Corpse Explosion Necromancer

Corpse Explosion Necromancer

Introduction

The Corpse Explosion Necromancer also known as the CE Necro is excellent at clearing mass amounts of mobs and density. With our Mercenary and minions taking out the starting monsters in the area, they pave the way for a massacre most gruesome with the use of corpseexplosion. Our primary damage with CE brings a large Area of Effect (AoE) Fire and Physical Damage. Having access to these Damage types we can farm most areas with large density. In addition to CE we also have Curses such as Amplify Damage to Pierce Physical Resistances and Lower Resist for Fire Resistance Pierce. Our Mercenary uses Infinity for the Conviction Aura, lowering the enemy's Resistances even more. This build is fast on lower player counts but can still be used effectively on a higher Player Count with more finesse. This build does require some gear to start farming efficiently especially on higher Player Counts but can still hold its own with the correct execution.



Ideal Standard Setup
Corpse Explosion
Amplify Damage
Teleport
Lower Resist

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 75 before transitioning to it. Check out our Necromancer Leveling Guide and our General Leveling Strategies to reach Level 75.

Incredible Survivability ✔
Multiple Damage Types ✔

Can Clear Most Content ✔
Great For Density Clearing ✔
Can Work As A Support Role ✔

Higher Average APM
❌ Lower Top End Potential
❌ Key Gear Pieces Are Expensive
Requires Density For Efficiency
Relies On Diablo 2 AI During Combat



Skills

The Corpse Explosion Necromancer heavily invests in Poison and Bone while picking up key utility Skills from the other trees.

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Bone Armor
2. Bone Wall
3. Bone Prison
4. Raise Skeletal Mage
5. Revive
6. Clay Golem
7. Iron Golem
8. Golem Mastery
9. Summon Resist

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Corpse Explosion
2. Amplify Damage
3. Lower Resist
4. Raise Skeleton
5. Skeleton Mastery

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Damage

CorpseExplosion* deals Physical and Fire Damage in a circle around the body of a dead monster that is targeted. The damage is based on the original Life of the monster. (Players 1 Life regardless of true Player Count)

Raise Skeleton* summons a Skeleton that deals Physical Damage on it's Physical Melee Attack. The amount of Skeletons allowed at once is based on your Skill Level.

Revive* brings targeted slain monsters back to life to fight for you. It grants a Life and Damage bonus to them as well. The amount of summoned monsters is based on your Skill Level. This can both be used as a Damage Skill and for extra meat shield for survivability.

* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)

Utility

AmplifyDamage* reduces the monster's Physical Resistance by 100%. This can bring a monster's Resistance into the negative values (to a bottom cap of -100%).

Lower Resist* reduces a monster's Fire, Lightning, Cold, and Poison Resistance based on the Skill Level.

decrepify* reduces Attack Speed, Movement Speed, Physical Damage, and Physical Damage Reduction of the target.

boneprison* surrounds the target in walls of bone, which stop most projectiles and need to be destroyed for the target to escape. The walls can overlap and fill in the entire screen.

bonewall* casts a wall of bone. which stops most projectiles and needs to be destroyed for the target to pass through. The walls can overlap and fill in the entire screen. This is a great Skill to pull multiple monsters to you from off screen or block off areas.

ClayGolem* summons a tanky Golem with high Resistances, which applies a Slow Effect when striking and when struck. This can be summoned with no Cooldown even when already summoned. Note: Only 1 Golem may be summoned at a time.

Iron Golem* transforms a metallic item into a Golem that gains the properties of the item it consumed. This Golem stays around from game to game and does not disappear unless you do the following: die, the Golem dies, Respec, Summon a different Golem.
Note: You can use anything with Iron Golem Charges on it such as Metalgrid to keep him alive while Respecing. However the "Charges" Iron Golem does not stay around from game to game.

Bonearmor* grants the Necromancer a large Physical Damage shield. This can be recast, with no cooldown, so you can always have a full damage value after every hit.

Golem Mastery* grants increased Life and Movement speed to your Golems.

Summon Resist* grants increased Life and Damage to your summoned Skeletons and Revives.

Skeleton Mastery* grants increased Life and Damage to your summoned Skeletons and Revives.

* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)
* Skills that do NOT utilize either FCR or IAS


Attributes

Strength
In this build, we allocate enough Stat Points to Strength to equip all of our gear. Be mindful of how much Strength your gear needs and how much it provides when equipped.

Vitality
After you put your points into Strength and Dexterity, make sure to check if it is recommended to put Stat Points into Energy. Meet the suggested amount of Energy and put any remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Dexterity
In this build, we allocate enough Dexterity to equip all of our gear. Be mindful of how much Dexterity your gear needs and how much it provides when equipped.


Energy
In this build, we don't allocate any Stat Points into Energy. This build gets enough Mana from gear, buffs, Charms, and Mana Potions.


Miscellaneous

Gear Options

While every Stat in the Desirable Stats column is useful for this build, we highlighted the Priority Stats in Teal so you can review the recommended Items and more easily identify the Most Important Stats on them.

Hover over any Item in the Item Options to see a pop-out with the full Item description.

SlotItem OptionsDesirable Stats
WeaponsSpirit Crystal Sword
Beast Berserker Axe
Heartoftheoak
Ume'slament
wizardspike
Level x Fanaticism Aura When Equipped
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attribute
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Off-HandSplendor
rhyme
ancient'spledge
Spirit Monarch
homunculus
Darkforce Spawn
trangoul'swing
+x to All Skills
+x to Poison and Bone Skills [Necromancer Only]
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x% Faster Block Rate
+x to Attribute
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Weapon-SwapCalltoarms
Gnarled Staff of Teleportation
+x to All Skills
+x to battlecommand
+x to battleorders
+x to battlecry
Level x Teleport [x/x Charges]
Off-Hand SwapSpirit+x to All Skills
+ x% Faster Cast Rate
Body ArmorsEnigma
trangoul'sscales
Skinofthevipermagi
skullder'sire
bone
smoke
+x to All Skills
+x to Necromancer Skill Levels
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to
Teleport
+x to Attribute
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced By x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
HelmetsHarlequincrest
Cruel Visor Circlet
trangoul'sguise
PeasantCrown
Wormskull
Tarnhelm
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced By x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Glovestrangoul'sclaws
chanceguards
magefist
+x to Fire Skills
+x to Curses [Necromancer Only]
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Attribute
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Beltsarachnidmesh
goldwrap
Verdungo's Hearty Cord
trangoul'sgirth
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced By x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Bootsmarrowwalk
sandstormtrek
silkweave
wartraveler
natalya'ssoul
aldur'sadvance
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attribute
+x Life
X Resist +x%
+x to Mana after each Kill
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Amuletsmara'skaleidoscope
Rare Amulet
Caster Crafted Amulet
Venomous Amulet of the Apprentice
+x to All Skills
+x to Poison and Bone Skills [Necromancer Only]
+ x% Faster Cast Rate

+x to Attribute
All Resistances +x
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level x Teleport [x/x Charges]
Ringsthestoneofjordan
bulkatho'sweddingband
nagelring
Rare Ring
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x Life
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
CharmsGrand Charm
Large Charm
Small Charm
+x to Poison and Bone Skills [Necromancer Only]
+ x % Faster Run / Walk
+ x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attribute
+x Life
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Unique CharmsGheed's Fortune
Hellfire Torch (Necromancer)
Annihilus
+x to All Skills
+x to Necromancer Skill Levels
+x to all Attributes
All Resistances +x
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Reduces all Vendor Prices x%

Farming Spots


The areas below are well suited for this build to farm efficiently. While this build can also farm other areas, we’ve selected these specific areas to make the most use of the build’s strengths. Please take special note of the danger level, clear speed, item types, and Immunities that define these areas.

Anything that has a in the "Starter" column can be farmed with the Starter Variant.
While there are other Farming Spots in the game, some Builds struggle to efficiently farm those Areas. This may be because the Monsters in the Area are Immune to your primary Damage type, or the Build lacks mobility to quickly progress to its objectives.

Act 1:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
The Countess
(Forgotten Tower Level 5)
MediumRunes
Key of Terror
Fire, Cold
The PitMediumAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Fire, Lightning, Cold
Andariel
(Catacombs Level 4)
-LowUniques
Sets
Jewelry
The Secret Cow LevelMediumRunes
Runeword Bases
Charms / Gems / Jewels

Act 4:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
River of Flame-HighAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Fire, Lightning, Cold, Poison
Chaos Sanctuary-HighAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Fire, Lightning, Cold
Diablo
(Chaos Sanctuary)
-MediumUniques
Sets
Leveling (Level 97-99)

Act 5:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
Eldritch the Rectifier
(Frigid Highland)
LowGearing
Gold
Leveling
Cold
Shenk the Overseer
(Bloody Foothills)
MediumGearing
Gold
Leveling
Cold
Pindleskin
(Nihlathak's Temple)
-HighGearing
Gold
Leveling
Poison
Nihlathak
(Halls of Vaught)
-HighKey of Destruction
Leveling
(Level 97-99)
Fire, Lightning, Cold or none
(Depends on his Affixes)
Worldstone Keep / Throne of Destruction-HighAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Physical, Magic, Fire, Lightning, Cold, Poison
(Depends on monster spawns)
Baal / Waves
(Worldstone Chamber /
Throne of Destruction)
-HighUniques
Sets
Max Area Level
Leveling
(Baal for Level 97-99)
Magic, Fire, Cold, Poison
(on Waves)

Mercenary

Your Mercenary can serve an incredibly important role to the overall success of your build. Whether it’s serving as a front line tank, bringing a pivotal Aura to your arsenal, or employing Physical Damage to kill monsters with an Immunity to your skillset.


Act 2 Desert Mercenary
The Act 2 Desert Mercenary can be hired from Greiz.
He can be equipped with a Spear or a Polearm, a Body Armor and a Helmet. 
Every Act 2 Mercenary has access to an Aura and uses Jab as his base Attack. The Aura activates once the Mercenary has engaged in combat and remains active between traveling to and from town. The Auras available are based on what difficulty you hire the Mercenary from.

Might Infinity

Infinity, Might
We recommend the Might Aura version, as it provides us with a Mercenary that can deal with enemies that are immune to our main Damage source.
Infinity provides us with a massive damage boost as it reduces the enemies Resistances and Defense due to its Conviction Aura. This Aura is also capable of breaking some Immunities.

Gear Progression

Early-GameMid-GameEnd-Game
Insight
(any Polearm)
Insight
(Elite Polearm)
Infinity Thresher
Smoke
(Any Body Armor)
Treachery
(Any Body Armor)
Fortitude
(Body Armor, 700++ Base Defense)
Any Helmet
with Resistance / Life
Tal Rasha's Horadric CrestAndariel’s Visage
(preferably Ethereal)

The Mercenary is hard to keep alive until you have the minimum gear recommended in this guide. To help survive various scenarios, remember you can drag Healing Potions onto the portrait, or shift + 1/2/3/4 to directly feed them a Healing Potion from your belt. The Mercenary also gains bonus Resistances from Thawing Potions and Antidote Potions.

If your Mercenary dies in battle, you can revive them from any of the Mercenary NPCs in each Act. This does come with an increasing cost, capping at 50,000 Gold. So keep that in mind and decide if the Mercenary is currently worth the cost.

Playstyle

General:

  • The Corpse Explosion Necromancer gets a couple kills then chains Corpse Explosion over and over like a domino effect bringing enemies to the "demolition site."
  • Prior to combat cast Bone Armor to grant more survivability.
  • Use any random Insight Iron Golem to keep your Mana up during the mass use of Corpse Explosion as it is very Mana heavy. This lasts from game to game so if you have one already just check from game to game to make sure it's still alive.
  • Use Teleport from a Staff of Teleportation maneuver obstacles, long distances, reposition yourself, and reposition your army. Your Mercenary stands a better chance of staying alive with you in control. Your Mercenary and Summoned Army can act as a first line of defense after you Teleport, catching incoming damage you would have taken otherwise.
  • Your Mercenary is your Primary Damage output generally until you get the first corpse for Corpse Explosion or enough Revives to help out.
  • After you are familiar with the enemies you are fighting all the time you can decide to use Amplify Damage or Lower Resist depending on the specific monster type you're up against.
  • Use Revive, Raise Skeleton, Raise Skeletal Mage, and Clay Golem or Iron Golem to add distractions, damage output, meat shields, and overall utility to the field.
  • Kite enemies to the slain corpses from previous fights, Curse them, then spam Corpse Explosion until they are no longer.
  • Against single targets, you aim to stack as many Summons on you as possible to deal maximum damage. You do this by using "Telestomping" Teleport then side stepping. This leaves your Summons in that area stacked on each other fighting in the same area.
  • Use Bone Wall to block off areas or pull mobs to you from far away. Enemies get lured in towards them and attack them, giving you the opportunity to use Corpse Explosion on more enemies than you would previously.
  • Bone Prison can be used similar to Bone Wall but also traps and surrounds your targeted enemy.
  • Try not to be too close to your enemies by yourself, this build is generally squishy on its own and can either get stuck in Hit Recovery or just die when your Summons are not around.

Immunities:

  • Use Amplify Damage to bring down the Physical Resistance of your enemies or break Physical Immunes.
  • Use Lower Resist against Fire Resistant or Fire Immune monsters to bring down their Resistance.
  • Use Decrepify to bring down the Physical Resistance of your enemies or break Physical Immunes while slowing them down considerably.

Late-Game:

  • At the beginning of each run, be sure to buff yourself by swapping to Call to Arms and cast Battle Command 2 times, Battle Orders, swap back to your main setup and cast Bone Armor. Make sure that these buffs stay active all the time, they are essential to your survivability. 
  • Use Teleport from Enigma to move from place to place, reposition yourself, and reposition your Mercenary and Summoned Allies. Your Mercenary stands a better chance of staying alive with you in control. Your Mercenary and Summoned Army can act as a first line of defense after you Teleport, catching incoming damage you would have taken otherwise.

Breakpoints

For more information on the mechanics involved check out our in-depth Resource: Breakpoints.

All builds rely on specific Breakpoints for effectiveness throughout the game. Meeting Breakpoints for Cast Rate, Hit Recovery, and Block Rate increases the rate of casting spells, recovering from big damage, and block by 1 Frame per Breakpoint.

Faster Cast Rate (FCR)
Faster Cast Rate controls how fast our Character casts Spells. In this build we aim for 125% Faster Cast Rate, which is achieved with the suggested gear. Note: Faster Cast Rate only controls the animation speed of the Character, and not any internal or global Cooldowns your spells have.

Cast Rate Breakpoints

Increased Attack Speed (IAS)
We do not target a specific Attack Speed Breakpoint. We do not rely on attacks to deal damage.

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR)
Faster Hit Recovery controls how fast our Character finishes the Hit Recovery animation. In this build we aim for 86% Faster Hit Recovery, which is achieved with the suggested gear and Charms.

Hit Recovery Breakpoints

Faster Block Rate (FBR)
We do not target a specific Block Rate Breakpoint. We do not rely on Chance to Block in this build.

Block Rate Breakpoints

Faster Run Walk (FRW)
There are no Breakpoints for Faster Run / Walk. With the recommended gear you will reach 70% Faster Run / Walk.

Hardcore

For all Hardcore gameplay, your primary concern is increasing your Resistances, Damage Reduction, Chance to Block and Maximum Life. This can mean sacrificing overall power level for a more secure playstyle.

This build is Hardcore viable. If you are unaccustomed to this playstyle, we recommend trying this build on Softcore to gain experience on how to successfully pilot it. If you find that the recommended build is too difficult to pilot in hardcore we do include a Hardcore variant. The primary differences are:

  • Use Homunculus to maximize Resistances, Chance to Block and Faster Block Rate. We put enough Stat Points into Dexterity to achieve maximum Chance to Block.
  • Use of Shimmering Small Charm of Vita for more Maximum Life instead of x% Better Chance to Find Magic Items.
  • Use String of Ears or Verdungo's Hearty Cord for +x% Damage Reduction.
  • See the Hardcore Variant below to review all recommended changes.

Build Variants

Starter

Setup
The Corpse Explosion Necromancer relies on having a good amount of Skills to increase our damage and range of Corpse Explosion as well as a good amount of Faster Cast Rate to help with the overall DPS. Life, Mana, Faster Hit Recovery, and Resistance are all also important for the build's survivability and flow. Spirit Crystal Sword, Stealth Leather Armor, Ancients' Pledge Kite Shield, and Lore Cap are all great avenues to achieve some of these stats with low investment.

Mercenary
To keep your Mercenary alive, equip him with a Body Armor and Helmet which provide Resistances and Life. Insight is a pretty easy Runeword to find and farm that gives a great amount of damage and Quality of Life with Meditation. Hire the Might Aura Mercenary, to gain extra Physical Damage.

Skills
This is the Stater variant for the Corpse Explosion Necromancer:

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Bone Armor
2. Bone Wall
3. Bone Prison
4. Raise Skeletal Mage
5. Clay Golem
6. Golem Mastery
7. Summon Resist

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Revive
2. Corpse Explosion
3. Amplify Damage
4. Lower Resist

Attributes
In this build we allocate enough Stat Points to Strength and Dexterity to equip all of our gear. Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Standard

Setup
In the Standard Variant our main focus is to reach the 125% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint and have a large amount of +x to All Skills for your Corpse Explosion and Curse spam. We maintain the 86% Faster Hit Recovery Breakpoint with Spirit Monarch and Fungal Grand Charm of Balances. Magefist grants us an additional Skill Point to Corpse Explosion from it's +1 to Fire Skills. We also stack x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items on this setup after our important Breakpoints are met. Use any Insight Iron Golem to help Mana sustain.

Mercenary
Your Mercenary is a tank and a large source of your damage at the beginning of fights. Might Aura increases Physical Damage to help you get that first corpse faster. Infinity Giant Thresher is great for breaking some Immunes and Piercing Resistances. Andariel's Visage and Fortitude Sacred Armor fill in everything else he needs from damage to survivability.

Skills
This is the Standard Variant for the Corpse Explosion Necromancer:

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Bone Armor
2. Bone Wall
3. Bone Prison
4. Raise Skeletal Mage
5. Revive
6. Iron Golem
7. Golem Mastery
8. Summon Resist

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Corpse Explosion
2. Amplify Damage
3. Lower Resist
4. Raise Skeleton
5. Skeleton Mastery

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes
In this build we allocate enough Stat Points to Strength to equip all of our gear. Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Summon

Setup
The Summon Variant's main focus is to reach the 125% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint and have a large amount of +x to All Skills for your Corpse Explosion, Curses, but also more for your Summons. Marrowwalk is used for the additional Skeleton Mastery. We maintain the 86% Faster Hit Recovery Breakpoint with Spirit Monarch and Fungal Grand Charm of Balances. Magefist grants us an additional Skill Point to Corpse Explosion from it's +1 to Fire Skills. We also stack x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items on this setup after our important Breakpoints are met. Use any Insight Iron Golem to help Mana sustain.

Mercenary
Your Mercenary is a tank and a large source of your damage at the beginning of fights. Might Aura increases Physical Damage to help you get that first corpse faster. Infinity Giant Thresher is great for breaking some Immunes and Piercing Resistances. Andariel's Visage and Fortitude Sacred Armor fill in everything else he needs from damage to survivability.

Skills
In the Summon Variant of the Corpse Explosion Necromancer aim for this Skill Point allocation:

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Bone Armor
2. Bone Wall
3. Bone Prison
4. Lower Resist
5. Revive
6. Iron Golem
7. Golem Mastery
8. Summon Resist

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Raise Skeleton
2. Corpse Explosion
3. Amplify Damage
4. Skeleton Mastery
5. Raise Skeletal Mage

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes
In this build we allocate enough Stat Points to Strength to equip all of our gear. Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Damage

Setup
Here we are using Beast Berserker Axe to help boost our Summons and Mercenary Damage output with the Fanaticism Aura. This setup does better damage against bosses and Single Target. This mean our first corpse is ready faster, but we lose some Faster Cast Rate, so we aim for the 75% Breakpoint. Resistance gear is more sought after with Rare Boots being a great substitute for this need. Stacking x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items is an afterthought for this build. Use any Insight Iron Golem to help Mana sustain.

Mercenary
Your Mercenary is a tank and a large source of your damage at the beginning of fights. Might Aura increases Physical Damage to help you get that first corpse faster. Infinity Giant Thresher is great for breaking some Immunes and Piercing Resistances. Andariel's Visage and Fortitude Sacred Armor fill in everything else he needs from damage to survivability.

Skills
Here is the Corpse Explosion Necromancer's Damage Variant Skill Point allocation:

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Bone Armor
2. Bone Prison
3. Raise Skeletal Mage
4. Raise Skeletal Mage
5. Skeleton Mastery
6. Iron Golem
7. Golem Mastery
8. Summon Resist

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Revive
2. Corpse Explosion
3. Amplify Damage
4. Lower Resist
5. Bone Wall

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes
In this build we allocate enough Stat Points to Strength to equip all of our gear. Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Hardcore

Setup
For Hardcore gameplay we prioritize having high overcapped Resistances to maintain maximum Resistances when affected by conviction Aura. We achieve 75% Chance to Block by adding extra Dexterity and an Eld Rune into the Homunculus. This build provides a large amount of Damage Reduction (41%) while maintaining the 75% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint and high +x to All Skills on gear. This along with BoneArmor and BonePrison give an amazing amount of survivability and Crowd Control. We also prioritize having Shimmering Small Charm of Vita over the Shimmering Small Charm of Good Luck. Use any Insight Iron Golem to help Mana sustain.

Mercenary
Your Mercenary is a tank and a large source of your damage at the beginning of fights. Might Aura increases Physical Damage to help you get that first corpse faster. Infinity Giant Thresher is great for breaking some Immunes and Piercing Resistances. Andariel's Visage and Fortitude Sacred Armor fill in everything else he needs from damage to survivability.

Skills
The Hardcore Variant of the Corpse Explosion Necromancer generally utilizes these Skills:

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Bone Armor
2. Bone Prison
3. Raise Skeleton
4. Raise Skeletal Mage
5. Skeleton Mastery
6. Iron Golem
7. Golem Mastery
8. Summon Resist

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Revive
2. Corpse Explosion
3. Amplify Damage
4. Lower Resist
5. Bone Wall

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes
In this build we allocate enough Stat Points to Strength as we need to equip all of our gear. Put enough Stat Points into Dexterity to maintain 75% Chance to Block with Homunculus. Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality.


Mechanics

raiseskeleton

  • raiseskeleton Stats increase in accordance with the Difficulty of the game the Player is in.
    • Base Life of the skeletons increases by 9 in Nightmare, and by 21 in Hell. (21 -> 30 -> 42)
    • Base Defense Rating increases by 1 in Hell. (5 -> 6)
    • Base Attack Rating actually decreases by 1 in Nightmare, but then increase by 1 in Hell. (5 -> 4 -> 6)
  • raiseskeleton Stats are also calculated at the time of casting. If your Character received + Skills from a buff, the Skeletons they summon will have increased Stats even after the buff has run out. Furthermore, Skeletons can be buffed after they're summoned for even higher Stats.
  • Skeletons can be summoned even if you are at the maximum cap for total Skeletons. This will replace the oldest summoned Skeleton in chronological order. They can also be Unsummoned using the unsummon Skill.
  • Skeletons have a % Chance to Block depending on a random number generation when the Skeleton is summoned. Although there is a Skeleton model that has a Shield, that is not an indicator that the Skeleton itself is actually "equipped" with a shield.
  • Skeletons cannot be raised from Blood Hawk Nest, Gargoyle Trap, or Tentacle Beast corpses.
  • "Uber" Bosses (Act Bosses and Ubers) deal massively increased damage versus Summons. Skeletons will rarely survive concentrated damage from these monster types.

Revive

  • Revive Stats are negatively affected if the Character's level (cLVL) is less than the Monster's level (mLVL) of a targeted corpse. The Revive 's mLVL is calculated based on cLVL instead of the mLVL and their Maximum Life is multiplied by cLVL/mLVL. This will decrease their Chance to Hit, their damage, and increase their Chance to be Hit.
  • Revive Stats are calculated at the time of casting. If your Character received + Skills from a buff, the Revive they summon will have increased Stats even after the buff has run out. Furthermore, Revive can be buffed after they're summoned for even higher Stats.
  • Revive can be summoned even if you are at the maximum cap for total Revives. This will replace the oldest summoned Revive in chronological order. They can be Unsummoned using the unsummon Skill.
  • Revives maintain the majority of their Monster's AI and special abilities. This is very useful when targeting Monsters with Crushing Blow as a static ability. Try targeting Urdars in Act 4 River of Flame and Act 5 Frigid Highlands as these Monsters tend to spawn close to the Waypoint.
  • Revive cannot be raised from Minion of Destruction, Oblivion Knight, Putrid Defiler, Suicide Minion, Leaper, Blood Hawk Nest, Gargoyle Trap, or Tentacle Beast corpses.
  • "Uber" Bosses (Act Bosses and Ubers) deal massively increased damage verse Summons. Revive don't receive the bonus % Resistance from summonresist but their base and bonus defensives give them better survivability than other Summons.

Amplifydamage

  • Amplifydamage will reduce the target's Physical Damage Resistance by 100%, which can drop a Monster's resistance to -100%. This effectively doubles your Physical Damage dealt (and in many cases more than double).
  • Amplifydamage will break most Physical Immunes unless they are naturally Physical Immune and spawn with the "Stoneskin" Affix. i.e. Ghost monster types in Hell.
  • Amplifydamage increases 1/2 of the total damage from corpseexplosion because 1/2 of the damage dealt is Physical. It will also increase all damage from your Skeletons, Mercenary, and Revive's Physical attacks.
  • Skill points in Amplifydamage only increase the radius of effect and duration of the curse. At max level Amplifydamage will be cast on the entire visible screen and last long enough that you only have to cast it once per screen typically.

corpseexplosion

  • The damage dealt is split 50%/50% between Physical and Fire Damage. This means only 50% of the damage benefits from Amplifydamage.
  • Monsters with an Immunity to either Physical or Fire Damage can still receive damage from the other damage type of corpseexplosion .
  • Each Skill Point in corpseexplosion increases the radius, with the Fire Damage having a slightly larger radius than the Physical Damage.
  • This damage is not blocked by Physical obstacles.
  • Damage is calculated using the base Monster type's average maximum Life. This means Player's count and Champion/Unique/Super Unique status does not increase the damage dealt. Damage does NOT scale with Player's count making corpseexplosion less efficient in Multiplayer.
  • If the Character's Level (cLVL) is less than the Monster's level (mLVL) of a targeted corpse, then the damage dealt is multiplied by a variable (cLVL/mLVL) which reduces the total damage dealt.
  • corpseexplosion is considered a Fire Skill for items which give + to Fire Skills, but not for items which give +% Fire Skill Damage or Fire Mastery.

Bonearmor

  • bonearmor absorbs Physical Damage after it's calculated and before it's applied to the Necromancer as damage.
    • This means after the character's Physical Damage Reduction calculation, but before any other sources like energyshield.
  • Physical Damage accumulates up to the maximum value provided by bonearmor and any excess damage is dealt to the Necromancer.
  • bonearmor can be recast at the maximum speed of the Necromancer's Faster Cast Rate, with no Cooldown. You can theoretically negate all Physical Damage as long as you recast bonearmor faster than the incoming source of Physical Damage.
  • Recasting bonearmor will replace your current pool of armor with the maximum value.
    • If you cast bonearmor with any source of + to All Skills (like a Skill Shrine) and then recast bonearmor after the buff has run out, you will replace your higher maximum value with the current maximum value.
  • bonearmor only negates the Physical Damage component of any incoming damage source.
    • If Nihlathak casts corpseexplosion your bonearmor will NOT negate the Fire Damage portion of the skill's effect.

enigma

  • teleport allows a Player to select any square within the total range of the visible screen and teleport to that location, bringing any Mercenary or Minions with it. (Other than Traps).
  • You are able to teleport an even farther distance by holding down right click and opening either the Attributes or Inventory screen and dragging your mouse to the edge of the screen in that window, while casting.
  • Teleporting is not obstructed by walls or other impediments but can fail if your cursor is not completely passed those impediments when cast.
  • In single player, clicking the Escape key after teleporting can give you enough time to determine if you are in a safe location before continuing. If you teleported into a sticky situation, consider Save and Exiting and try again .
  • Depending on Minion type, your Minions/Mercenary will become “stuck” to the spot you have teleported so you often have to move from this spot to allow your Minions to spread out. Get into the habit of moving backwards after every teleport to give your Minions this opportunity.

Summary

  • Put enough Stat Points into Strength to wear gear and any remaining Stat Points into Vitality.
  • Keep your Battle Command, Battle Orders and Bone Armor buffs up at all times.
  • Use any Insight Iron Golem to help Mana sustain.
  • Use Teleport to manage your army.
  • Use Curses to increase your damage output and manipulate the battle field.
  • Corpse Explosion, Corpse Explosion, and more Corpse Explosion. Don't stop until there is nothing left!
  • Use your army to act as meat shields and deal single target damage.
  • Kite enemies to corpses and use Bone Wall to block off areas or pull even more mobs.

Guide by BTNeandertha1

I hope you enjoy this build as much as I have. After you master the this playstyle it can be quite fun and rewarding. Enjoy creating red carpets and ungodly messes everywhere you tread ground!

Good luck!