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VenomKeeper & BoneKeeper

Discussion in 'Necromancer' started by WaxOn, May 7, 2007. | Replies: 10 | Views: 901

  1. WaxOn

    WaxOn IncGamers Member

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    VenomKeeper & BoneKeeper

    Necromancer - The VenomKeeper and BoneKeeper

    TERMS:
    RS - Raise Skeleton
    SM - Skeleton Mastery
    GM - Golem Mastery
    CG - Clay Golem

    CE - Corpse Explosion
    Nova - Poison Nova
    PE - Poison Explosion

    Amp - Amplify Damage
    Decrip - Decrepify
    LTap - Life Tap
    LR - Lower Resist

    MF - Magic Find(er)


    After doing alot of reading on guides in this forum and others on various ways to build a Necromancer, I still never found exactly what I was looking for.

    I wanted a necro who could do alot, be pretty much a jack of all trades.
    I wanted:
    1) MF'er - both bosses (Diablo, Baal, Meph, etc) as well as entire areas (The Pit, WSK, Canyons & Tombs, etc.)
    2) Fast killing - nobody wants to sit around for ages, Diablo is about kill efficiency.
    3) Good for Rushing - Survivability and quick to get in places, get whats needed, and get out. With or without gear dependancy.
    4) Cowgod - Lets face it, cow level is probably the most used area in the game now, and its fun. I dont know how many more times I have to kill cows, but, its still fun everytime I hear them "Moooo!". Also great item drops and good exp. I want a toon that can totally obliterate cow level.
    5) Can Kill Anything (CKA, for short!;) - This is probably the biggest issue in Hell. Immunes. This build needs to be able to kill any monster it encounters with little to NO drawback in power. Definitely a hard thing to achieve, but this build does it with style!
    6) Normal Playthrough - I dont twink my chars with uber stuff or rush them and powerlevel them. Being able to play from level 1 to level 99 without any gear dependancy, without twinking, or being rich, or anything like that. If this was your first realm character, you'd be just as good off and still powerhouse your way through.


    STATS:
    Should be self-explanatory - alter to your tastes
    STR - enough to use gear
    DEX - nothing
    VIT - all the rest
    ENG - nothing

    there is one alternative with this build, and that is pumping some points into Energy. Why? Well unless youre planning to PvP, you really dont get hit by monsters. When you do, its one quick hit and thats it, while youre running around them getting your minnions to attack.
    This necro is a great MF character for this same reason: you really dont NEED gear. You can walk up to diablo wearing nothing but a sash and still rock him. It's all up to you. Mana can be useful though, especially before getting mana items and regen.

    SUMMONING TREE:

    Skeletons:
    20 - Raise Skeleton
    This is your main physical damage skill. No questions or doubts about this one!

    16 to 20 - Skeleton Mastery
    Although this is also a crucial skill, it is the one that is least beneficial between this skill and RS

    {Optional/PREREQ} 1 - Skeleton Mage
    This is a prereq, nothing more. Skel Mages damage sucks and there's really no way to change that. In normal they will be of some use, and possibly early nightmare with lots of skillups if you get them by then - but in hell without being maxed SM and SMages, they are meaningless (and still quite meaningless then anyway).

    {Optional} 1 - Revive
    I say these are optional, however I think they are a very good option. It requires 2 points (with skel mages), but well invested. With 1 here, and skillups later, You'll net close to 10 hopefully in this skill, and that means 10 revives which is plenty. You can often find some really good monsters, kill them, and make them fight for you. Those act5 Death Knights etc who frenzy are good examples - and gloams from act4 for ranged lightning attackers. If you do not get revive, also do not get Skel Mages. Saves 2 points

    Golems:
    {Optional} 1 - Clay Golem
    Optional here too. This build has no real use for golems actually, except for the specific use of clay golem to incredibly help out when it comes to killing bosses. Clay Golem is a GREAT companion to have slugging away on a boss, or when you are fighting a single strong enemy (even Travincal runs where its 3-4 strong enemies). Enemies become puddy with Clay Golem on their *rear end*. Pair this up with Decrip, since thats what you'll usually use on bosses, and they really arent doing much except getting raped by your army and spells. With some skillups to necro skills/summon skills, these guys can be very handy in this situation.

    {Optional} 1 - Golem Mastery
    If youre gonna get golems, youre gonna get GMastery. 1 point and skillups give a real good benefit well worth it.

    {Optional} 1 (+2 prereq) - Fire Golem
    Now getting Fire Golem also requires you to spend 2 more points in 1) Blood Golem and 2) Iron Golem. However they also act as synergies - BUT, looking at the synergies, and then realizing that "golems are not tanks, they are not doing any damage, and they are not going to stand between me and death if they are the last thing standing". This is a crucial realization - in this build, no matter how you look at it, golems are really OPTIONAL. All of them, completely optional. Fire Golem will help your merc kill the first mob, it will help taunt creatures off you in big mobs of them, it does some explosion damage when it is created and dies, but all these things are pretty meaningless in the longrun - however it can be nice to have if these reasons are big enough to you. Personally, I did take Fire Golem with this build the first time I did it, the second time I am doing it, now, I am not going to take it and instead take only GMastery and Clay Golem - putting the saved points into Skel Mastery.

    {Optional (but not really)} 1 - Summon Resist
    This skill is highly reccommended therefor requiring you to take Clay Golem and GMastery. This is the best way to make this build as far as I've tested. These resists are what really help save you alot of mana in Hell as you arent resummoning skels all the time - also it can mean the difference between defeating a boss and not. Diablo is one and Baal another, who really like to do area effect spells that your skels dont like so much. In fact, almost all bosses do some kind of area effect spell damage. With skillups, this gets pumped to a good level. NEVER more than 1 point here. This is one of those "1 point is godly, 2 points sucks" skills.

    Suggested: 1 Clay Golem, 1 GMastery, 1 Summon Resist


    CURSES:

    1 - Amplify Damage
    This skill is amazing.
    You break physical immunes therefore you will ALWAYS have a way to kill a mob, and you kill mobs so much faster. ALSO, it increases (doubles) your CE physical damage. CE being 50% physical and 50% fire damage gets basically 100% physical and 50% fire damage in the end, from this skill being cast on the mobs whom you then CE.

    1 - Weaken
    Prereq. Never useful, waste of a point.

    1 - Terror
    Prereq, though also quite useful sometimes. ;-)

    {Option #1} 1 - Iron Maiden
    Prereq, though can be useful sometimes (Smith in Act1 and Hellforge Smith in Act4).

    {Option #1} 1 - Life Tap
    Prereq, but not only. A very useful spell to get your minions back to health if they start falling - also Life Tap cannot be overwritten, so if you use this your minions will still leech when another curse is going. Not sure if this works in all places or anymore now in 1.11 but it does seem to. Leech animation still goes usually.

    1 - Decrepify
    This skill is your boss killer. It does 1/2 of Amp, though it will not typically break phys immunes. It does sometimes however, but I find that more of a rarity. Your big bosses will never have phys immune however (Diablo, Baal, Meph) so this is definitely a spell just for them, and any other bad boss you encounter. Decrip coupled with CGolem is a nightmare to a single monster. Sucks to be them, ouch.

    {Option #1} 1 - Lower Resist
    A very useful spell especially in groups ;-). Sorcs and anyone else doing elemental damage will LOVE you for this spell. Also, since your other main damage is (option #1) POISON, its one of your favorites too. This and all its prereq's are listed as [Option #1] - why is that? Explanation below skills section.


    POISON AND BONE:

    1 - Teeth
    Prereq. Teeth suck. No, I mean teeth the spell sucks, I really like having *my* teeth. *ahem*...

    1 - Corpse Explosion
    This is the best skill in the game. Blizzard said it, I'm just repeating it. 50% Physical, 50% Fire damage out of a random 60-100% of the corpse mob's HP's. That means if a gang of cows attack you, each having 10,000 HP. You CE on one of them doing anywhere between 3,000 physical + 3,000 fire damage (=6,000 total) to 5,000 physical to 5,000 fire damage (10,000 total) to the surrounding radius. Paired up with Amp, your physical= damage increases 100% to give you between 6,000 physical + 3,000 fire (9,000) to 10,000 physical to 5,000 fire (15,000). No mob in the game can withstand more than 2 CE's from another of the same type of monster. If thi=s is unclear, read up on the skill on Arr=eat Summit, or here on this site.

    SECONDARY DAMAGE:
    Secondary damage acts as a means to damage mobs with spells until they start dying - at which time CE is usually your primary spell source of damage. However you will still have times when mobs are not in range of eachother to CE, so you will still use your secondary damage line to damage these mobs at that point, too.

    Picking off single mobs, fighting single bosses is better with bone (magic) damage.
    Fighting hordes of mobs, which is what a person spends time doing much more in Diablo2, is better with poison.

    Choose based on what your preference is.

    {Option #1} POISON
    This option goes with Poison as secondary damage.
    Basically this is the original intent of this build. The build works great but as the necro you arent doing very much until the first corpse drops, after which you usually CE, unless you need to resummon. So basically you arent doing any damage, your army is. Time to help out! Poison Nova is one of the coolest spells, I think, because it hits such a wide radius and always hits. It does very decent poison damage, and coupled with the fact that your other main source of spell damage is CE - well, poison is going to wear down an entire group of monsters good enough so that CE hits once and finishes them off. Whereas if you went with bone, you would still be picking off individual monsters after CE doesnt finish them. Cows is an example where Nova clearly beats as beneficial over bone. Also, Poison Explosion is not to be underestimated. I tested this spell out alot in single player, and although it has a quirky radius, it still infects a large crowd, and in cows it is devastating paired with corpse explosion.
    Also, to note: you can still go poison and NOT get lower resist. Thats fine too - since only one curse can be on the mobs at any given time, and amp damage is probably the best thing to have on mobs in general, you can just do this with no lower resist however your benefit to a spellcasting group, and your ability to damage mobs with poison will of course decrease. Also, Life Tap and Iron Maiden do have their uses, but sometimes less options is better to focus on just being a stronger killer.
    Skills here are listed as 15 to 20 in Poison Dagger - Why? Because its the one poison skill you dont use (only synergy) and it is up to you to decide whether you want your skels (via skel mastery) to be more powerful, or your poison. You lose 50% poison damage out of a total 200% from Poison Dagger synergy by going 15 points instead of 20. Personally I can see it either way, but right now I lean more towards going 15 points here and maxing skel mastery. Why? Because skels are always doing damage. I'm not always casting poison.

    Effects of choosing poison:
    *3 skills in curses (optional) - Iron Maiden, Life Tap, Lower Resist
    *56 to 60 skills in poison - (16 to 20)Poison Dagger, 20 Poison Explosion, 20 Poison Nova
    *poison immunes - can be broken with lower resist, but not all the time.

    {Option #2} MAGIC
    This option goes with Bone (magic) as secondary damage. I wanted to leave this option open, however it defeats a few of the reasons this build is made - mainly that of being gear independant. Why? Because this build relies on Marrowwalk boots for the 31 Bone Wall synergy bug/feature that they give. Without those, you will not have nearly enough pts to be effective with Bone Spirit and Bone Spear. So its up to you whether you want Bone damage, or Poison damage. Going Bone damage means that you save a few points in curses because you have no need for Lower Resist - though you can take it anyway if you want, for group play, you have no need for it yourself so its pretty meaningless.

    Effects of choosing magic:
    *3 points saved - no extra skills in curses
    *requirement of Marrowwalk boots
    *magic immunes - you have no way of lowering resist, you have no way to damage them
    *60 skills in bone - 20 Bone Spirit, 20 Bone Spear, 19 Teeth

    continued....

    MERCENARY:

    The mercenary is super important to this build.
    You want to get a Might Aura Act2 Desert Merc. Hands down.
    I have had friends make builds alongside me close to this one trying with anything from Thorns Merc to Holy Freeze and even Defiance Mercs. If you were even thinking of NOT getting an Act2 Merc, go hit your head in the wall now - something needs to kickstart your brain. You are a summoner = you need auras.

    Might Merc makes your skels into chop shop machines. Enough said.
    Thorns Merc is going the route that "the monsters do more damage than they have health" which holds true for Normal, and to some extent Nightmare, but for sure not in Hell. Might Merc will also outperform Thorns Merc in Normal and Nightmare in the end, anyhow. Also, Holy Freeze Mercs is also looking at it from the perspective that you want to save your summons. Forget about that. Just beef up your summons enough so they survive long enough to do some damage, hopefully enough damage to kill the thing, and go all out offense. The best defense is a never-ending onslaught offense - thats the idea of this build. Only make killing more efficient, your skels dont have names, you are their master, they die willingly for you.

    As always, get your merc some good armor. I wont list (ok, I personally love shaftstop on act2 mercs, and Tal's Helm - 2 items pretty easily obtainable). Also get a good powerful life leech weapon, as always. Life Leech keeps him alive, and you can use Life Tap curse to help out your minnions if it looks like they are starting to fall & you dont have replacement bodies nearby. ;-)


    COMMENTS:
    1) MF'er -
    Necro's can easily wear as much MF gear as you want. Cheap gear too. PTopaz 4 sock armor, PTopaz helm (I have a rare circlet, +2 nec skills, 14 resist all, PTopaz, some FCR, and 41% MF w/PTopaz - but if you have shako or something thats always nice).
    3) Good for Rushing -
    Survives very easily since monsters taunt and take all the hits. You have to learn to run around a bit, get your monsters on the battlefront, but, its very easy. also if you have a teleport via an item, having minnions is priceless since they teleport right to the spot with you.
    4) Cowgod -
    Corpse Explosion. Do it. For that matter, anytime you are killing lots of mobs...DO IT! CE is god. You flatten the entire screen, and it doesnt matter what mobs they are, they die.
    5) Can Kill Anything (CKA, for short!;) -
    This build has 2 types of damage and can negate immunity to its main source. Physical damage is this builds main source of damage and with Amp you can take away a monsters phys immune. Secondary damage being magic or poison - poison can be resist lowered via lower resist, magic can be very useful as not as many mobs have magic resist (usually only bosses, uniques, etc).
    6) Normal Playthrough -
    This is a personal preference, but, I see no point in playing rushed through twinked to hell uber chars. I've done it too many times and its just pointless, you skip the whole game, to do what? Ah, right, then there's nothing to do but rush another char or go MF. However, you can choose to build this for an end-game specific need, of which it is good for many (as listed above: rushing, MFing, cows, etc.). I like to make builds that can play through as if it was the first character I was making, and starting fresh. Because, indeed, thats the way I see it when I make a new character: starting fresh. When they are maxed level or super high, then I dont mind transferring some gear or trading for what I specifically need.


    EQUIPMENT:

    I do not list equipment here because, first of all I just started playing on realms again and wanted to make this build completely un-dependant on having tons of equipment.

    Some suggestions that you will have to consider are:
    Skill gear. Anything that gives you +nec skills or any general +all skills. Also, +summoning skills take precedence over any other skill-tree.
    You should net a +10 to all, or something close to that, by endgame.
    +1 ring x2, +2 necklace, +2 helm, +2 wand, +2 necro head/shield is easy enough to get 10.
    Beyond that, charms, body armor or sets (Trang Oul's, of course, especially gloves/set if you go with poison).

    I'll stop at that because I'm already getting too specific and thats not the point here. In fact right now my realm build of this guy just wears random unique or rare items that work out perfectly.

    You also want to, if possible, always look out for anything that gives + to corpse explosion or P&B tree in general, as the radius on CE is very nice to increase.


    {Final Suggested Build - VenomKeeper}
    20 - Skels
    20 - SMastery
    1 - Clay Golem
    1 - GMastery
    1 - SMages
    1 - Revive
    1 - SResist
    TOTAL:45

    1 - Teeth
    16 to 19 - Poison Dagger (depends on curses)
    1 - Corpse Explosion
    20 - Poison Explosion
    20 - Poison Nova
    TOTAL:58 to 62

    1 - Amp Dmg
    1 - Weaken
    1 - Terror
    1 - Decrepify
    (optional) 1 Iron Maiden, 1 Life Tap, 1 Lower Resist
    TOTAL:4 to 7 (extra pts in Poison Dagger)

    If you went with 20 SMastery, 16 Poison Dagger, and 7 on Curses = 110
    or
    20 SMastery, 19 Poison Dagger, 4 on Curses = 110
    or
    16 SM, 20 Psn Dagger, 7 on curses = 110
    or
    whatever you want to do.

    {Final Suggested Build - BoneKeeper}
    20 - Skels
    20 - SMastery
    1 - Clay Golem
    1 - GMastery
    1 - SMages
    1 - Revive
    1 - SResist
    TOTAL:45

    20 - Teeth
    20 - Bone Spear
    20 - Bone Spirit
    1 - Corpse Explosion
    TOTAL:61

    1 - Amp Dmg
    1 - Weaken
    1 - Terror
    1 - Decrepify
    (optional) 1 Iron Maiden, 1 Life Tap, 1 Lower Resist (subtract 3pts from Teeth)
    TOTAL:4


    Feedback welcome.
    Enjoy, the VenomKeeper or BoneKeeper.
  2. 5zigen

    5zigen IncGamers Member

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    pretty good guide.

    A couple things though: You should note the extra help that bone is with Bone armor and its synergies from your damage spells.

    Also, The marrowwalk bug was removed in 1.10 so unless youre playing single player thats not really a bonus for bonemancers anymore

    I'm not sure you can call a necro a 'fast rusher' unless youre using enigma which defeats the item independence idea. You should probably say a "safe rusher" as they have no increased move speed skills (like assasin or paladin) and no teleport (sorceress).

    Finally, Do people still do cows?
  3. OsTo

    OsTo IncGamers Member

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    never mind
  4. DoWatThouWilt

    DoWatThouWilt IncGamers Member

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    1. How fast does Poison Nova kill in hell?
    2. Do you ever find that the radius of your CE is too small?
  5. Mad Mantis

    Mad Mantis D2/3 Necromancer & Witch Doctor Moderator

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    Welcome Newcomer to The Darkness. Grab a brew and feel free to raise some corpses.

    Actually you described both the Poison/Summon hybrid and Bone/Summon hybrid, guides for both can be found in The Mouldy Tome: Necromancer Guides, Tips and Tests. Still, nicely written guide.



  6. WaxOn

    WaxOn IncGamers Member

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    bone is a side-option of this build. the main build is designed around poison, i threw in bonekeeper option for those interested.
    really the concept of the combo is that you have poison and your skels eating them away, for CE to hit once and finish them off.
    its the most efficient killing machine you can make out of a necro, ive tried every variant ive found from fishymancer to no summoning at all just using bone or psn and CE...
    also with this guide, as i listed in my main reasons, "CKA" can kill anything...no immunity is going to ruin your day here.

    bone armor is totally useless for this build. that entire line is waste of pts that this build doesnt have to spend.
    summoner focus builds are totally safe without bone armor. for PvP, ok, put a pt into bone armor. pvp was not one of my reasons for building this (though it still works, just not the best you can make a necro, would change just a few things)

    didnt realize that, could never find info on it.
    as said though bone was a side option, looking like less of a good one now tho ;)


    indeed this guy is a fast rusher, given no gear, he is slower yes then sorc, then maybe even amazon due to tight places like maggot lair and arcane sanctuary (the only 2 places i can think of where this build is SUPER SLOW because youll only have 2 mobs fitting in the tight space to fight the enemies). thats where psn dmg help comes in of course. and then CE. main source of dmg (physical) is crippled in these areas though. well, handicapped i should say, not crippled.
    otherwise, you simply run through an entire level not really caring about what youre running into, with this build. you might take a hit once in awhile...then pop a potion, or if you really wanted it - take that 1pt into bone armor. but usually you just run straight for the next exit and your minnions keep mobs off you. approaching too many enemies, you just run at them, stand, back up a bit, let your minnions engage, and run around them.

    definitely the "safest" rusher, yes. still, given the items you mentioned (teleport), it then becomes, for sure, the fastest. in fact i still think it kills assassin even with BoS, would be fun to have a rush race on that tho ;)

    assy would kill nec in maggot lair and arcane without tele on the nec though. not counting that i think nec would win.

    lol i do ;)
    especially to level up. and to find those socket armors...runes...you know, mooooooo!


  7. WaxOn

    WaxOn IncGamers Member

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    poison nova doesnt kill.
    it softens em up so that 1 CE finishes it.
    on bosses it just adds damage to your minnions-physical damage.

    it still does considerable damage.

    if you get the gear, you can do ~6k damage/2secs. with lower resist ~10k/2secs
    and thats to all mobs in the radius (big radius, too, almost entire screen). not bad at all for a build that is actually focused on summons-damage.

    with trang ouls you add even more, so they are definitely worth the slot. even if MFing (dont get tons of MF from gloves anyway).


  8. WaxOn

    WaxOn IncGamers Member

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    hey thanks for the link, i checked out lots of those guides, especially those you mentioned.

    however, where this guide i believe defeats any of the poison/summon hybrids or combos you listed is the fact that this build FOCUSES, and doesnt spread thin.

    the poison/hybrid guides all spread so thin, one didnt even have max skel mastery (only 1 pt!).

    this guide is:
    1) a SUMMONER, that means, a real summoner, max skel, max SM, required, period.
    2) CE (not maxed but with +skills the radius is large enough to make it useful...)
    3) backup poison damage maxed.

    you make some sacrifices in this guide to be able to do the best possible damage from your main sources. but thats the point. its very focused.

    i made a few builds and variants of this before realizing that, yes its nice to have lower resist, life tap, iron maiden...sure its nice to have fire golem, ya bone armor is good too - but what it came down to was those things were wasting my power in what i was really supposed to be doing damage with. summons, CE, and poison.

    so this pulls all "nice features" out and just puts all your skills into what actually helps you kill.
    1) skels = main source of damage, physical. revives help out too with 1 pt (though they are optional too which saves you 2pts)
    2) CE = main source of skill damage, physical+fire. needs amp damage, but your skels do already, and amp damage is crucial because it allows you to kill any mob in the game when all is said and done. no Phys Immunes bother you.
    3) poison = added extra damage, most useful in big mobs and fights, but thats what you usually find yourself in anyway. diablo is about killing en-masse, even if you MF run, you end up spending 80% of your time killing mass-mobs. not single bosses.

    so thats the point, and this guide, i try to get right to it.
    clay golem is an option but since summon resist requires it, i make it typically a very feasible option. decrip is also an option but since its really what allows you to handle bosses well, another very feasible option.

    otherwise the only skills you HAVE to have for this are:
    skels, skel mastery, nova/dagger/explosion, CE, amp
    everything else is gravy on top.

    this build needs all 110 points.


  9. OsTo

    OsTo IncGamers Member

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    so its summoner with poison... little strange...
    you eighter amplify and CE CE CE CE them
    or lower resists and poison them...
    no time for both...
    and certenly if not maxed poison (most people wount get to 93 not to 99 for all skill points) and no posion skillers/equip, poison dmg will be pretty low...
    but nice idea...
    I would preffer pure poison with 20 in skellies and only leftovers in mastery..
    true is summoners main dmg is his merc...
  10. DoWatThouWilt

    DoWatThouWilt IncGamers Member

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    Yea, I'm kinda skeptical about the same thing. Poison damage will be too low to do much of anything in hell. If you do get it to deal decent damage, you're probably losing out on more damage somewhere else, whether it be a smaller CE radius, less revives, or weaker skellies.

    I would love to see an efficient posion/summoner, but I don't think it can happen untwinked. I like the idea of actually doing something while your minions kill, other than crowd control.
  11. PMurillo

    PMurillo IncGamers Member

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    As was said - this guide has one serious disadvantage - it assumes getting 99 lvl relatively quick... many ppl (not talking about maniacs leaving bots or other crap on SP or playing nearly all the day on CBN) usually stuck at lvl about 90 or so.
    Build with no prison... I think at least the names of these variants don't fit well.
    your "venomkeeper" sounds quite (I mean idea) nice but "bonekeeper"...
    I think bone necros are only powerful if they are at least synergized at 80% (this means maxed 4 main bone skills out of 5, usually leaving teeth for maxing as last), other than that - magic damage in PvM on hell is just crappy. I made a bonemancer few years ago on SP. I maxed all except teeth (oh yes I got rather poor gear but you said about not being so gear dependant) and my damage was still not the one that fits "diablo is about killing efficiency".
    supposing this "bonekeeper" will have even one synergy less it will take ages to kill with bone spells on hell.

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