because he will be a bit frail.
    For Meleemancers who want an easily recastable tank, no points.

    Fire Golem
    The walking and tanking version of Attract. His Holy Fire aura will piss off monsters even from off screen. You can then cast any curse you want on the monsters. This seems like a great Crowd Control skill, but he has some flaws.
    His life is rather low and he is very expensive to cast, mana wise. This means that he will get killed pretty soon, leaving you to deal with the large angry mob.
    The damage this Golem does can be neglected. Even maxed he will be unable to kill things. Don’t rely on him to kill monsters.

    Since this summons is not used, no points.

    Revive
    Nowadays Revives have been surpassed by Skeleton Warriors. Revives are slow, dumb, have a timer and cost a lot of mana. They also have the tendency to get lost whenever you turn a corner. But they have an incredible amount of life and can posses abilities such as crushing blow.

    A few of them can be handy in a few desperate situations, but overall they are more trouble than they are worth. No points.


    My Build

    The build I used in playing through the game is the following.

    Curses
    Amplify Damage = 1
    Dim Vision = 16
    Weaken = 1
    Iron Maiden = 1
    Terror = 1
    Life Tap = 1
    Decrepify = 10

    Poison & Bone
    Teeth = 1
    Bone Armor = 10
    Corpse Explosion = 1
    Bone Wall = 20
    Bone Prison = 20
    Bone Spear = 1

    Summoning
    Clay Golem = 5
    Golem Mastery = 5
    Summon Resist = 5
  2. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Equipment

    Choosing the number of hands

    One-handed Set-up
    One-handed weapons do low damage compared to their bigger two-handed cousins. An advantage of the one-handed set up is that you can use a shield in defense. A shield will give you the ability to block incoming melee attacks. The shield also makes it easier to raise your resists.

    Two-handed Set-up
    Two-handed weapons do heavy damage. The big disadvantage is the lack of a shield. This means having no ability to block. It also reduces the number of items with resists. Using a two-handed weapon means that you will be more skill and equipment depended in exchange for a much shorter fight.

    Doing it all
    Both options are very viable. But you can also combine the methods. You could use a two-handed weapon on your primary weapon tab and on switch a one-handed weapon with a shield.
    This will let you do good damage against all targets and when things get hard you can go for the protection of a shield with max block.


    What to look for if you are going untwinked

    Equipment can be used to cover up any flaws in a build. It can hide the weak spots and it can bring out the strengths. You can largely use equipment to compensate for a lack of skill.
    But when you are going untwinked you have no such luxury. You will have to make do with what you find. Often this means that your equipment does not come with fancy mods such as physical damage reduction or a Holy Freeze aura. It is then important to select your equipment with a few crucial mods in mind.

    In this section we will take a look at some of the important mods and on what kinds of equipment they come. First we will take a look at the defensive mods and then we will take a look at the offensive mods. When the mod has certain breakpoints these will be listed and a target value will be given.

    Resists
    With your Bone Armor you will have a buffer against physical damage, but elemental and magic damage will still directly target your life bulb. Resists offer you a way to deal with elemental damage.
    The most important elemental resists are Lightning and Fire. They do a lot of damage and are quite common. These resists need to be maxed.
    Less important, but still something to keep in mind are Cold and Poison resists. Both of these can be very irritating and damaging. However Cold damage can be dealt with using a thawing potion and Poison damage can dealt with via an antidote potion. It is still a good idea to keep these resists out of the negative and as close to max as you can.

    Resists can be found on Helms, Armor, Belts, Boots, Gloves, Shields, Rings, Amulets and Weapons.

    Life
    This is what it all revolves around. If you have no life then it is game over. A Meleemancer only gains 1,5 life with every point spend in vitality. This does not create a huge pool of life. In order to maximize the amount of life you can get, it is a good idea to get +life on your equipment.

    Life can be found on Helms, Armor, Belts, Boots, Gloves, Shields, Rings, Amulets and Weapons.

    Fast Hit Recovery
    You will be hit a lot. And every hit will force you to recover from it. This means that your attack cycle will be broken and this will leave you open to further attacks. Necromancers have a really poor Hit Recovery Rate.

    Hit Recovery Rates:

    Code:
    FHR		Frames
    0		13
    5		12
    10		11 
    16		10 
    26		9
    39		8
    56		7
    86		6
    152		5
    377		4
    If you are using a one-handed weapon you will need to reach at least the 56 breakpoint. Using a two-handed weapon means that you will need to at least reach the 86 breakpoint.

    Fast Hit Recovery can be found on Helms, Armor, Belts and Boots.

    Fast Block Rate
    When using a shield and going into a blocking animation you will not be able to attack for the duration of the animation. Necromancers have a really slow block rate, so it is important to get some Fast Block Rate.

    Faster Blocking Rates:

    Code:
    FBR		Frames
    0		11
    6		10
    13		9
    20		8
    32		7
    52		6
    86		5
    174		4
    600		3
    If you want to use a shield for blocking, try to reach the 32 breakpoint.

    Fast Block Rate can be found on Shields.

    Attack Rating
    This is the most important statistic for any melee character. Without AR you will not hit a thing. If you can’t hit monsters, you can’t kill them. Most characters have a way to increase their AR via skills. Meleemancers however do not, so we rely on AR we can get from our equipment.
    Besides just getting straight AR mods you can also use Ignore Target Defense Mods. These take the enemy defense out of the chance to hit formula. This making sure that the chance to hit is based solely on your character level and the enemies character level. ITD however does not work on champions and Act Bosses.
    Similar to the ITD mod, you can also get a Reduce Target Defense mod on your gear. These work at half power on champions and Act Bosses.
    Some easy to find Set Items have an especially useful property. They increase your AR based on your Character level. Every time you level up, you gain some AR.
    • Angelic Halo + Another piece from the Angelical Raiment set
    • Hsarus' Iron Heel + Another piece from the Hsarus' Defense set
    • Cleglaw's Pincers + Another piece from the Cleglaw's Brace set
    • Sigon's Visor + Another piece from the Sigon's Complete Steel set
    • Berzerker's Headgear + Another piece from the Berserker's Garb set
    Attack Rating can be found on Rings and Weapons.

    Increased Attack Speed
    With most weapons the attack rate of the Necromancer is slow. Really slow. He will attack once every second. This means that you will not be putting monsters into hit recovery a lot. It is almost like not attacking at all. But you can raise his attacks to an acceptable speed of 10 frames per attack. In order to offset the Necromancers slow attack speed, you first need to choose a weapon that is relatively fast. Try to aim for something that is not slower than 19 frames per attack. Anything slower will cause you to take a lot more hits.
    The second thing you need to do is get IAS gear. The breakpoints for IAS vary from weapon to weapon. The best you can do is look them up using a calculator. [insert link?]
    An extra benefit to attack fast is that your relatively small damage gets applied much more often, so you will kill faster. If you have mods such as CB, OW and DS, they will also be applied much more often. The faster you attack, the more damage you will do.

    Increased Attack Speed can be found on Gloves and Weapons.

    Crushing Blow
    Although this mod can not be found on magical weapons, it will appear on some low level rune words that everybody can make. It is a very important mod to augment the low damage of a Meleemancer. Crushing Blow reduces the enemies life by a certain percentage. The damage is different for certain targets. Normal monsters get their life reduced by 25% and boss monsters by 12,5%. You can see why this is a desired mod against high hit point monsters.

    Open Wounds
    Again a mod that can not be found on magic weapons, but it will appear on some low level rune words that everybody can make. Open Wounds gives the enemies negative regeneration. It does damage over time and can not be increased in any way. It kills over time, just like poison. The duration is 200 frames. This is 8 seconds. The damage per frame is given by the following formulae:

    Clvl = 1-15: ([9 × Clvl] + 31) ÷ 256
    Clvl = 16-30: ([18 × Clvl] - 104) ÷ 256
    Clvl = 31-45: ([27 × Clvl] - 374) ÷ 256
    Clvl = 46-60: ([36 × Clvl] - 779) ÷ 256
    Clvl = 61-99: ([45 × Clvl] - 1319) ÷ 256

    Boss monsters only receive half of this damage. It may not look like much, but combined with the slow attack speed and rather low attack rating, this means that the monster will be loosing life continuously. Thus even if you miss a swing they will keep on dying.

    Enhanced Damage
    No natural ability to increase weapon damage means that you will need to increase the base damage of a weapon through other means. This is were Enhanced Damage comes into play. It will increase the base damage of a weapon with a certain percentage.

    Enhanced Damage can be found on Weapons.


    Charms
    Everyone uses Charms. They come with an enormous variety of mods and are even better than equipment for enhancing your character and covering up weaknesses. You can carry a lot of charms.
    Charms add a level of flexibility to your character. If you are able to gain max resists from your charms, that means you can start looking for other mods on your gear.
    Some mods that are highly recommended to look for in charms are:
    • Resists
    • Attack Rating
    • Life
    • Faster Hit Recovery
    • Elemental Damage
    Using charms to gain Elemental damage means that you can build up a lot of extra damage, no matter what weapon you use. If you go for elemental damage on a weapon, you will only get a limited amount. With charms, you can just keep stacking.


    My equipment

    The Meleemancer I finished the game with didn’t have an awful lot of unique items. Most of it consisted of rares. There were some exceptions and I will list these here, mostly to show that some good equipment can be made by yourself or found easily.
    • Primary weapon switch: IK's Stone Crusher (Sheal/Eth)
    • Armor: Duriel’s Shell
    • Belt: Crafted Blood Belt.
    • Gloves: Crafted Blood Gloves

    Mercenaries

    What makes a good Merc

    The most important thing a Merc can do for a Meleemancer is help him with his crowd control. After that the damage a Merc can provide will be invaluable. Don’t be surprised if your Merc will be able to dish out more damage than you can. That is one of the draw backs of going untwinked. Nevertheless you will still be able to kill enough monsters. Sanctuary is full of them.
    Crowd Control capabilities can come in a few ways. A Merc can have an awful lot of hit points and be able to be smacked around all day without dying. They could have a helpful skill to slow down or kill enemies. Or they can kill at such a pace that they decimate and therefore “control†all crowds. Keeping this in mind we will take a look at the Mercs that are suited and unsuited as bodyguard for your Meleemancer.


    Which not to choose

    Act-I Rogues
    These Rogues can deal rather significant damage with their arrows. The elemental attacks will certainly help with Physical Immunes. And their Inner Sight skill will help your AR by lowering enemy defense.
    Since they are ranged attackers they will not tie up enemies as effectively as melee fighters. And if they get swarmed they will not hold out very long. The fact that they are not able to tie up monsters is what makes them a rather poor choice.

    Act-III Iron Wolves
    The Iron Wolves are casters. They can dish out some elemental damage. Their crowd control however is limited to a few monsters.
    Since they are ranged attackers they will not tie up enemies as effectively as melee fighters. And if they get swarmed their low hit points will get them killed.


    Which to choose

    Act-II Desert Mercenaries
    These guys have a good amount of hit points. They are able to take a lot of punishment and they dish it out quite nicely as well. Their true power however lies in their auras. These auras serve your entire party.
    The most useful auras are Might, Blessed Aim and Holy Freeze. Might will solve your damage problem, Blessed Aim will solve the Attack Rating problem and Holy Freeze will make sure that nothing can swarm and surprise you.
    Prayer will regenerate you and your party, but a Potion can do that and Clay does not need regeneration. Defiance can boost your defense, but you will not be able to get it high enough to avoid a lot of attacks.

    Act-IV Barbarians
    They have a good amount of life and can deal out a lot of damage. They make excellent tanks. Barbarians are also aggressive and will seek out a lot of enemies. Their skills are not the best. Bash has knock back and can become quite annoying. Stun is nice. Any enemy who can not attack is a nice enemy.

    The difference between these guys lies in their support skills. Both can function very well as tanks, but which support skill do you want?
  3. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Strategies

    Crowd Control

    You can control mobs in a variety of ways. You can stop monsters from targeting you in the first place. You can divert their attention to other targets or you can put physical barriers in place.

    Dim Vision is an excellent tool to prevent monsters from targeting you in the first place. The awareness radius of monsters is reduced to a mere one yard. Anything out their range does not get attacked. Archers can not attack. Shamans can not use their fire balls or resurrect their minions. Balrogs will not use their inferno attack. Any ranged attack will be useless. As an added benefit Dim Vision also stops monsters like Maggots and Flesh Spawners from forming offspring. You can then decide which monsters you want to engage and on what terms.
    Terror is also a useful tool to stop monsters from targeting you. It causes monsters under its influence to run away. Not only will this make sure monsters do not target you, it is also helpful if monsters have already targeted you. When under the curse takes effect they will run away from you, assuming that they have not already engaged you in melee combat. So tough and large groups can be broken up by cursing a few monsters. Keep in mind that both Dim Vision and Terror do not work on Oblivion Knights, Champions and Act Bosses.

    Diverting attention can also prove to be a good tool. Attract diverts monster attention very well. It forces all monsters in the vicinity to target the cursed monster. The monsters will from a bundle around the cursed one. An unfortunate side effect of this curse is that it draws in monsters from off screen. This can actually be counter productive. Because you will have to deal with all the entire mob at once.
    Clay Golem does his job as a diversionary tactic very well. Monsters seem to have a built-in hatred towards the pile of walking mud. Whenever he gets close to monsters they will cease their previous attacks and target the Golem. This may relieve you of a lot of pressure and stop charging mobs dead in their tracks. This will give you some breathing time to curse the monsters and do other things like drink a potion and refresh Bone Armor.

    Placing physical barriers in front of mobs can also be very helpful. Archers and other ranged monsters do not walk around as much. So you can make sure that their fire will not reach you by placing a Bone Wall in front of their noses. They will fire at the barrier until it collapses. This gives a lot of protection, because at higher difficulties and levels of synergy, the barrier will have a lot of life. Think of it as a kind of Dim Vision with a longer duration.
    Bone Prison is fantastic to lock up Melee mobs. Melee monsters tend to move around more than archers, so you need something that will limit their movement. Bone prison does this very well. As an added benefit, if you use a weapon with a range of three or more you can attack the monsters inside the prison, while they are unable to target you.
    Clay Golem can also be a great physical barrier. At higher levels he will have a lot of life and will slow monsters a lot. This makes sure that it will take mobs a while to defeat the Clay Golem. In the meantime you are able to do with the monsters what you want.


    Dealing with Iron Maiden

    As with all melee characters, Iron Maiden can prove to be a real problem. Fortunately the Meleemancer has some tricks up his sleeve to deal with this curse. First you can try to prevent the Oblivion Knights from casting Iron Maiden. Whenever a target gets into melee range, the Oblivion Knight will cast Decrepify. Your Clay Golem can be positioned anywhere you want, so make sure that you cast him in front of a group of Oblivion Knights while you and your Merc close the distance. The Oblivion Knights will attack the Golem with Decrepify.
    When you are going to attack the Oblivion Knights, make sure that you cast Life Tap on them. This will give you life back and will make sure that you can hold out longer. This is certainly the case with the Merc.
    You can also take away your Mercenaries weapon. He will still do a lot of damage, but not enough to outright kill himself. This increases his survival time. If the Oblivion Knights are cursed with Life Tap, this will make sure that he is hard to kill.
    You can also make a rune word Passion weapon and use the Berserk skill granted by that rune word. Since this will make sure that your damage becomes magic damage, the Iron Maiden will have no effect.
    A ranged weapon can also be used to deal with this curse, since Iron Maiden only returns melee damage.
    Or you can stock up on elemental damage charms and use a weapon with a very low physical damage to attack the Oblivion Knights.


    Dealing with Physical Immunity

    This is were the curse Amplify Damage finds its greatest use. It can break almost all physical immunities. With the exception of monsters who have both the Physical Immune and the Stone Skin modifiers.
    You can also stock up on elemental damage charms and use them to damage the Physical Immune monster.


    Other builds

    Daggermancer

    Curses
    Amplify Damage = 1
    Dim Vision = 13
    Weaken = 1
    Iron Maiden = 1
    Terror = 1
    Life Tap = 1
    Decrepify = 8
    Lower Resist = 1

    Poison & Bone
    Teeth = 1
    Bone Armor = 1
    Poison Dagger = 20
    Corpse Explosion = 1
    Bone Wall = 10
    Poison Explosion = 10
    Poison Nova = 20

    Summoning
    Clay Golem = 5
    Golem Mastery = 1
    Summon Resist = 1

    Tactics
    This build does not rely on huge physical damage. Poison damage is the main killing power. Because of the duration associated with poison damage, this character is a hit and run fighter. The curses have a lower duration because of the hit and run nature of the build. You only need a curse to be in effect for a few seconds while you run in and jab a monster.
    If you want to be able to tank more, then put fewer points in the poison synergies and more in the Bone Armor synergies.

    The preferred Merc for this build is an Act-II Holy Freeze Desert Mercenary. He will slow monsters down while your poison does the job.


    Commandomancer

    Historically this build was called the Frontline General. The build described below is almost the same as the historic Frontline General. However since patch 1.10 and the guide made by TheKbob, calling it the Commandomancer feels better.

    Curses
    Amplify Damage = 1
    Dim Vision = 13
    Weaken = 1
    Iron Maiden = 1
    Terror = 1
    Life Tap = 1
    Decrepify = 10
    Poison & Bone
    Teeth = 1
    Bone Armor = 1
    Corpse Explosion = 1
    Bone Wall = 1
    Bone Prison = 20
    Bone Spear = 1

    Summoning
    Skeleton Mastery = 20
    Raise Skeleton = 20
    Clay Golem = 1
    Golem Mastery = 1
    Summon Resist = 1

    Tactics
    This build relies on the Skeletons for extra damage and crowd control. These minions will probably do most of the killing. Because of the large number of targets presented to monsters, the Bone Armor synergies and curse duration can be lower.

    The preferred Merc for this build is an Act-II Might Desert Mercenary. He will give you, your Skeletons and himself a huge boost in damage.

    Special notion goes out to the original Commandomancer made by TheKbob. His Commandomancer deviates on several points with the above mentioned build. The guide is entertaining and a good read. Definitely look into it.
    For those interested in the historic term, his build can be accurately classified as an Aura-enhanced Frontline General.


    Dark Ranger

    A Necromancer wielding a bow is known as a Dark Ranger. The various Ranger builds, namely the Dark Ranger and Summoning Dark Ranger, can be made using the templates for a normal Meleemancer or Frontline General. Just switch a melee weapon for a ranged weapon such as a bow or crossbow.

    Tactics
    Crowd Control is key in these builds. Use your Bone Walls, Curses and Minions to prevent monsters from reaching you.

    The preferred Merc for these builds is an Act-II Might Desert Mercenary. He will give you, your Skeletons and himself a huge boost in damage.


    Thanks

    Hozze for arguing with me over Meleemancer ideas.
    Slipin for giving me some fantastic info on his Meleemancer.
    ArcticSpectre for making me think about the build.
    TheKbob for some great ideas and item knowledge.
    Beatboxer for some practical advice.
    Necrochild313 Yardstick rules!
  4. Necrochild313

    Necrochild313 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    4,538
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    165
    I'd revise this to include "If he would have read the guides, or perhaps clicked on the stickies, he would have known that the Necromancer in front of him was a Meleemancer."

    Also, in my experience a bow necro can make good use of corpse explosion by employing some mana leach. My last Dark Ranger had CE maxed.

    Yardstick is god!
  5. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    You do have a point there. I'll include some CE based variants in the next version, stressing the importance of mana leech.

    But it does take away from the melee feeling.
  6. Necrochild313

    Necrochild313 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    4,538
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    165
    It does :(, but I found him to be fun.

    He was using revives to tank for 'im anywho. I need to rebuild a 1.10 version of him soon....
  7. Pensam

    Pensam IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    A section of gear would be nice.

    Obviously, with an emphasis on Crushing Blow.
    There are a lot pf options out there like Duress, Stormlash, etc.
  8. Necrochild313

    Necrochild313 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    4,538
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    165
  9. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Gear will be added later. I have almost completed a list of items that would be good for a Meleemancer.
    Now I need to review them again and get correct estimates of their value. There is no use in me listing something as cheap while it is actually very expensive.
  10. Pensam

    Pensam IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I hear ya Mantis.

    If there's anyone on here who puts everything into consideration, it's you. Just wanted to know if you were gonna go in depth with gears like you usually do. :drink:
  11. gvandale

    gvandale IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,677
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    I'd suggest against the value portion of items. From what I know, values differ greatly from realm to realm, and ladder to non-ladder.

    I'd just suggest useful items, and item mods. Say something like "xx item is quite expensive afaik, but rightfully so. Check the mods on this baddasz and you'll see why".

    That way you kinda cover your butt, and give good help at the same time.

    g
  12. Pensam

    Pensam IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Most guides have the setup as:

    End Game: Enigma

    High End: Trang's Armor
    Mid Range: Sigon's
    Low: Sigon's

    fyi
  13. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Maybe using the word value was wrong. Civerb's Cudgel is easy to find, BoTD is not so easy to find. Look at it that way. Maybe scarcity would be a better term. Since scarcity almost always equals value.

    You pretty much nailed it there with the way items should be described. It is no good if I just list a piece of armor. You should know why it is a good armor.
  14. gvandale

    gvandale IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,677
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    p.s.
    Civerb's Cudgel is a sick low level weapon. One of my fav's!

    g
  15. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    It is a good low level weapon. At character level one it does more damage than a War Sword.
  16. ArcticSpectre

    ArcticSpectre IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2004
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Excellent guide Mantis! I tried to find something wrong with it and could only find one error :)


    A minor inconsistancy. Otherwise, an excellent guide. I'm looking forward to seeing the equipment section. Possibly do a twinked and untwinked section?

    Great job! :thumbsup:
  17. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Must have missed that one while correcting.




    For untwinked you can see what mods to look for in your equip. But I will see if I can make a list of items that you are bound to run in to. It is nice to know what you can expect.
    A twinked section will definitely be included.
  18. CEG

    CEG IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Nice guide overall, but so much to read ><. There are a few things though that I have found different to some things you have said.

    Attract hardly ever seems to drag in monsters from off screen and the mobs it creates are no bigger than they would be anyways. I have done a lot of testing recently with all the AI curses. Also I would use attract also on archers and gloams (assuming you woul use attract a lot, unlike yours) since it occupies them just as well. In fact better wsince they always stop attacking you in favor of their former comrade and if you attract 2 or 3 you can have a few softer targets when you go to attack them.

    I find Iron Golem to actually be able to kill things in Nightmare and Normal (providing he is fairly high like 10+ points). In hell he is not as useful for damage but it is VERY cheap to make an ancients pledge runeword in a pally shield with res for an ele immune golem. You did mention it, but stated it as expensive which it really isnt (the runes are given to you in a quest).

    But overall, its a nice guide.
  19. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    This means that I will do more testing on the use of Attract.
    The first build I used incorporated a lot of Attract and the crowds got bigger whenever I used it. Even not yet awakened monster packs came walking in.
    I'll see if I can verify this. It will probably mean that a few new strategies can be added. Attract will probably be better than Dim Vision, save for a few instances.




    How often was your IG unable to follow you and how many points did you put into it and GM?
    Depending on your answers, it could be wise to advice people to make a choice between a cheap strong recastable Golem or a tank more suited to tanking elemental damage. Untwinked probably means going for the Clay, while twinked could mean that IG might become superior.
    The sentence with the Golem being expensive was not meant for elemental immune, but more the useful procing mods.

    Thanks CEG, although it depends a bit on your answer, you might have just given me a use for the Weaken curse.
  20. CEG

    CEG IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    I did some more testing in single player and it does seem that attract does draw in monsters. However it does not draw in so many that they are unmanageable. Especially if you cast attract on 3 (attract one of the close ones, one of the mid-mob ones, and attract one of the monsters in the back of the mob) monsters. They are so busy fighting each other that you can focus on the few closest to you safely and use CE to take the group down to a smaller size. I just find attract to be very useful and have never had problems in all my testing with it bringing in to many monsters.

    As far as Iron golem, In various places in hell a maxed out Iron Golem with Maxed out Mastery has 5600 or so life (assuming base with no +skills) and he is able to follow me about and be an excellent tank in various places. He is invaluabl (if immune to ele) for tanking gloams. He rarely dies. This is with a maxed out mastery though. His thorns is not all that useful once you get past nightmare. Possibly 5-10 points should be plenty and with a larger focus on mastery he will be a great tank. Also gaining resists (esp going 2 hand) is hard and having a golem immune to ele and taking all that damage can be a real life saver. Plus even if he dies (or you die) a few points in summon resist will you to use a lower res all item and still achieve high res if not immunity.

    Those are just 2 great ways to manage the mobs. Partitioning them off into smaller, more manageable sub-mobs with bone wall and prison is also useful.

Share This Page