Question about offensive spell for Summoner

Hello peeps!

Just a quick question:

Summoner necro with maxed out skeleton warriors and mastery looking for opinions on
an offensive spell.

I am considering the options (bonespear and corpse explosion) and both have pros and cons. My main concern with Corpse explosion is its virtually useless…without corpses…And bonespear I have no idea how it scales damage-wise.

Might go as deep down as bone spirit? Is it worth it?

Thnx to anyone who responds.

With a Summoner, I would suggest Amplify Damage and Corpse Explosion. You’ll be plenty active between positioning your minions, casting Amp, and casting CE.

You can use summons with Poison Nova, but that’s mainly for them to act as a shield. The poison damage gets interrupted by their attacks too, so you’d need to plan for that.

With Bone Spear, you need to go all in. The damage isn’t great even when you’re fully invested, so going part way is completely worthless.

Good luck. Let us know if you have more questions.

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Hi there and thnx for the reply.

My biggest concern with corpse explosion is that I wont have any use for it on bosses (most of the time) and I dont know if the minions are going to be as effective throughout Hell difficulty. I havent heavily (as in maxout) invested in revive, cause of the 180 seconds, and I feel its a hassle - to go gather minions -go fight -repeat.

Any thoughts on these?

Your most effective minion is your merc. For bosses you want crushing blow. Infinity and Obedience each have 40% crushing blow.

You won’t really need a lot of points in revive. I usually only put one point in and let +skills do the rest. Revives with crushing blow help with bosses, but you can get by without them if you have decent crushing blow on your merc.

In the late game, Bramble armor on your merc will give you a thorns aura. Amplifiy damage, might, and fanaticism will boost their damage. Conviction will help your minion land hits. Bosses will go down pretty quickly. The revives are more required for the Uber Bosses because the have much more health, and higher regeneration. Mostly revives are just more bodies.

I hope this helps.

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Ιt does indeed help a lot!

My next question was going to be regarding the merc.
So far I am using an ACT1 with an edge runeword. Seems to work relatively well so far with the thorns aura, plus she doesnt need to press through the bodies of skeletons to land her hits. But I was thinking of swapping her for a might or blessed aim ACT2 merc, seems to be the right choice.

As for runes…Infinity seems to be far away still as I have barely finished ACT1 on hell with any char, so I would need to farm a bit more for those BERs. But I do have a couple nice unique spears: Hone Sudan, Hwanins, Impaler etc…Till I drop that 5 socket for Obedience.

Thorns and inner sight is very good early on. Might is only better when your minions can actually hit reliably. The Act2 merc will probably be better for bosses, but it will also depend on the gear you have. Obedience in an ethereal elite base and a might merc will do great when you get to that. If your minions are getting squished, decrepify will help until you are stronger. You can switch back to Amp damage when you’re more comfortable.

Current decrepify is lvl six (1point+skill ups from gear). I just defeated NM Duriel without losing a single summon, so I suspect thus far I am in a goodish position.

So far my skill tree is looking like this:

Summoning: 1pt in everything except fire golem (do I need to?)
Maxed Skeleton mastery and Raise Skeleton

Poison and bone: 1pt in teeth, corpse explosion and bone armor.

Curses: 1 point in everything except the left most tree.

So I suspect my next maxing should be the corpse explosion right?

BTW Dizzy thnx a lot, your insight has been most helpful to solidify my thoughts :slight_smile:

your build should be Max Skellies/Revive/CE. 1 pt in all summons, I put 1 pt into all curses because I use them. This leave well over 20 pts left to do something with. Personally I use Mages but others drop that 20 pts into bone spear so they have something to do during the boss fights. I’ve run the math and the mages do better than spear provided you don’t have too many poison mages. I also drop 1 pt into bone spear because it does get boring during boss fights and and that 125 damage per spear I get…ya that’s worthless.

Fire golem is a good agro taker thus if you ever get bramble on the merc you want to pair it with a fire golem not a clay golem. The clay golem slows the targets down thus getting less damage reflected. Fire golem will always be the main target so if you are fighting D with a thorns aura he will attack the Fire golem and not you or your merc. I ran my Pnova necy with a thorns merc and got revives. The damage I got from thorns was well worth it especially on bosses. Diablo would almost take 1/4 his life.

For a summoner you can’t beat a might merc, nothing else delivers similar results. Through normal any merc will do but once you get to nightmare the might merc is all you need.

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Good points.

My concern still about revive is the time limit…I feel it does devalue it to the point of not overly doing much except perhaps finding an optimal monster setup to kill bosses with?

Also why does the fire golem get more agro than the rest of them (honest question I have no clue) ?

I am still on NM with my necro and I still get on with the edge/bow merc. For now I Dont have a good set of armor/helm for him so I believe I will finish this difficulty first and then farm out somethings for him before swapping.

Fire golem - Holy fire Aura draws agro. I don’t have logic I can just tell you it does. You can use this situationally I’ll run ahead to an area I know has a bunch of monsters cast the fire golem ahead of me to draw agro of everything so my skellies can then fall onto the monsters that are all clumped up around my fire golem. Sure he dies but he served the purpose of getting everything clumped up so they are easier to CE.

Revives. They are worth one point. with your + to skills that will give you 10+ once your gear is up there. Now why are revives good? - Urders. That all, that alone is worth one point. Urders have crushing blow and are the sole reason Necromancers can do the Ubers. Aside from that you are correct the duration is low but when you think about what Urders can do it makes sense. I generally only use them when I find ranged monsters or Frenzytaurs or anything really good. I don’t bother with them if it’s just a flayer or some random monster. But if you need to Kill D Clone or you plan on doing the Ubers you need revives.

Last time I ran into someone popping a server I went down with my skelly army to fight D Clone, I watched my army get wipes 3 times before I remembered about the Urders. I popped over to the river of flame grabbed a few and less than two min later I was looking at my shiny new Ani.

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Here’s my 0.02 as I play a summoner necromancer on every ladder reset.

Skills: I put a single point in revive and just let + skills do the rest. It’s nice to have extra, but I’m usually fine with 3 or 4 unless I have the extra skills granted by my items. There are also some good revive choices like Frenzytaurs, Council Members and Act 4 Demons which I like to add because I find them especially helpful in general.
I like to have a few points in Dim Vision as it can pacify some of the really dangerous ranged monsters like wisps and groups of javelin chucking saber cats with their piercing poking sticks.
Corpse explosion is good for softening up groups of monsters and I’ve used it a lot in general. It’s not just about bosses, it’salso about ruining corpses for monsters like Fallen and Undead who have ressurection monsters nearby.

Merc. You mentioned Hone Sundan. That’s an awesome budget spear and should serve him well. Three sockets also allow it a lot of flexibility. I’ve grown fond of Duress, it has great properties and you’ll likely find an Um ton your way to getting those Ber runes. Guillaume’s Face is by far my favorite helmet for any melee character.

I don’t usually bother with bone spear or spirit, I’ve found those points to be better spent on expanding Dim Vision or Decrepify. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t, but my in my experience, it hasn’t helped me kill bosses any faster.

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I understand. Perhaps I might respec to a fire golem in the future. For now the clay one seems to be able to serve its purpose. I think that if I use your tactic to summon him in the midst of the enemy he will draw them on him as well perhaps. Will have to try that.

As for revives, I put one skill point in there as well, the item skill up does make sense.
I didnt knew mobs had things such as crushing blow… 0.0

Ubers and the clone are a bit of far fetched dream right now, and I havent completely paid attention / understood how these two mechanics work, but I found two keys with my sorceress.


Dim vision must be the only curse I havent used like at all…

What do you think I should socket the Sundan? I Think attack speed, Life steal and…?

Yeah after the discussion here, I believe ill not invest any points in bone spear/spirit.

Many will socket the Hone Sundan with 3 Shael runes, after all, you do have life tap, which will work on 90% of your foes. Some might go with a little life steal, and maybe 2 Shael and an Amn so he can leech life when you have to use amp damage to break physical immunes.

I have found Dim Vision helpful in Act 5 Hell, especially with the Saber Cats and Wisps because they have piercing attacks that don’t get absorbed by your minions, but they won’t attack what they don’t see. You can always consider that if you find they’re trouble when they get there. You may fare better than I have and have no need. :slight_smile:

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So gentlemen,

I swapped out my merc for an Act2 might with the following:

Ηone Sundan with x2 attackspeed runes & x1 lifesteal rune, An ethereal Goldskin plate, and the undead crown (so I can perform the switcharoo to raise my skellies).

I do have also available:

3-4 Howltasks for helmets but those have knockback and monster flee, so IDK
A face of horror (same problem as above)
And a Duskdeep

And for armors:
A Hawkmail
A spirit Shroud
An iceblink
A venom ward
And an 800+ defense yellow chainmail with fire 12 resist and 25 poison reduction.

But I think until I find something better this setup will work for him no?

With what you have, I’d say your setup is fine. I’d keep the spirit shroud for the time being as cannot be frozen might be preferred once you’re roaming in Hell difficulty. Iceblink is fine on any beginning build but a summoner necromancer as the corpses tend to shatter and become inaccessible. Howltusk and Face of Horror. The knockback attribute isn’t too bad because it’s a stun effect but that “causes monsters to flee” makes them a white elephant and that can be space for more preferred items.

Sorry for the late reply, missed the notification.

As of right now, I decided and turned the necro into the farming char.

With my Sorc been underequipped to farm in hell, and the necro apparently not giving a damn about anything I encountered so far, I switched my equipment around so my helmet and armor are socketed normal ones to boost magic find, build a rhyme shield and it worked. I simply equip anything with +skills and +summoning, go in act 1 build up the army and switch around to mf.

I dropped a Stopshaft for my merc and it seems to be working better for him.

Speaking for the merc: I noticed something, that I hadnt with the Rogue. He appears to be hanging on the backline most of the time. His might aura does ofc buff the rest of the summons, but most of the time he is either too late to the party or he cant press through the mass of bodies. When he does attack though (his spear reach helps) he deletes stuff…I guess its bad AI coding and I cant find a solution to this. Except pehaps minimizing the size of the skeleton horde. But I dont think that will be worth it.

CE is a great 1 point wonder, with added area of damage added for +skills. Decrepify is a wonderful skill for bosses, if you use it in conjunction with Clay Golem. Once you’ve maxed out certain skills, you will have some left over as you level. I recommend a back-up skill that adds to damage, like poison nova. Although it is not needed, it is nice to have.


Act 2 NM Might Merc. This will allow your skels to do their best damages while making use of the Might Aura. I highly recommend Obedience as his primary weapon. It does great damages and helps take down bosses faster. Infinity is a waste of runes, effort, FG, etc … The way I set mine up, I stood in a gaggle of souls [about 8 of them] and cast Amp while my skels/merc took them down and did not die. Took some damages, but my Light res is over 100 in Hell. I am not saying you won’t have to pot here and there … but you will be strong.

One, you do NOT need to max out CE, that’s a fable. It’s also a waste of points. Like any other skill, like with revives, all you really need is 1 point in it and allow +skills to boost it.

Now that being said, regardless whether I use full Trangs or go the other route, here is how I set mine up, he is currently 92 and I have another summoner in HC that is 75:

Summon Tree:

Max out:

Raise Skeleton
Skeleton Mastery
Summon Resists [under used skill. Res is just as important to skels as it is to you to survive]

10 in Clay Golem
5 in Golem Mastery
1 in the rest

[In this tree, the lowest I have after adding 1 point and adding my +skill gear is level 25. My skels are level 44, mastery is 46, clay is 38, mastery is 29, summon res is 44]

Poison and Bone Tree:

1 in Teeth
1 in CE
1 in Bone Armor
1 in Bone Wall [purely for defense and to provide a way to run away if needed]

Later on I added 1 in the 3 down the left side [poison dagger, poison explosion, poison nova] just to have nova as some added damages for when you run across physical immunes that you curses can’t break.

Curses Tree:

1 in the 4 down the middle and 1 in the 3 on the right. They come out to level 23 for me … I only ever use Amp or Decrepify for the most part. Lower Res does come in handy here and there … especially in group play.

Any other skill points that you accumulate are placed according to your personal preference.

Set up as such, you should be able to rock the game no matter what mode you are in.

As far as attributes go:

Just enough Strength & Dex for your gear
Nothing in Energy, your gear will provide more than you’ll ever need.

Every other point into Vitality. Life is life.

You are NOT a warrior, you are not a Caster. You do NOT need a mana pool from hell nor do you need max block. You direct your summons, cast a few spells and watch. Do NOT listen to the amateurs that would say otherwise.

The next most important thing to your progress/survival [and I learned this from years of HC play, and it works the same in easy-core] is RESISTANCES! Combined with Vitality, it is the essence of life, lmao.

My resistances, in Hell, after the difficulty penalties each come out to over 100 points in each. I only die when I get stupid.

I have res’ over 100 in Hell
1.4k life w/o CTA, BO, or anything.
My mana pool, w/o any added points is 677 and I never use it all

Gear is your choice:
Full Trangs
So-called “Top Tiered”
Or whatever the hell you wanna do, lol

…If go full Trangs, put an Um runes in the shield/helm/armor … this’ll boost your res’.

Remember, if someone says hey do this, stop and think … do I need max block? Am I cannon fodder and run in to the melee? NO! You are a commander of an undead army, sit back and cast some stuff and enjoy the show.

Do I need a mana pool from hell? NO! I am NOT dependent on casting/teleing and consume mana like a crackprostitute does crack. You need enough to get your summons and cast a few spells. Full Trangs gives you 70% mana regen on its own. For a Summon Necro that’s more than enough.

Another bene to using full Trangs:

The set gives you additional skills to use offensively:

+3 Fire Mastery
+13 Fire Wall
+18 Fire Ball

, And that’s before +skills are added … so you have it made as far as walking through the game and enjoying yourself while the rest struggle with mana, res, and all the other crap they do NOT add to, LMFAO!!!