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

The Corrupted Televangelist

Discussion in 'Necromancer' started by rickcarson, Jan 26, 2005. | Replies: 52 | Views: 48619

  1. rickcarson

    rickcarson IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    The Corrupted Televangelist

    (grumble stupid 10,000 character limit) -> pt 1 follows:

    The Corrupted Televangelist

    This character breezes into town, has a big revival meeting, preaches hellfire, takes all the money and runs.

    It is extremely cheap, and extremmely powerful, with the drawback that (as of ladder season 2) it is strictly ladder only.

    When you have both the main components of this build, you will have a vast army of practically invincible, but totally disposable, minions. You will run around casting high level Corpse Explosions like there is no tomorrow. By level 40 your skills will be sufficient to ensure being able to solo the rest of the game without spending another skill point. The greatest danger with the build is that it will be too easy, and you will grow bored.

    Stats

    Strength

    Strength is fairly important early on, because some of your equipment options at low levels have high strength requirements. However most of your gear is based around runewords, so you can pick and choose how much strength you will need. If your end game dream equipment includes an Enigma in Archon Plate, then you need lots of strength. Defense is not a huge factor for this build though, so you can comfortably get away with 70-100 for most of the game.

    Dexterity

    Dexterity is fairly important early on, because some of your equipment options at low levels have high dexterity requirements. Like strength, since you can pick and choose base equipment for your runewords you can tailor this to some extent. Blocking is not a factor, because your main equipment options are two handed weapons and you will not be using a shield. I found that even with 80+ dexterity my attack rating did not even break 500, and my chances to hit were so low that I hardly bothered attacking anything, playing more in the style of an Artillery-mancer or Overlord. (Ie cast Corpse Explosion and run around picking up the gold while the minions do all the dirty work)

    Vitality

    Points not spent on strength or dexterity should go here. I had quite a few stat points saved up rather than spent on vitality, just in case I found some really juicy item with a high strength requirement.

    Energy

    Spend no points here. Even chain casting high level Corpse Explosions will most likely not cause you to run out of mana. Once my core equipment was secured I was regenerating 10 mana every second, with a base mana pool of 150.

    Core Equipment

    The two key pieces of equipment for this build are both new ladder only runewords. Edge (3 Socket Bows/XBows: Tir-Tal-Amn) and Insight (4 Socket Polearms/Staves: Ral-Tir-Tal-Sol)

    Both of the runewords have excellent mods (such as high enhanced damage), but the main thing they are used for in this build is the auras they grant.

    Edge grants a level 15 thorns aura which returns 810% of physical melee damage. When combined with Amplify Damage, that goes up to a whopping 1620% damage returned! The level at which you can equip Edge is the greater of the level requirement of the base item (25 for most exceptional items) or 25 for the Amn rune.

    Early on I felt that it was important to squeeze as much out of the bow as possible, and so I made it in an exceptional bow. In retrospect I discovered that Edge lacks one thing above all else - a bonus to attack rating. My Necromancers attack rating was pathetic, I had less than 40% chance of hitting normal monsters in Nightmare (even though I'd pumped Dex above 80 to meet the minimum stat requirements for the Bow).

    Because of the attack rating issue it is extremely misleading to describe Necromancers using Edge as 'Bowmancers'. And it also makes me reconsider whether it was worth the effort of creating the 3 socket exceptional bow (find a low quality exceptional bow of the right type, upgrade it to a normal quality exceptional bow of the same type, get larzuk to socket it (it will have 3 sockets, because when you upgraded it its iLvl was reset to 1)).

    Insight grants Meditation at a level between 12 and 17, which increases your mana regeneration by between 575% to 700%. The level requirement for Insight is the greater of the level requirement of the base item, or 27 for the Sol rune. I made it in a normal Poleaxe, and its listed damage on my Merc is better than that of the Hwanin's Justice he was using previously. On top of the listed damage, it also has some Critical Strike. I am now kicking myself for not putting it into an Exceptional polearm.

    The mana regeneration is incredible. With a base mana pool of a mere 150 and a level 16 Meditation aura, I regenerate approximately 10 mana per second. Over three minutes that is one thousand eight hundred mana regenerated, enough to keep forty Revives going, or cast sixty level 16 Corpse Explosions (one every three seconds). If I doubled my mana pool to 300, which would be easy enough to do, I could keep eighty Revives* active continuously, or cast one hundred and twenty Corpse Explosions over three minutes - without even putting a dent in my mana reserve. Let me tell you, this build makes baby Nihlathak cry.

    *Just by way of example, of course I'm not suggesting it is even remotely possible to get anywhere near that level of Revive.

    Mercenary

    The only choices here are an Act 1 Rogue, or an Act 2 Desert Merc. You have two main runewords, and both of them are weapons, so your merc has to have at least one of them.

    I chose to go with a Prayer merc to abuse the Meditation/Prayer synergy. But there are other ways the decision could go.

    The pros and cons of the Rogue:
    The worst thing about the Rogue is levelling her up. It takes for freaking ever to get her to 25. If you are going to go with the Rogue, you will save a huge amount of time and effort if you use Edge yourself to beat the last sections of Normal, and then hire a Rogue in Act 1 Nightmare. A potential disadvantage is that she avoids getting into melee, and so the Thorns aura is not much benefit to her.
    The main advantage is that I think she has a much better chance of hitting with the bow, and should have quite high damage due to her high Dex and hidden damage bonuses. Other advantages are that she won't die as often as the Act 2 Merc, and if you are not the one holding Edge, then if you are mucking around with your weapon switches your army doesn't lose the better part of its killing power.

    For the Desert Mercs there are a number of options available to you:
    • Prayer - good, provides bonus synergy for Meditation
    • Defensive - very bad, this is the worst one you could pick because you want your troops to be hit so the Thorns will activate
    • Blessed Aim - okay, might help your attack rating problem with Edge
    • Might - okay, will help your side do a little extra damage (but will not help your main attacks; CE and Thorns)
    • Holy Freeze - bad, slows enemies so less Thornage, and shatters corpses (normally I think this is a non issue because noone could ever use all the corpses anyway, but if any build can, its this one)
    • Thorns - bad, pointless even. Multiple Thorns auras from different sources do not stack

    The pros and cons of the Desert merc:
    Somewhat easier to level if you hire them at level 13 compared to level 7 for the Rogue.
    Will get into melee a lot, but will get butchered by boss packs of archers.

    I did not find the Prayer aura all that useful. It might be good through normal, but in Nightmare gaining 10 hp every two seconds (20 every two seconds with meditation) is not much. I also didn't really care whether any of my minions (with the exception of the merc) lived or died. When it was needed it was too low, because the monsters would be doing too much damage too quickly.

    Blessed Aim solves the same problem that just using a Rogue would. The Rogue is better against ranged attackers, so going with the Rogue instead of the Blessed Aim merc would make for a better all round character.

    Might is a good merc, but my feeling is that if you are going to make a Necromancer that uses a Might merc, Corpse Explosion, Amplify Damage and minions, then you should probably just go with a full on Fishymancer, which you would be pretty close to anyway. The discussion over whether a Fishymancer would be improved by adding Edge is fairly technical, but I think ultimately when your focus is on the killing power of Skeleton Warriors, there are better auras available (eg Fanaticism).

    Core Skills

    The main skills for this build are:
    • Revive
    • A golem (Fire or Clay, either is good)
    • Corpse Explosion
    • Amplify Damage

    Skill Progression

    It goes something like this:
    • 1-5 Amp
    • 6-11 Clay Golem
    • 12-17 Golem Mastery
    • 18 Teeth
    • 19-23 Corpse Explosion
    • 24 Summon Resist
    • 25-29 Blood Golem, Raise Skeleton, Skeleton Mastery, Skeletal Mage, Iron Golem
    • 30-39 Revive

    My aim is to by level 30 have put a point into all the summon skills except Fire Golem. And spread the rest of the points between the Golem, Corpse Explosion, and Amplify Damage.

    I find a low level Amp has a frustratingly small radius. Increasing it to 4 yards is good, six yards is better. After that matching its radius to the radius of Corpse Explosion.

    Corpse Explosion is one of my main ways to burn mana, but prior to getting Insight I didn't use it much, but I still put half a dozen or so points into it so that when I did get Insight it would have a somewhat less pathetic radius.

    Levels 30 through 39 I put a point into Revive.

    From level 40 onwards you don't need to spend any more skills points, but if you do, the places to spend them depend on which variant you are going for.
  2. rickcarson

    rickcarson IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    part two

    Note that this build breaks some broadly held build design rules, particularly about which skills to never put more than one point into, but also about whether you should max skills one at a time or spread your points out.

    Before the tired old chant of 'let your +skills do the work you nooblar' starts up, let me point out a couple of things:
    • The number of minions is not improved by prebuffing on a weapon switch, so +skills on wands and fetishes (the easiest place to get +skills) won't help get you a bigger army.
    • In fact none of the skills this build uses frequently benefit from pre-buffing. I have a +2 Summoning / +2 Fire Golem wand on weapon switch with which I whip up a FG at the start of each game and then completely ignore the weapon switch for the rest of the game.
    • Skill charms are somewhat less useful than normal because the three skills you use most often are all in different trees. Given the choice, I'd probably go with P&B charms to boost CE, more than summons to boost Revive and Gumby (who is a tough hombre anyway).
    • That leaves the amulet and helm as your only easy sources of +skills.
    • This build is playable through the whole game. Many of the so called 'cheap and easy' +skills options are only available later on, or through twinking or tedious trading.
    • I do not want to wait till level 40-50 before I can do more than play 'tickle me Elmo' with the monsters. I want to layeth the smacketh downeth, and I want to do it *now darnit*, not 'sometime next month if my buddy the duper strikes it big'.
    • Since its Ladder only, common sources of +skills (such as SoJs) are 'a little harder' to come by.
    • Besides, how boring would it be to only spend 12 skill points ever?

    Skill Discussion

    Minions:

    Yes, I recommend Revives for this build instead of Warriors. Get over it. :D Remember that our main killing factor is Thorns, so quantity wins over quality.

    As for the issue of quantity, and assuming you'd have spent the point in Gumby anyway, Revive has three 'wasted' points which Skellies don't have. So here is the comparison of
    skill points invested to number of minions:
    Skill Points/Skellies(#S)/Revives(#R)
    4sp, 3S, 1R
    5sp, 3S, 2R
    6sp, 4S, 3R
    7sp, 4S, 4R
    8sp, 4S, 5R
    9sp, 5S, 6R
    ...
    12sp, 6S, 9R
    ...
    15sp, 7S, 12R
    ...
    18sp, 8S, 15R
    ...
    20sp, 8S, 17R

    with a minimal investment of skill points (Level 4 in Revive) you catch up to and then quickly pass the Skeletons.

    Anyway, the main aim of this build is to get enough minions so that all the enemies you can see are taking Thorns damage. Anything more than that is overkill. (Not that overkill is a bad thing...)

    A discussion of whether the Skeletons are better than the Revives typically revolves around whether a single skeleton deals more damage than a single Revive, which is a flawed comparison, as the chart above shows the proper question is does each skeleton do more than three times as much damage as each Revive? To which the answer to me seems to be no.

    Here are some advantages that all Revives have over Skeletons:
    • You don't care whether they live or die.
    • Something to do with all that freaking mana.
    • Buttloads of hit points, they take a beating and still keep going (Skellies need a major skill point investment to achieve similar levels of toughness).
    • Bonus magic damage on higher difficulties.
    • Far fewer skill points required for same (or better) quantity of minions.

    Here are some advantages which some Revives will have over Skeletons (depending on base type)
    • May be faster (faster = more 'face time' with the enemy = more Thorns).
    • May have multiple attacks.
    • May do more damage.
    • CRUSHING BLOW BABY OH YEAH!
    • May do ranged attacks (can make them useful in terrain which would render Skellies useless).
    • May cast spells.
    • Revived Minions retain bonuses (extra fast, harder hitting etc).
    • Everyone knows that black is always in style. :D

    Golems:

    Either Clay (aka Gumby) or Fire (aka Faggy???) Some people believe that Fire Golem has special monster attracting powers, and the same claim has been made about Clay Golem. My experience is that this is simply not the case. Neither of these skills has a mysterious (or even magical) monster pulling ability, sorry.

    The reason for using one of these two Golems is that the other two eliminate themselves - Blood Golem is just plain bad, and Iron Golem (for this build) is even worse. You don't want its wimpy little Thorns, and you sure don't want its ability to be made out of an item with a high defense... the really annoying thing about Iron Golem is that even a single point in it means that all the other Golem's defense ratings go up, and unlike most synergies this one does count +skill items.

    Fire Golem does more damage, has a feeble absorb ability (which I have yet to see do any good against fire attacks such as Balrog's Infernoes etc), and does not slow the enemies, all of which are slight advantages over Gumby.

    Gumby is cheaper to cast, and better against end of act bosses. Currently I prebuff with a Fire Golem, then usually it lasts the whole game, except against certain monsters such as Baal, then if it dies I just cast (and recast) a Gumby to keep the boss occupied. The most unusual recent kill of Baal was when I was down to one minion, a Revived council member, and I had to keep recasting Gumby to keep Baal occupied while hoping that the Hydras would do enough damage before the Revive's batteries went flat.

    Frankly though, I wouldn't bother spending the skill point to get Fire Golem. If I didn't have a big juicy wand to prebuff it with, I'd be just as happy using the Clay Golem. Fire Golem makes a nice 'change of scenery' from the Clay, but I did not notice any difference when I switched over from Gumby.

    Poison and Bone Spells:

    Other than Teeth as a prerequisite for Corpse Explosion I don't bother with any other skill on this tab. In particular the basic build does not need Bone Armour, since you have a massive amount of 'zombie armour' instead.

    Curses:

    In a moment of weakness I accidentally put points into a skill on this tab other than Amplify Damage. I had thought that I could use Life Tap to keep my merc alive. However it turns out that most of the time he trundles around either on full or mostly full hit points, and that his next lowest energy state is 'dead'. Frankly if the monsters decide to pick on him en masse its all I can do to force feed him full rejuvs. Also the monsters voted 'most likely to use my merc as target practice' are almost all ranged attackers, in which case Life Tap won't do much good anyway.

    I recommend spending early points on Amplify Damage, because I find its low starting radius is annoying. And much later on when I'm spamming CE I don't want to stop and cast fifteen Amps in between each CE. I want to make them glow in the dark as quickly as possible (ie only one cast), and then I want to nuke them till they stop glowing in the dark.

    Decrepify is a waste of good skill points. Clay Golem performs exactly the same role (ie slowing big bad Baal to a crawl). And I have not seen any evidence that Baal can be stopped in his tracks as some people claim. I've been down the road of Holy Freeze Merc + Cold Mage + Gumby + Slows Target mods + cold damage weapons ... and he never completely stopped.

    As far as I can tell a decent level of Gumby slows Baal (after a few hits) to the same speed that Gumby + Decrepify does. So it seems to me that the Decrepify part of the equation is entirely unneccessary.

    Even if Decrepify did help a bit, it would be the difference between Baal attacking 'hardly ever' and 'almost never'. Frankly, I'd rather have an extra three Revives and kill him faster. Killing him faster > he attacks less.

    Lower Resist is a great spell, but its not Amplify Damage.

    ... all other curses: see Lower Resist.

    Actually, Dim Vision is tempting, since the only monsters that scare me anymore are the Black Souls/Gloams, and it would be nice to shut down Archers and the like (which are merely annoying). But its not required for the basic build.

    Basic Tactics

    Wander out into wilderness. Have monsters beat themselves to death on your Golem. Revive monsters. Kick butt. Take names. Be good to your mother.

    Variants (or, "okay, I'm level 40, now what?")

    (ommitted for brevity) (actually I wanted to see if anyone was interested and what kind of feedback this gets before putting too many secrets to paper)

    End Game Target Equipment

    Body Armour:

    I'd thought that Enigma (Jah-Ith-Ber) would be a definite shoe in for this one, simply as a sink for all that mana, and to keep your Revives from getting lost, but I have come to the conclusion that I just don't care if the Revives wander off and die, its so easy to make more.

    I still like the combo of fast movement + partial invulnerability which Enigma would provide. But whats not to like? It has MF, a metric Buttload of Defense, some damage reduction... etc etc etc. Its all good.

    Another high level runeword deserves honourable mention: Bramble (Ral-Ohm-Sur-Eth), for even *more* (lvl 15-21) Thorny goodness. Plus a Spirit of Barbs for yet more Thorny type goodness (which stacks with the Thorns). Note that for the two Thorns auras to stack, the same person must be wearing Bramble and wielding Edge.

    But you *can* have your cake and eat it (well, some of it) too, if you go with the Rogue.

    Give the Rogue the Edge and Bramble, and you wear the Enigma. You 'give up' a large bonus to poison skills damage, and the Spirit of Barbs (I guess you could swap armour in camp at the start of the game if you wanted to and still get the Spirit that way)...
  3. rickcarson

    rickcarson IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    part the third

    ...but you gain so much with the Enigma it seems like a good trade to me.

    Helm:

    Shako of course, could there be anything else?

    At this point because your armour, helm and weapon/shield slots are all taken, you are starting to run out of options for getting resists. So maybe you Um the Shako, well, congratulations, you're still on -55% resist all in Hell (which, by the way, would be 'a very bad thing(tm)'). Because of the large size of your army you won't get hit often, but without max resists when you do get hit it will hurt like the dickens.

    You can pick up the slack with resistance charms (so much for all those hypothetical 'just use +skills' charms), or your other gear.

    Lets say you get an additional +130% resist all from your 6 remaining pieces of gear, at that point just about the only monsters that are a serious cause for alarm are the Black Souls/Gloams. If everything else is 'the dickens', these guys are the complete anthology, hardbound edition.

    Because of them, you might consider swapping out the Shako for a Blakhorn's Face (for the Lightning absorb).

    75% Resistance to Lightning + some absorb is good, more than 75% resist + some absorb is of course better.

    Everything else:

    Basically the rest of your 'dream end game gear' should be focused on getting the resists up to scratch.

    Comparison with other Necromancer Builds

    (NB: these are not PvP comparisons, these are 'which is stronger' type comparisons)

    The build is superficially similar to both the Skelemancer (death by minion/amp/ce), and Commandomancer (death by runeword) and the Mojomancer (death by damage reflection). I think it is better than the Skelemancer, and I *know* it is cheaper than the Commandomancer. ;-)

    vs a Poison based build. I think this build has similar if not better killing power, and is much safer due to the hordes of minions.

    vs a Prison/Bonemancer. Basically my motto as a Bonemancer is that there are no problems that can't be solved by throwing enough mana at them. I have a good Bonemancer, with good gear, but he just bores me silly. Cast Bone Prison till nothing moves. Now cast Bone Spear 50 million times. *Yawn*. There's no danger, so there is no excitement.

    vs a Lord of Mages. A LoM is quite a slow paced build. There is a natural tempo to it which if you play at that speed everything is (mostly) effortless and you hardly ever do anything except pick up loot and move forward a couple of steps. Whereas by comparison this build is hyperactive. You still have to be concerned about your minions spreading out, but not so much about establishing a perimeter, and that gives you greater momentum. Apparently in 1.09 a well known build used Mages and damage reflection. I'm pretty sure that would be the wrong way to play Mages in 1.10.

    vs Revive builds. I may be the only person to whom this is relevant, but this build doesn't play like other Revive based builds, since you have so much mana to spare and you don't really care so much about choosing the good ones, or back tracking for particular attributes. The main thing to be careful about is to not let the merc get isolated and overwhelmed, which can happen if you mainly Revive ranged attackers, your merc tries to lead a charge, and your golem chooses that particular moment to run away from the monsters. It is also easier than usual to raise a new army, because your Golem is a more effective source of damage than usual. I find myself hardly ever 'stopping for breath' with this build. Even if all the Revive's disappear you just keep moving forward and breaking new ground, whereas with other Revive builds you have to work harder to keep up the momentum.

    vs a Mojomancer. Everyone knows all Mojomancers suck, except noone else knows the crunchy goodness of my secret sauce builds. But even those pale before the mighty Necrovangelist! Basically its a simple choice, would you rather spend 40+ skill points, or a couple of cheap runes, oh, and the cheap runes do more damage reflection. Here's a hint: don't spend skill points to do what you could just do with gear.

    vs a Golemancer. Believe it or not, this is a kind of Golemancer (at least part of the time), since you have two attack modes. One is where you have no (or few) Revives, and are mostly reliant on the Golem, and the other mode is when you have a pack of Revives, and the Golem is just 'one of the crowd'. That is one of the reasons I recommend investing points into the Golem early on and not just 'letting plus skills do the work'. The Golem is too important a component to neglect, especially when you may not get those semi-mythical plussers till you advance another 20-50 levels. Until I found or shopped the +2 all summons wand with Fire Golem, I was prebuffing Gumby with at least +5, and even then I spent six points on Clay and six points on Golem Mastery (to maximise Gumby's hit points you shouldn't let the base skill get too far ahead of the mastery). The golem also plays a crucial part in the early game, your job is to get to level 6, his job is to get you to Act 2, and then once there keep your Act 2 merc alive. (Or, alternatively, to kill Blood Raven, and then be an enormous speed bump keeping the monsters off your Rogue). Either way, those tasks are much easier if you put points into him early to boost his damage, and also Amp early and Amp often.

    Comparison with other Edge Builds

    vs a Passive/Aggressive Zon. I've got to say that I love Decoy + Edge. Decoy absolutely rocks. I didn't bother with Insight, since mana wasn't an issue, Decoy gets cheaper with higher levels, and the Valkyrie hardly ever dies. Even if I did get Insight, I'm not sure what I'd do with it, maybe max Freezing Arrow or something, oh wait, that defeats the purpose of Thorns... umm... Immolation Arrow anyone? Oh wait, that has a timer. A properly synergised Valkyrie (see: Decoy) is the best minion in the game (though, arguably Decoy has a better AI than all the others). However, given the choice of a horde of 10+ Revives, or Valkyrie, the Revives have it I believe. One of the advantages of the Zon is that you can try to pump up your attack rating.

    vs a Summoning Druid. At last the vines and spirits actually have a reason to charge suicidally into combat! Fantastic! Just be careful not to put too many points (ie more than 1) into Spirit Wolves. Although they have the advantage of numbers (quantity good) they have the disadvantage of boosting defense (defense bad). So I'm working on one of these guys and saving up points to spend on the Grizzly and the Dire Wolves to try to max them both as soon as possible. I'm guessing the Dire Wolves will be better than the Grizzly, but the Grizzly synergy (more damage) is more important than the Dire Wolf synergy (more life? Just resummon!). Insight has decent AR and ED, so it might be worthwhile going for the Edge+Rogue combo, and you playing the part of either front line attacker (except the combat skills are all fairly cheap (or suck, stunning and leech bad)) or caster (you need a mana expensive spammable (ie not on a timer) attack... the closest thing is umm... Tornado). Like the Amazon, the Druid could easily give Inisght a miss.

    vs a Shadow based Assassin. The Assassin has a lot of good Shadow skills, a passable minion, the equivalent of Corpse Explosion in Death Sentry, and even have an equivalent of your Revives in Mind Blast. About the only thing this build has that the Assassin doesn't is Amplify Damage. Although the Shadow minions aren't as useful as Gumby for killing bosses, the dragon kicking skills are great for 'putting the boot in' versus a single target.

    vs a Conversion Paladin. I think the Paladin suffers too much from the lack of a castable minion (compared to Valk/Griz/Shadow). That may make it very hard for them to keep up momentum. But it does add an interesting twist, if you get Thorns and Meditation for 'free', what else would you add? As the saying goes: 'if the answer is Conversion, what is the question?'.

    vs a Monk (ie Staff using) or Polearm Barbarian. The Monk could use Berserk to deliberately drop their defense to improve their Thornage... ouch... now thats a real masochist! The upside being that there would be plenty of mana to feed the Find Item frenzy.

    vs a Skelemancer with Edge.

    PvP

    Where Revives are considered to be BM (bad manners), you will struggle to PvP effectively, since your only big attack is Corpse Explosion, unless you trick your opponent out into a field of corpses... If they are patient, they can just wait till the three minute timer wears off, an exercise in frustration for everyone involved I'm sure.

    You could try for a caster PvP variant, eg spam Bone Spirit (goodness knows mana won't be an issue) or Poison Nova, in which case your gear will needs lots of faster cast as well as lots of resists.

    You should be fairly safe from random PKs though, since they have to come to you. So the build might make a passable PKK. As always, if playing Hardcore, discretion is the better part of 'thank goodness I don't need to start all over from scratch'.
  4. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Overall it looks good. It is nice to see Revives get a bit of attention. Just a few questions and a remark or two if you don’t mind.

    • What is a Televangelist?
    • Wouldn’t DV go a long way to protect your Merc from ranged damage? I know it helps mine a lot.
    • What are your experiences with herding the Revives? Do they tend to follow you, or do you need to raise new ones every other screen?
    • How is the Thorns holding up? Is the damage acceptable on Hell?
    • In the “Comparison with other Necromancer Builds†section you forgot a few variants. :(
    • One of the lists is not working properly and you forgot a few code tags. Want me to fix them?
  5. rickcarson

    rickcarson IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    I mention the concenrs you raise for Dim Vision briefly in the skills section.

    I mention the revive herding in the comparison with a 'standard' Reviver. In short, once you get Insight up and running you cease caring about Revive herding.

    My time is split at the moment between a bunch of things in the outside world (learning a new computer language, finding a job that doesn't suck) and I started late on the Ladder. My current project is trying to get an Act 2 Nightmare Durimule, but that character ran out of killing power surprisingly early (specifically, I need to level up their merc because it is their defense that is having problems). I have a couple of Edge based characters queued up ready to make the jump to Hell once I get the darn durimule sorted.

    Oh, and I got sidetracked for a while because I am convinced I can build a Mojomancer to beat classic.

    Anyway, I'm not sure if it is a 'fair' test, most other builds seem to require their end game godly equip (in this case at least Bramble and Enigma) before even starting Hell, and I'd be doing it untwinked...

    What other variants have I forgotten? PDagger? MFMancer? All the crappy 1.09 builds which don't work anymore? All the uber 1.09 builds which don't work anymore?

    I fixed the list, and couldn't see which code tags were missing. The table of skellies vs revives could do with work, but I don't know how to do that here (I can do html tables, is it like that? table/tr/td???)

    Translation of 'Televangelist': umm... could be a cultural thing. The phrase 'revival meeting' is my attempt at humour. Suggest you use Babelfish to try to get a translation to your native tongue. Anyway, technically speaking a Televangelist wouldn't hold revival meetings, that would be more like a travelling evangelist, or itinerant minister.... and wouldn't be nearly as funny.
  6. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Yeah, with the endless supply of mana I can see why it wouldn't be much of a concern to raise new minions.

    What I was more interested in is whether you can get enough Revives to tag along to the next screen. Can you get a piece of your Army to follow you to the next few screens? That gives you protection and your Army isn't brought down to just your Merc and Golem.




    Meleemancer. :p Although it won't be a pretty comparison. The Meleemancer will be slower. On second thought, leave the comparison out.




    This table could use the CODE tags. We don't allow HTML here, so the CODE tags are the next best thing (actually the only thing).
  7. Valkenswaerdt

    Valkenswaerdt IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Good job on a very original build, Rickcarson. It's cool to see revives taking up a central role in an effective build.

    Just one question came up while reading the guide: Why not take a thorns merc and slap an Insight on him? In that way, you'll still have all the benefits, but you'll have your own hands free for wands/weapons/heads/shields/whatever.
  8. rickcarson

    rickcarson IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    True.

    See: comparison with Golemancer

    That made me lol. :D

    Hmm... code tags... erm... right... (*warning* too many programming languages *warning* cerebral breach imminent *warning*)
  9. rickcarson

    rickcarson IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Cheers :D

    The Thorns merc is too weak. He always dies. And hes not available till later, not sure how much you have to level him up just to equal the lvl 15 you get for the price of a measly Amn.

    I haven't had any luck with them in the past.

    @MadMantis: oh yeah, effective in Hell??? With 20+ Revives and chain casting CE, you're joking right???
  10. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Ah, missed that bit.




    Like this:

    Code:
    Skill Points	Skellies(#S)	Revives(#R)
    4		3		1
    5		3		2
    6		4		3
    7		4		4
    8		4		5
    9		5		6
    ...
    12		6		9
    ...
    15		7		12
    ...
    18		8S		15
    ...
    20		8		17
  11. Myrakh-2

    Myrakh-2 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,954
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    165
    A while ago I remembered that every now and then people report that Decrep isn't necessary vs. Baal. Note that this is just *one* experiment --- after I had setup things as usual, I replaced the decrep with amp; next thing that happened was that Baal was suddenly gone (he had teleported). At the time he was (hopefully) slowed by Gumby already, and I most likely had a few cold mages as well (I just take what I get, so I assume in my crowd of 12 mages was at least one cold).

    He has teleported away from me only once in this season so far, once I had him under control. I'll try it a few more times, but right now I'm still convinced that I'll continue using Decrep on him. This was only a lvl 11 Gumby, though (I don't bother weaponswitching for Gumby since I relocate him frequently; else it would be 13).
  12. Pherdnut

    Pherdnut IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,749
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    466
    It makes no difference in Hell because slow attacks are capped at 50%. In nightmare I think it's 75 or 60 or something. In Normal, Gumby, decrep, and ice attacks combined are hilarious. He looks like a bad stop frame animation movie. High enough lvl gumby, you get 50% so you'd be better off using amp damage. I don't think normal slow/ice attacks reduce the actual physical damage they do like Decrep does, however.
  13. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    11,022
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Actually, I was referring to the Thorns. :)

    */me stickies for input*




    No it isn't. It is only capped at 50% when slow is used against players. You should read this thread for some more info on Slow.
  14. rickcarson

    rickcarson IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Thanks for that. The tabs in the table is a nice trick,
    but hey, what else are we going to use wordpad for, eh?
  15. rickcarson

    rickcarson IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Hey, keep doing what works for you.

    If the doco in the thread MadMantis linked to is correct you have at least three sources of slow.

    Call it 53% for the Golem, another 50% for the cold, so we're down to 23.5% of normal speed already. Whack on another 50%, and its down to 11.75%. Wow! That does make quite a difference. Oh wait, but if we look at it another way, the decrepify only took the total slowing from 76.5% to 88.25%.

    And if there are other sources, then its even harder to tell the effect of Decrepify. (It would add less than 6% with one other source, or less than 3% with two more) I don't think anyone could really tell the difference between 94% slowed and 97% slowed.

    My observation with Decrepify is that it slows *right now*. Thats the main advantage for Decrepify as far as slowing goes (yes, it does other things, but they're not important in this context). Whereas with Gumby it seems to me like his slow effect takes a while to kick in. Eg after Gumby has been at something for a while, whatever it is will be slowed to a crawl. In that respect I disagree with what was said in that other thread. I do not think his full and final slow % kicks in with his first swing. And I also don't think that his slow is capped at what it is listed as.

    But hey, maybe I'm wrong, maybe its just wishful thinking on my part (which is my explanation for the claims that Gumby and Furby are damage magnets). Or maybe I am right about what I am seeing, but my explanation is wrong (maybe I'm interrupting Baal's attacks in ways other than slow%, eg forcing him to block or go into hit recovery perhaps?? (Knockback? Crushing Blow?)). Maybe when I recast Gumby he counts as a new source of slow% and thats when his slowing stacks?

    A possible explanation could be that (as MadMantis said in the other thread) if Baal has something next to him, he's a lot more likely to do a melee attack than a big elemental attack... and who would notice or care if Gumby (or a Skellie) got whacked a few times after all?

    My main difficulty with Baal is simply getting the Revives around and onto the bridge. If Baal teleports off the bridge, or makes a clone, that often makes my job a lot easier. Its also easier if I remember to recast Gumby onto the bridge, but often I forget to do that.

    If you find yourself having any difficulty with Baal, I'd just advise you to do exactly what you did to beat the Diablo Clone.
  16. UncleSporky

    UncleSporky IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    For my first foray into battle.net, I've chosen a build almost identical to this, with the exception of skellies being a main part of the attack force as well. At level 49, it sounds like I've made several good decisions almost by luck, which you apparently had trouble with. For example, I've only put 5 points into Dex, enough to hold a short battle bow with Edge, and I never even try to attack. You mentioned that Prayer was almost useless in Nightmare, and I've had a Might merc since I was able to use one (he's still got Insight).

    I think the way I'm playing it will end up being more versatile, if less powerful. While I still want Thorns to play a major part, Might and skeleton bonuses working together will mean decent regular damage as well. I don't know how much Thorns is doing for me right now, but Bramble is my next big goal. When and if I get an Enigma, I can give Bramble to the merc and ditch Edge, freeing up 3 slots for whatever +skills, MF or other auras I might want.

    I don't understand your adversity to skeletons. I've decided to make Revive my final max skill, but the skeletons are tearing it up for me right now. Mages die quickly, but there are many good reasons for having them:

    - More minions (obviously)
    - Max SM anyway for skellies just means more total bonuses
    - They follow much better and have no 3 min. time limit, thus I worry less about having enough corpses
    - Second line of defense; skellies rush forward, mages fire from behind, I stand behind them
    - Mages + Lower Resist for various immunes (yet more versatility)

    I am patient enough that I don't mind slowing my enemies, even if this lowers the effectiveness of Thorns. Despite any damage from Thorns, I believe that less damage of any kind is a good thing. Instead of taking 5 hits and the monster killing itself, my skellies take 3 hits and do the rest in normal damage. This means my army has more staying power, and makes the mages all the more effective as well.

    I dunno, maybe I've screwed myself in the end, as I've never experienced Hell before. But at least I can say that it sounded good at the time. :)
  17. rickcarson

    rickcarson IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Skelimancer + Edge Comparison?

    @UncleSporky: I'm sorry, I was going to cover your build in the Skelimancer with Edge section, but ran out of time.

    Basically I see your build as a standard Skelimancer, with Edge thrown in. Now, there nothing wrong with that per se, but I believe the best thing to do (in your situation) would be to concentrate on the Skellies.

    You say it yourself, at some point you intend to throw away the Edge bow. In effect it is a stepping stone, something to help you along the way, but not the ultimate end destination.

    I would suggest you look into the Commandomancer style options to boost your Skellies with Fanat, etc.

    Secondly, as far as mixing Skellies and Mages, I think this is pretty much always a bad idea. It might actually make your build worse (people complain about the mages 'getting in the way' etc) - and I certainly believe those 20 points could be spent better elsewhere.

    Lastly when it comes to comparing Skellies and Revives, how many Skellies do you have? 8? And how many skill points did you spend, 40? That is one skeleton for every five skill points (!).

    I spent 10 on Revive, put one in mastery, and there are five prereqs, for a total of 16 skill points spent to get 10 minions. My minions are over 3.1 times cheaper than yours.

    Yet because of Edge, our minions are roughly the same in effectiveness, in fact, because I have greater numbers, I have a small advantage against large groups (whereas you have the advantage against anything that Edge doesn't effect, eg Gargoyle traps).

    Edge means that quality of minions isn't as important as quantity of minions - and that is something at which Revive beats all the other options hands down.
  18. UncleSporky

    UncleSporky IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    You mean you don't intend to eventually throw away Edge? There are other auras more effective than Thorns that could be equipped in either hand (if I remember right). My aim in the build is essentially the same, except I hope to someday have even more auras for my army through runewords.

    If economy was all that was important, then there would be no skellimancers out there. Personally, I find it more important that I don't have to keep up a steady supply of bodies to sustain my army. Not even just bodies, but strong enough monsters to be worth reviving. Plus it made normal a heck of a lot easier. :)

    About the points being better spent elsewhere, the only place I would put them is in curses for more range. However, with Insight, it doesn't matter how much I have to recast them, making more points rather unnecessary.

    Not just Edge; any and all auras will be more effective with more minions. That's why I chose to max both skellies and revives. If SM is maxed anyway, then I might as well max all of its synergies as well. Mages don't bother me. The only places I hate are the scarab lair and the arcane sanctuary, and I can just unsummon them at that point.

    At the end of the build, I'll have 20+ more minions than you, ones that I won't have to worry about or focus on. Half of them will stay out of trouble by themselves, and all of them will be boosted by SM and auras. Most important of all, I'll have the ability to still be effective even against high resistance monsters and ranged attackers.

    I guess I should yield to someone with more experience, and I don't mean to sound combative, I'm just trying to defend my point.
  19. rickcarson

    rickcarson IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Throw away Edge?

    Do I intend to 'throw away' Edge? Or replace it with Bramble?

    No. In fact, if I had a Bramble lined up, my choices would suddenly crystallize and become very clear - I would give both to my Merc, and have the stacked damage reflection on her.

    That then means that (combined with Amp) I'd be getting approx 3000% damage return. Based on the numbers that people were throwing around about Attract in Hell, you'd expect monsters to kill each other with 40-80 hits. Well, if each hit is multiplied by 30x (or more, some of those big numbers were due to phys res) then I'd expect monsters in Hell to die after 2-3 of their own hits.

    ----

    @UncleSporky: if you intend to migrate to other auras from other runewords, then you really should be arguing that you've come up with a better version of the Commandomancer. Have fun with that :howdy:
  20. Bigru

    Bigru IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    atm my comando is waiting for spirit and insight from ladder, and i need anni and bramble, then use bramble/insight on a might merc, +the spirit of barbs from wisp and amp gives me say 2000% damage returned? (i dunno bout this) i have 16 of each type of skele, allthough i will be soon remaking without mages, so say 16 warriors and 8 mages, 22 revives ( 1 skill point) + golem+merc+spirit+me =50 things in my party, also maxing spear/spirit and using marrow bug. also use corpse explosion alot. I use beast myself, will have base str base dex and base energy, and cta, so lots of life. :)

    also i think attract could be useful for the pvm type of this build. I personally wont be using it, as im mainly built for pvp.

Share This Page