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Diablo II LOD v1.10 Summoner Necromancer Optimal Strategy Guide
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1. Guide Information
2. Introduction
2. Game Info
3. Skill Point Distribution
4. Stat Points
5. Skill Accumulation During Gameplay
6. Hireling
7. Strategy
8. Equipment
9. Skill Explainations
10.HotKey Recommendations
12.Final Blow

1. Guide Information

Game: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction V1.10
Class:      Necromancer
Build:      Summoner
Difficulty: Softcore or Hardcore
Updated:    03.06.04
Version:    1.05
Written by: LegitKiller

As I worked on this guide it got too long for the Diablo II
forums so I had to publish it on my own website.
I will continue to add and improve the guide.

2. Introduction

The Summoner Necromancer is a completey independent character that
does well soloing or in parties.  He is intended for PvM and will
do well in softcore or harcore.
You might of heard of him being called Summonmancer, Skellomancer,
Skelliemancer, Revivomancer, Overlord, Magomancer, or the name
that I came up with, SkellyBomber.
Of course there are many other names used as well, too many to
mention here.
As it can be seen, there are many variations of the Summoner Necro.
Most variations use the Skelletons for the main attack, but the
Magomancer would use mages instead, and of course the Revivomancer
would use Revives instead.
Secondary attacks would then be from possibly Bone Spear/Spirit,
Poison Nova, or Corpse Explosion(CE). 
My SkellyBomber using Skellies as the main attack and CE as his
This guide is intended to help build a Summoner Necro which will have
no problems going through the game at all difficulty levels.
Th build will allow the Necro to finsish the game and kill Hell
Baal at the end. It is an Optimal Strategy Guide for a summoner necro
and will allow for different variations.  But I will try to
stick with the variation that works the best, by maximizing the
skills being used with the least amount of skill points.


3. Skill Point Distribution

SUMMONING SPELLS                   
SKELETON MASTERY (L1)  20           
RAISE SKELETON   (L2)  20    
CLAY GOLEM       (L6)   1    
GOLEM MASTERY    (L12)  1    
SKELETAL MAGE    (L12) 20    
BLOOD GOLEM      (L18)  1      
SUMMON RESIST    (L24)  1    
IRON GOLEM       (L24)  1    
FIRE GOLEM       (L30)  0     
REVIVE           (L30)  1    


TEETH            (L1)   1
BONE ARMOR       (L1)   0
POISON DAGGER    (L6)   0  
BONE WALL        (L12)  0
BONE SPEAR       (L18)  0
BONE PRISON      (L24)  0
POISON NOVA      (L30)  0  
BONE SPIRIT      (L30)  0 


DIM VISION       (L6)   1  
WEAKEN           (L6)   1
IRON MAIDEN      (L12)  1
TERROR           (L12)  1
CONFUSE          (L18)  1
LIFE TAP         (L18)  1
ATTRACT          (L24)  1
DECREPIFY        (L24)  1
LOWER RESIST     (L30)  1

TOTAL BUILD POINTS     97 reached @ clvl 86

4. Stat Points

Starting Attributes      Each Character Level   Final Attributes
[ul][li]Strength: 15       Life:    +1.5 Stength:   100 + ??
[li]Dexerity:     25       Stamina: +1  Dexterity: 25 (base)
[li]Vitality:     15    Mana:    +2  Vitality:  250+
[li]Energy:       25               Energy:    100
[li]Hit Points:   45
[li]Stamina:      89
[li]Mana:   25

Atttribute Point Effect

1 point Vitality = Life +2
1 point Vitality = Stamina +1
1 point Energy   = mana +2

Stat Summary
Just like all other characters and builds, the amount to put into
strength depends on equipment.  For the Summoner Necro this will
probably come down to choice of armor.  So depending on what you
find or trade for will depend on how much strength.

No points needed here unless you want to increase the block %.

Need alot of life to prevent one hit kills.

Although some people insist that base is enough, it depends
on equipment and your style of game play. I would suggest a
medium range for energy to be more appropriate.  Raising an
army and casting curses everywhere will drain most of your

Example: @clvl 81 and all quests completed
Level 81        Base                    Points

Strength 15  100-15= 85
Dexterity 25   25-25= 0
Vitality 15  250-15= 245
Energy  25  100-25= 75
    Total 405
You would have 80x5 = 400 stat points +bonus stats from quests.

Left over stats into strength or life, whatever is needed.

5. Skill Accumulation During Game Play

Although this distribution is not written in stone, of course,
follow this guideline and you will have no problems.

Levels 2-5 + Den O Evil:
01 Raise Skeleton (1)
02 Skeleton Mastery
03 Amp Damage
04 Raise Skeleton (2)
05 Raise Skeleton (3)
06 Teeh (pre-req)

Levels 6-11
07 Clay Golem
08 Corpse Explosion (1)
09 Dim Vision
10 Weaken
11 Raise Skeleton (4)
12 Raise Skeleton (5)

Levels 12-17 + Radiment
13 Golem Mastery
14 Skeleton Mage (1)
15 Iron Maidon
16 Terror
17 Raise Skeleton (6)
18 Raise Skeleton (7)
19 Raise Skeleton (8)

Levels 18-23
20 Blood Golem
21 Life Tap
22 Confuse
23 Raise Skeleton (9)
24 Raise Skeleton (10)
25 Raise Skeleton (11)

Levels 24-29 + Izzy (2 pts)
26 Decrepify
27 Summon Resist
28 Iron Golem
29 Attract
30 Raise Skeleton (12)
31 Raise Skeleton (13)
32 Raise Skeleton (14)
33 Raise Skeleton (15)

Levels 30 and up

34 Revive
35 Lower Resist
36-40 Raise Skeleton  (Maxed)
41-59 Skeleton Mastery(Maxed)
60-78 Skeleton Mage   (Maxed)
79-97 Corspe Explosion(Maxed)

6. Hireling
The ACT2 NM MIGHT MERC is the best for the summoning build for
two specific reasons. The first reason is the might merc will be able
to produce corpses quicker when the Necro is trying to build an
initial army in Hell.  The second reason is the This merc almost
doubles the damage of the Skellies and melee revives as well,
making a very powerful army.
Although other mercs can be used, a merc that benefits the army
and speeds in killing enemies makes the most sense.
For example a prayer merc could be used, but this only helps
keep the army alive.  The Necro hase a curse that
also does this (Life Tap).  And since the skell warriors don't
die very often the is no point in using this merc.
Sometimes the best defense is offense.  If the enemies are killed
twice as fast, then the damage they do should only be half as much.
Let's look at another example.  Let's say the next best choice is
the Thorns Merc.  Ok. So the Necros army has to take hits from
melee monsters in order to aid in killing them.  This will speed
up the killings just like the Might Merc does, but only against
some of the enemies.  And it won't help your merc in getting the
initial corspes in Hell Difficulty when he can't produce enough
damage for the initial corpse.
So basically when we look at the mercs and how they help the
Summoning Necro, the Might Merc overall helps the most by
almost doubling all the physical damage output of the Necros
Army.  It will also help other Party Members and their Hirelings
and Summonings as well, by doubling their physical damage.
No other merc comes close to doing this!
The Summoner needs corpses to revive skellies.
In Hell this can be a problem at times so the easiest place I find
is cold plains way point. Use merc and clay Golem and decreptify to
get the first corpses then raise Skelleton Warriors.
Once they are all raised then raise all the mages.
Finally raise revives as needed and use CE once your army is complete.
Use attract on the back rows of mobs and decreptify on the front lines.
Decreptify also works on physical immunes.  Sometimes Lower Resist
can be used on the physical immunes. Just watch the life bar of the
monster and try both and see which one brings down the life the
The best curses to use are decreptify, attract, and life tap.
If skells or mercs are taking too much damage use life tap
for a few seconds and then switch back to decreptify.
If your army breaks up then use a tp, go to town and quickly return.
Your whole army will be gathered all in one spot.
This is good to do in order to keep the revives from dissapearing or
if your merc or skellies get trapped behind a wall.
Using this strategy, you should be able to kill Hell Baal Solo at
around lev 80 if your +skills to summoning is 10 or higher.

Don't need anything too fancy.
Just +skills and +summoning gear.
Can be hard to find at times so try trading or gambling.

Here is a list of Optimal Equipment (that IS fancy lol) :
Ammy: +3 summmoning
Helm: +3 summoning circlet
Wand: +3 Summoning, +3 Skeleton Mage, +3 Skeleton Mastery
Gloves: Trangs (+2 curses)
Boots: Marrowalk Boots (+1-2 skeleton mastery)
Armor: Trangs +2 Summoning
Head: +3 summoning, +3 Skeleton Mages, +3 Skeleton Mastery
Rings: 2 SOJs
Belt: Glooms Trap Mesh Belt
Charms: Annihillus +1 to skills
Charms: 10 Grand Charms +1 Summoning

9. SKill Explainations
Keeping this brief for now:

Raise Skeleton: The Summoners main attack. Max it out first.

Skeleton Mastery: Needed to make skeletons, mages, and revives
stronger.  Adds life and damage. Max this skill out second.

Amplify Damage (Amp): Used to increase physical damage dealt
by all melee characters (including party members and mercs)
by 100%. Only 1 pt needed here.  A few more are optional.

Clay Golem: Used as a meat shield and slows down enemies.
This is the best golem in 1.10 and only 1 pt is needed.

Golem Mastery: Used to increase golem speed and life. Only 1pt
is needed but a few extra pts are optional. When deciding between
extra pts into Clay or GM, put them in GM.


10. Hotkey Recommendations
For all those that ask which Hotkeys people are using,
I will let you know which ones I use.  Maybe some people can
add to the end of this thread and add there's to it so we
can have a vote and/or debate on which one are best.

Again I just added this section so briefly:

F1 - Raise Skeletons
F2 - CE
F3 - Raise Mages
F4 - Raise Revives
F5 - Bone Armor
F6 - Clay Golem
F8 - Open a Tp ( I use this for all characters)
6 - Amp
7 - Dim Vision
8 - Decrepify
0 - Life Tap

Q1) Is Clay Golem better than Fire Golems?
A1) After using a clay golem for a while now, I would have to say
that fire golem is good and clay is better.  Clay golem with +10 to
summoning skills slows enemies by 59% and has more life than fire golem.
Although fire golem will do more damage than clay, in hell it becomes
obsolete.  In NM Fire Golem will be able to damage/kill monsters with
high +skills to summoning, but it is still very slow compared to merc,
skellies, mages, and even revives.
To sum up it, golems in 1.10 make excellent meat shields, and therefore clay
is the best since this meat shield has the most life and slows all enemies
including bosses.

Q2) Are revives really necessary for this build?
A2) Although they do have their uses, generally revives just suck
up alot of mana and then dissappear.  They can kill and with carefull
selection the can produce alot of damage.  But whether they are needed
is a debate.  With +10 skills the summoner will have 12 skellies and
12 mages to do most of the killing. 3 skill pts can be saved by NOT
putting points into blood golem, iron golem, , and revive.
You will hear other people say that they cause too much lag.
Another pt can be save by not getting fire golem.
Seems to me that 3 additional skill pts for +10 revives is a good
trade off.

Q3) Why 100 into energy? Isn't base enough?
A3) No base isn't enough mana.  I find 100 pts into
energy good because I need to raise skellis, mages, and revives quickly
while casting curses. Just 10 skellies is over 300 mana and 10 revives
is another 450.  Now factor in the curses and I don't see how someone can
get by with only 300 mana pts. You would have to raise 1/4 of your army,
then hit a mana potion and wait until it fills, then raise the next other 1/4
 and take another mana, and wait until it fills, then hit another mana potion,
By the time you done raises your army you might have to go back to town for more
mana potions.

Q4) Does amp damage lower the resistance of physical immunes?
A4) Yes, by 100%.

Q5) Is it a good idea to make a hybred and put points into bonespear/poison nova,
instead of using mages.
A5) Some people claim to have success with these builds.  Not a bad idea to try one.

Q6) Is it better to put points into dim vision instead of maxing CE?
A6) Actually, it might be better to go 10-15 dim vision and max CE,
and only 1 pt into mages.

Q7) Is staff of teleport a good idea?
A7) Yes, put it on as a secondary weapon. When in danger use it to escape
quickly, or use it to gather your minions all in one spot, or use it
to speed up the game.  Can be costly to recharge.

12. Final Blow
Well this guide finally made it to the web!
That's not what I intentionally wanted to do but it got to large
for the forums.  Lots of stuff added:  FAQs, HOTKEYS, expanded
on other sections, and fixed typos, etc.

Pease help make this guide BETTER!!!

Post other FAQs and Tips by adding to this thread!

Thanks for taking the time to read this guide,
until the v1.06 comes out,







The Summoner
Bone Cemetary
Gravesville, Canada

(666) 666-6666


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