Necromancer - Summoner Tank Remember: This build is only for dedicated players who enjoy epic battles. 1: Stats 2: Skills 3: Gear 4: Mercenary gear 5: Strategy 1:Stats The Summoner Tank depends mostly on gear when it comes to self-sustenence, because each character level you gain 1.5 H.P., and 1 stamina (It is very important). The necromancer starts with 45 hitpoints, and gains 2 every stat point invested into vitality. We will discuss much of this in gear, actually, and it's okay to skip ahead to gear and completely ignore stats right now. Strength: Do not bother with until you fulfill the gear that is specified. Dexterity: None. Vitality: All of your points except what is needed for strength. Energy: None. 2:Skills Your skills are quite sparsed among all the skills trees for such an amazing summoner. I will deeply discuss every skill you will use. Summoning Tree 20 points - Skeleton Mastery: This is one of the three cornerstones in this build; this is the muscle behind the arm. 20 points - Raise Skeleton Warrior: This is the second cornerstone in the build; this is the arm. 20 points - Raise Skeleton Mage: This is the third most unnessecary part of the build, but still extremely important. They take the bullet for your warriors. 20 points - Summon Resist: At level 20 it gives 66% resistance against all elements (that means no poison). What's beautiful about it is that it just keeps going when your gear helps you. It is 1/3 as important as Skeleton Mastery. Everything else gets 1 point, and for these reasons: Golems are only one targets, and they do not help enough without pouring all of your skill points into them Revives will cause epic lag; putting 1 skill point into them can earn you around 20 revives anyway. And none into fire golem. Curses Tree All curses get 1 point, except for the three stand-alones on the left (starting with Dim Vision) because they are epically useless for the summoner; any other build that means no army would greatly benefit from them, but they do the job that your skeletons would do. I also encourage people to dabble with the times that these should be used. Amplify Damage: Double-damage means wartime is cut in half. 'Nuff said. Use: Use this on weak masses (Monsters in normal and nightmare such as fallens and oblivion knights) Iron Maiden: Mainly a useless skill, but really proves itself when doing Hell mode Ancients. Use: Hell mode Ancients and any other melee monsters giving you trouble. Terror: Never use it, it defeats the entire purpose of your necromancer Use: N/A Might as well use a town portal scroll. Life Tap: The third cornerstone of the build; I'm saving this for the strategy section. Use: Every opportunity that doesn't fall into another curse's use. Decrepify: An important curse, it will slow anything down. It is a major player for killing bosses. Use: Champion Monsters, Bosses (especially Diablo and Baal). Lower Resist: I never use it. Use: Any physical-immune monster that won't go down from Mages, Golem, and Mercenary. Poison and Bone Tree I always thought of this tree as an awkward tree; it never had the potential I needed to be solely used. This tree holds all the auxillary skills you will need, they all need just one skill point - None of these are required! Bone Armor - This is your last failsafe; it will protect you against a blow that may have killed you. Corpse Explosion - This is the ultimate crowd control, it will aid your skeletons with massive damage, but make sure you have bodies assured for resummoning! 3: Gear Now that your skills and stats and settled, it is time for gear. I will not give a 'cheap' set and the 'right' set; I will only give the right set. Helm: Bone Visage Delirium runeword [[Lem + Ist + Io]] Must have near 400 defence to make a difference from shako. Mostly I use it for the 1% delirium, but if you fear this will get you killed (And it does sometimes) stick with shako. Armor: Archon Plate Enigma runeword [[Jah + Ith + Ber]] Yeah, I'm not going to go safe with Mage plate. Requires 103 strength, gives + (0.75 strength Per Character Level), topping off at 74 in the end. Now, if you can get 103 strength, then this puppy will pay for the rest. Boots: Marrowalk boots These things give 2 to skeleton mastery. HAVE I GONE TO HEAVEN?!?! Don't use their charges, Charsi will get you for it later. Belt: Arachnid Mesh This thing gives you +1 to all skills; Dungos? Pfft, pvp is not the answer (although this build is perfect against any melee character, given you use iron maiden each time *tee-hee*) Gloves: Trang-Ouls Bracers The lesser of two evils, the greater evil being every other glove out there. Shield: Boneflame Succubus Skull Why not Homunculus or Darkforce? *Homunculus: +3 over +2; this build does not comfort your necromancer, it comforts your skeletons. *Darkforce: Faster run/walk over cast rate. You are not going to cast 'raise skeleton mage' like a sorceress casts firebolt, so... Amulet: Golemlord's amulet (preferably of the mammoth for life) +3 to summoning. NEXT. Rings: Bul-kathos' Why not Stone of Jordans? *You don't need life, not mana. Plus it gives stamina bonus. Weapon: Arm of King Leoric Tomb Wand I can hear the cynics: "+3 HOTO and res > Leoric" I haven't been typing this for the last hour just to get to a brick wall. +2 To Raise Skeletal Mage +3 To Skeleton Mastery +3 To Raise Skeleton +2 To Summoning Skills There you have it. Switch weapon: Crystal sword runeword Call to Arms [[Amn + Ral + Mal + Ist + Ohm]] Perfect battle order (6) (Getting tired - 12:49) Switch shield: Spirit monarch [[Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn]] +2 to skills. Get a hellfire torch, annihilus, and stock up on Graverobber grand charms. 4: Mercenary Act 2, Nightmare Offensive (gives might, which is like honey for summoners) Weapon: Insight (any, really) Helm: Andariels Visage with a ral in it Armor: (my favorite) Ethereal Fortitude with defense around 4,000 5: Strategy Finally, we come to a close. Here I will show you how you can take on any monster in any difficulty. First off, your skeletons naturally know their place. Mages move to the back, Warriors to the front, and your golem wanders aimlessly as usual. Do not teleport directly into the fray, that will kill you. Make sure you go from a side, work into the mass, cut through. Use Life tap for most of the game, it will almost 100% assure you that no warriors will die (in many cases, but they do other times). Your mages will go first in many cases, because they have to attack and then move backwards, which can kill them if the opponent is strong, given they have less than 500 hp. That's it, you are ready to face hell! Now good luck and have fun!