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    "Meleemancer" Guide by Snuffkin

    Version: 1.01 | Updated: 11/02/02 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    			Meleemancers guide v 1.01 - ish
    
    ******************
    -3. Disclaimer
    ******************
    
    This is a warning that GOOD MELEEMANCERS ARE DIFFICFULT TO MAKE, i.e. GOOD
    MELEEMANCERS ARE VERY HARD TO MAKE. Harder than most commandoes (the really
    hard ones that can save battle ships underseige, for example). You can make one
    mistake and take ages getting them back on track, that said, One thing can
    easily change a Meleemancer for the better. This could be anything from a few
    stat points a few extra levels or better equipment. Of course this can happen
    to any character, but it seems to affect meleemancers to an even greater
    extent.
    Next point is that: GOOD MELEEMANCERS ARE BRILLIANT, i.e. GOOD MELEEMANCERS ARE
    PRETTY COOL. They can help others excel especially when entering new areas or
    acts. They can also offer some more unconventional assistance from the spells
    they use. The amount of times i've had heard good responces to the support i've
    offered to others is part of what compelled me to write this faq/guide.
    
    ******************
    -2. Contents - Just so you know which bit to skip to
    ******************
    
    0. Introduction, why does this text exist
    
    -2. Contents, for navigation and what.
    
    ----- The bit about how to play ------
    
    1. Curses, what to use and why
    
    2. Poison and Bone spells, the other stuff, you know the ones
    
    3. Summonings, the bits you might use.
    
    4. Tactics, what to do
    
       4.1 Distraction, the first bit
       4.2 Killing, the important bit
       4.3 Running away, this bit doesn't exist because you basically back off.
    
    5. Others, what do others say?
    
    ----- The other bits that are there for whatever reason ------
    
    6. Gear, what equipment you can get that might be nice.
    
    7. What's been done? What's been done by others and myself.
    
    -1. Stuff, just bits and pieces about legal stuff and contact stuff
    
    -Pi. Thanks and credits.
    
    ******************
    0. Introduction
    ******************
    
    This Faq is written primarily for the Diablo 2 expansion: Lord of Destruction,
    hencforth refered to as LOD. Whilst some of this guide will apply to players of
    Normal Diablo 2 (D2), there are significant changes made in LOD that make some
    of the advice contained within unsuitable.
    This guide was written by someone who has many names, but on the Gamefaqs
    internet site is commonly known as Snuffkin. You should only be able to find
    this guide on the Gamefaqs website, or my HD. If you find this file on my HD
    then you probably shouldn't be, so go to www.gamefaqs.com and get it from
    there.
    This guide is of course protected by International Copyright (c) of Snuffkin
    (Me) E-mail address to come later.
    This guide is genrally based at Necromancers that don't rely overly on summoned
    monsters. That is to say they don't summon 20 or so monsters to fight for them.
    They mainly use them for protection, distraction or other tactics. They usually
    aren't as physically weak as most normal Necro's or as mana intensed. In a way
    they are more like a druid but without shapeshifting or a lame selection of
    elemental skills. Infact, Druids look alot like Necro's, except they're ginger
    and more furry, oh and less evil.
    
    Most people would then go on to ask, why not just play as a Druid? Well the
    obvious answer to that is "Because we want to" or "They're gingers and I don't
    like gingers" or "They're not as evil or sinister". However a better answer
    would be a list of skills and variences that exist, such as the curses, the
    spells such as Corpse Explosion and... because we want too. Actually the point
    of curses is quite significant because it can help others in a number of ways,
    more of that later, but if everyone that wanted to be a more fighting based
    Necro selected a druid they'd be no one to cast Amplify Damage or Lower resist
    or Iron Maiden, etc. It's the same for making any character that is different
    from the norm, others get extra benifits. For example, someone may be slated
    for making a Paladin using defiance, until the point when another Paladin comes
    in using Fanaticism (like so many others) and you get the benifits of both.
    Note that a number of Paladins using Maxed Prayer is quite useful, especially
    when backed up by Act 2 Mercs using the prayer aura.
    
    *Bit you may want to read*
    
    Anyway, Meleemancers are quite competent when made correctly, and absolutely
    rubish when they aren't. This guide is here to advise you on what works and
    what doesn't. The variety you can get out of a Meleemancer is great, one of the
    many reasons Necro's are among my favourite chars.
    
    *Semi important bit*
    
    One of the things you should remember when you play as any kind of Necro is
    that you need to stop people from killing you. Okay so that's a good idea with
    any class, but with a Necro, you need to find a way to distract attention away
    from you. If the attention of monsters is aimed at you, you probably won't
    survive that long, unless you're in somewhere easy. There are many ways to do
    this with a Necro, but we're looking for ways that don't involve summoning your
    own army and have you stand around watching. I would have to say that
    distraction is the key to any Meleemancer who wants to be succesful, or at
    least have an easy life. What will follow are a number of tactics you can use,
    looking at curses and what they can be used for, looking at ways to distract
    monsters, looking at poison and bone spells and seeing how they can be used to
    your advantage. Also looking at summonings, how you can use them and what to
    look out for. What will not follow is a list of skill statistics, listing how
    they progress each level. If I were to include them in this guide I would just
    have to copy them from another source, to which there is no point and you may
    as well get that information yourself if you want exact figures. I will
    recomend how much to shove in each skill however, note that 6 is enough for
    most curses. Also note that this is not strictly speaking a Faq, although it
    does cover some frequently asked questions, it is more of a guide, here to
    offer advice and GUIDEance not tell you the radius of Dim Vision at skill level
    24. However if there is enough request then these may be included.
    
    ******************************
    1.CURSES
    ******************************
    
    All the useful curses, and what they can be used for.
    
    1. Amplify Damage
    Of course used to increase the phsyical damage done to a cursed monster. Very
    useful, especially when you want to do more damage to things when you hit them.
    Recomended that you put around 6 or 7 points in this as it will give you good
    enough range. 6 or 7 points is about right for any curse your'e going to use,
    although in some cases you may wish to put more in.
    A good curse, can be stacked with other curses too. May not want to invest to
    much in it though.
    
    2. Weaken
    Only good against bosses or things that just hit too hard and your'e not having
    much luck distracting them. I'd put 1 point in it, and save it for those rare
    moments. Not one you'd commonly use unless you were in a bad area.
    
    3. Dim Vision
    The first of the direct distraction curses (DDC). Useually works, but some
    monsters will still continue to attack you. Again i'd say around 6 or 7 points
    but it's up to you if you want to use it.
    
    4. Terror
    This spell saves lives. A DDC curse, but mainly used to save your life. Stacks
    with other curses too, best used with attract or confusion. Invest well or
    don't invest at all, just remember it's great for easing preasure given by
    hoardes.
    
    5. Confuse
    Great when stacked with Iron Maiden or Amplify/Lower Resist. Perhaps less
    reliable than Dim Vision, generally unreliable. Great for Unique monsters,
    watching the minions all turn arround and beat on the Unique is a great laugh,
    especially when you poison a bunch of them. A reasonable DDC but cast another
    curse first, like Amplify, so you can kill any that come to you anyway.
    
    6. Iron Maiden
    This skill works with Blood Golem, dispite what they say, this skill still
    works with Blood Golem. You can effectively deal with any melee attack that
    isn't Physical Immune with this spell and blood golem. One of the curses that
    you may want to ram up to 20, but you can still settle for less. Only works on
    melee fighters, so do something else to the rest, like Dim Vision.
    
    7. Life Tap
    This spell saves lives, but only if you can hit the enemy. Other fighters in
    your company will love this curse. May even be the only thing keeping them
    alive, and rather sadly they may not even know it. Needs again around 6-7
    points to be worthwhile as the radius for it is quite small. Only works with
    physical attacks, not spells or anything.
    
    8. Attract
    Cannot be used on Unique monsters. Best cast on something with lots of health
    and combined with Iron maiden or Amplify/Lower Resist. More reliable than
    confuse and more costly. Don't need to many points in this to make it
    effective, but you may want to shove some in just to get the duration up.
    
    9. Decreprify
    A great curse, but it costs loads to cast and the radius and duration aren't
    too good. Probably have to max this one if you intend to use it instead of
    Amplify. Slows considerably and Lowers Physical resist (but less than Amplify),
    apparently also weakens but again to a less extent than Weaken does. Mainly
    used by Necro's that get involved in dueling or PKing. A good curse but the
    mana cost and ammount of skill points you need can make it to expensive.
    
    10. Lower Resist
    Great for Physical Immunes. Sorcs love it, as does anyone who doesn't use
    Physical attacks primarily. A good one to max, but you may not be able to
    afford to, so just stick around 6 or 7 maybe more. Useful when combined with
    poison too, but you may find a use for this one to rare to put points on. If
    you use Corpse Explosion however, I would recomend this over amplify. As
    recently pointed out, Lower Resist also also amplifies the damage done by
    Elemental effects on weapons and of course, Berserkers, and lets face it,
    Berserkers are great.
    
    ******************************
    2. Poison & Bone Spells
    ******************************
    
    A mixed bunch, but still some useful stuff.
    
    1. Teeth
    Sounds like Keith, which reminds me of Psychic Force, which directs me to
    Setsuna, which then goes to his Dark Knives move, which is more useful than
    this skill. Fairly useless after a point. If you start using this from the
    beggining and shove everything you can into it till you max it, it'll last you
    till about act 3 normal. After it's a bit weak but still viable. If it did
    beter damage it'd probably be his best offensive spell. Sadly it isn't.
    
    2. Bone Armour
    Some people love this skill, I think it's a waste of mana. Only absorbs
    phsyical attacks but only 120 points worth, which is fairly useless later on.
    Better for summoners that just sit back, or anyone that doesn't get too close.
    Too costly early on though, unless you have loads of mana spare. For me this is
    a waste of mana for a meleemancer.
    
    3. Poison Dagger
    Right now, all Poison is a dodgy investment. Poison damage seems to keep
    changing with each patch. It does work as a skill, the AR bonus is great for a
    melee mancer. Daggers are good weapons if you can find one, and a zod rune to
    deal with low durability. If you can get the right equipment then this is a
    good support skill, wouldn't rely on it to do everything though. Like all
    poisons, works best when the target won't be doing anything to attack you, or
    when you can damage them through other means.
    
    4. Corpse Explosion
    Great but costly. Does half Fire damage and half Physical, great for killing PI
    monsters, which is why I prefer to use it with Lower Resist, as Fire Immunes
    can be killed easily with other means. All you need is one corpse and you can
    kill loads others. Points only increase the range, so if it's your main
    offensive then max it, otherwise just put enough to make the mana cost
    manageable. Note that in recent patches this has had the range and therefore
    effectiveness changed so be wary as it's best on closely bunched groups.
    
    5. Bone Wall
    Bone Prison is better, even if this does have more health. If you want one
    earlier though, this is a better choice, but really it's better to use Prison.
    
    6. Bone Spear
    If Teeth fired 20 odd of these, then it would be a great spell, but then you
    could say the same thing for teeth firing Frozen Orb. Good but some still
    prefer Bone Spirit dispite Spears greater distructive power. Upto you as they
    have similar Mana cost, but Bone Spirit has safer boss killing potential.
    
    7. Poison Explosion
    Only ever costs 8 mana, which is great for a meleemancer. Doesn't rely on enemy
    health for damage either, which is good and bad depending on what your'e
    fighting. Again best used with lower resist. Only does one type of damage which
    works against it. Does increase in radius as you put more skill points in it so
    max it if your'e gonna use it, but don't if your'e not.
    
    8. Bone Prison
    If you're gonna use Bone tactics then this is the one to use. Monsters act
    odder to this than bone wall so it's just best to use this, especially as
    your'e gonna cast it less with this, probably. As with Bone Wall, this skill
    increases in health with the skill level.
    
    9. Poison Nova
    Constant Cost as with Poison Explosion. Better damage and it spreads out like
    the other Nova spells. A good offensive spell, one to max if you use it. Will
    only be good for as long as poison is. Note that although it has fairly low
    damage, it's still best used as most poison should be, whilst the enemy is
    distracted.
    
    10. Bone Spirit
    The weapon of choice for many a Necro. Useful fall back spell. Great for taking
    out bosses if you got the mana. Some prefer Spear as this skill doesn't go
    through people, so only one target. Great though for picking of other
    resurecters though. Best to max if you're gonna use it, but if you can't then
    it might not be worth even starting in this.
    
    
    ******************************
    3. Summoning
    ******************************
    
    You might want one of these, or two, maybe three or four, maybe none if your'e
    brave, or good.
    
    1. Skeletons
    Possibly worse than teeth. Useless without heavy Investment in Skeleton
    Mastery. Pretty much useless for a Meleemancer too, might want 1 at the
    begining, unless you really need 1 gold from the starting wand (probably a
    better investment).
    
    2. Skeleton Mastery
    Essential for Mages and Skeletons. Not so important for Revived though. Don't
    need to max if you're gonna use Revived, Mages need it though. Not overly
    useful for most Meleemancers.
    
    3. Clay Golem
    The first Golem you get, unfortunately low on health, damage, defence and
    anything really. Unfortunately Golem Mastery increases health based apon the
    initial value of 100, so unless this is fixed, not much point in using these.
    
    4. Skeleton Mages
    Better than skeletons, but still require a large investment in Mastery to do
    damage, and they don't do too much. Best again with Lower Resist but not really
    that effective later on. If you plan to use revived then you'll need one point,
    which is really enough.
    
    5. Golem Mastery
    Most golem users just max this so they can use any golem they want. Most golems
    aren't used for the Damage, just the Health. The increase in speed is useful
    too.
    
    6. Blood Golem
    Great with Iron Maiden, with that combo you can take on pretty much any Melee
    fighters. My personal fav, but you should be wary of taking damage that it
    takes, possibly even double damage as you can take damage from an attack and
    added damage transfered to you from the golem. Risky but sometimes definately
    worth it.
    
    7. Iron Golem
    Natural thorns plus some great attack potential makes this a recent popular
    choice. Works with Life Tap and if you didn't lose the item you used to make it
    then I would like it better. Upto you if you think you can afford to use it.
    Good though, very good, If you can find the right item constantly.
    
    8. Fire Golem
    Most Health, Good Damage, Fire Aura and Explosion on Death. VERY costly, if you
    max this you probably won't have enough mana to summon it for ages. Good for
    Physical Immunes but so is Corpse Explosion and Bone Spirit. Use at own Mana
    risk.
    
    9. Summon Resist
    I almost thought I'd forgot something, then I remembered this skill. Might want
    to put something in it, just in case it makes a difference. Don't Max it
    though.
    
    10. Revived
    Some love this skill, I always mantain that it is only as good as the Monsters
    you kill. Costly, but if you don't summon too many, often worth it. Alot better
    than Anything the Skeletons can do. A good investment but don't Max it, or
    Mastery.
    
    ******************************
    4. Tactics
    ******************************
    
    In my own experience, A succesful Meleemancer does 3 things:-
    1. Distract the Enemy
    2. Kill The Enemy
    3. Back off effectively
    
    You may not need to Distract the enemy if your'e a very powerful Fighter with
    optimum gear, but that's not most people. You can make a succesful Meleemancer
    without distracting the enemy, but this leads to a very hard time and you'd
    find it easier if you did. So first I'm going to look at the ways you can
    distract the enemy.
    
    ******************************
    4.1 Distraction
    ******************************
    Dim Vision, Confuse, Attract and to an extent Terror are all Direct Distraction
    Curses, or DDCs. That is to say, if you use these curses on monsters they will
    probably not attack you. I say probably not because there is always the chance
    that the curse will not work or that various conditions will lead to the enemy
    still attacking you. If they do suceed to curse a monster, and they usually do,
    then they will ease up the preasure on you.
    
    Bone Wall and Bone Prison will usually result in everything trying to destroy
    these barriers, or in the case of Bone Prison, sometimes even making them stop
    doing everything no matter what you do. They will of course get in your way,
    but that can be avoided using Radius attacks and Bone Spirit, or Bone Spear if
    you don't mind doing minor damage to them. Bone Prison really does mess with
    monster AI as it can lead to them completely ignoring you. Otherwise they'll
    probably just hit the wall till it breaks, unfortunately your minions will be
    doing the same thing, which is bad. Like the 3 main DDCs Bone Wall and Bone
    Prison work by giving monsters a more interesting target.
    
    Any summoned creatures will be targeted by other monsters, They are however
    more useful in the later part of Falling Back. Of course anything that means
    they aren't directing their attacks at you is what you're looking for. So
    Summoned minions do this, but only if you don't get personal with the killing.
    Which kind of defeats the purpose of being a Meleemancer. Of course they can
    help you in the second part, of actually killing monsters.
    
    ******************************
    4.2 Killing
    ******************************
    
    3 ways to kill things, you do it, they do it, or others do it. I'm going to be
    looking at the first two as the last implies not actually doing anything and
    just watching.
    If you intend to do it, then you can either Hit them with a powerful weapon
    till they all die, or you can kill one and use corpse explosion, or poison
    explosion if your'e feeling sadistic or mana conservant.
    
    If you use a DDC, then killing one then using an explosion to kill the rest is
    easy, but remember that they can stack with other curses, so...
    
    1. Amplify/Lower Resist/Iron Maiden
    2. Confuse/Attract/Dim Vision
    3. Kill one
    4. Explode one and kill/badly damage the rest.
    
    If you poison them, or maybe even poison them then explode them, then feel free
    to pick off any Distracted straglres, unaware of how close to death they really
    are.
    
    You can of course skip poison and bone spells altogether and go for them
    killing themsleves, with the use of Iron Maiden or Amplify/Lowerresist. Life
    Tap is not a good curse to use with Confuse or Attract. Simply...
    
    1. Iron Maiden or Amplify/Lower Resist
    2. Confuse/Attract
    3. Watch and laugh, or concentrate on another potential threat.
    
    Iron Maiden works best in this senario, of course you can kill one and explode
    them whilst they continue to kill each other. Using Attract/Confuse and IM
    works great on Unique monsters and if you corpse explode or revive from the
    remains then you'll do well too. This tactic doesn't work against Physical
    Immunes, unless they're using attacks that don't do Physical Damage, but I
    don't think any such circumstance arrises.
    
    Bone Prison or Bone Wall to a lesser extent can work wonders for your'e killing
    abilities. I once took a level 3x necro into act 4 hell and killed Izual
    easily, okay so I had a little help getting to act 4 hell but I could still
    hold my own in most areas. Still, taking advantage of enemy AI when
    encountering Bone Prison is great. Simply use Iron Maiden or other attacks to
    kill some off. Then Use Explosion to kill of the rest or weaken them. Fairly
    simple tactic, but you'll need to cast the Bone spells many times before you
    succesfully contain everything, this can lead to passageways being blocked,
    often more annoying then hoardes of Skeletons.
    
    Whatever you do, you'll probably want to give yourself respectable fighting
    ability, not that you match a Paladin or Barbarian, but so that if the need
    arrises, you can hit things with a weapon. Use whatever you want, just remember
    that you gotta have some way of dealing with a Physical Immune Monster. High
    elemental damage weapon is good. Don't go looking for stuff that helps entirely
    for hitting things, or vice versa, don't get equipment that helps you solely
    cast spells better. Your'e a meleemancer, you can do both effectively. A bow
    can be a good option as then all you need to is focus mainly on Dexterity to
    get damage, only getting strength to a reasonable level so that you can equip
    good enough armour.
    1 handed or two handed, it doesn't matter, as long as you can survive hits, and
    when you hit them you do damage you'll do alright. My first major Meleemancer
    sucked until I got him a powerful two handed weapon. Then later on I got him a
    powerful One handed and a shield to aid in his defence. I'll probably transfer
    to a really powerful 2 handed sometime later, and then a really powerful 1
    handed later still. Again, whatever works for you, and don't be afraid to try
    something different, you are being a meleemancer after all.
    
    ******************************
    5. Others
    ******************************
    Reinhart (Hope i spelt that right, my Internet and gaming P.C's are seperate),
    told me a bit about what he does with his necro (nothing dodgy mind).
    
    Currently using Lower Resist, followed by Poison Nova and using Grim's Burning
    Dead. He's doing alright with that. However his main point is the use of
    Barana's Star (unique elite devils star). Which asside from adding 15 to str
    and dex is pretty nasty on the fire damage front. He also aims to use
    Hormunculus (unique Hierophant trophy). Although i'd use Tiamats rebuke. It
    does put elemental damage to good use.
    
    So some points on using the elemental damage on weapons.
    
    1. It's not effected by your stats which leaves you to focus on other things
    when you've got the req for the weapons.
    2. Lower resist of course helps with many other spells in the P&B group, so
    nothing wrong with using it then.
    3. Be sure to have a mix of elements at your disposal, as many a sorc cried
    when immunities where introduced.
    
    I'll be looking into "Elemental damage on weapons and their relation to
    Necromancy" in more detail and give a list of Items that are good for a
    meleemancer.
    
    Zelphi Says:
    "I've found the runeword malice to be a great weapon when used by characters
    that aren't normally melee specific. Although it is purely a phsyical damage
    weapon, it can of course be used in combination with shields like Tiamat's
    rebuke and skills like Enchant and Poison Dagger. Seeing as this is a faq on
    Necromancers, I think I should point out that a malice dagger would work well
    with Poison Dagger."
    
    Snuffkin Says:
    "Indeed"
    
    So Runewords and appropriate weapons to come. Although no ones actually dissed
    what i've said, which is probably a good thing.
    
    N.B. To those that know who Zelphi is - Yes it is odd to be talking to him
    about Necromancers.
    ******************************
    6. Gear
    ******************************
    This is a list of some of the stuff you should look out for, currently not all
    stats are shown as trying to translate an odd database filled with odd
    references is quite difficult. Most have a reason and a note to ones you might
    want to end up with.
    
    Weapons... (for hitting)
    
    Blackbogs Sharp, Unique Cinquedeas (Exceptional Kris). ***NICE***
    	Slows target by 50%
    	+50 Defence
    	Adds 15-45 Damage
    	30% Faster Attack rate
    	Some poison damage and some other stuff, popular dagger of choice.
    Notes: Slows target is useful and the extra Poison damage is nice. Does alright
    
    Heart Cleaver, Unique Rondel (Exceptional Dirk).
    	Deadly Strike 35%
    	Ignores Target Defence
    	Adds 15-35 Damage
    	190-240% Enhanced Damage
    	Some other skill stuff
    Notes: Deadly strike and good damage. Pump Dex even though it has ITD for more
    damage.
    
    SwordGuard, Unique Executioner Sword (Exceptional Great Sword).
    	Various defence boosting stuff but mostly the -50% requirements. I met one
    Necro that swore by this sword.
    	Said he used Poison Nova and Corpse Explosion for Crowd control. No idea where
    he got the mana from though. He was 	Sweedish, but I could Imagine that he had
    Mana and Life Boosting gear.
    
    Schaefer's Hammer, Unique Legendary Mallet (Elite Mallet?) ***spiffy***
    	50-200 Lightning damage
    	Cast something on hit
    	+Damage and Tohit each level
    	100%-130% enhanced damage
    	+50 hp
    	75% Lit Resist
    Sweedish guy said he was looking for this as well. Since my first Meleemancer
    used a big hammer I can guess that this one would work fine.
    	
    Runeword Malice (IthElEth) ***well i like it***
    	33% Enhanced Damage
    	+9 Max Damage
    	+50 Attack Rating
    	100% Open Wounds
    	-100 defence per hit
    	Prevent monster heal
    	-25% Targets defence
    	-5 Regen(?)
    Very useful for hitting people. Works great in a dagger and poison dagger just
    makes it even easier to hit with. Not so good for a big powerful weapon though.
    
    Butchers Pupil
    Islestrike
    Guardian Naga
    Warlords Trust
    The Minotaur
    Witchwild String (99% Deadly Strike!!! - eventually) ***if your'e that way
    inclined***
    Blackleach Blade
    Athena's Wrath ***seemed alright***
    Husodal Evo
    Grim's Burning Dead. ***pretty good***
    Ribcracker (Because I like it)
    ColdSteel Eye
    Ginther's Rift
    Headstrike (Massive Deadly Strike!!! - even quicker)
    Plague Bearer (Poison Power!)
    Bing Sz Wang (Freeze them to death)
    Todesfaelle Flamme (Nice fire power) ***graham coxon***
    Carin Shard (Not for melee, unless you can handle only doing 16 damage)
    Arm of King Leoric
    Messerschmidts Reaver (Nice Bonuses)
    Hellslayer (Just nice really, high str though)
    Baranar's Star (Elemental damage and Tiamat's!) ***pretty lovely***
    Lightsabre (Lightning and Magic damage, ITD, good for all) ***you know you want
    it***
    Doombringer (Good damage, not to hard req)
    The Grandfather (Might be too high req for what you get)
    Wizardspike (Near immunities to magics) ***jJ72***
    
    
    Helms....
    
    Peasant Hat
    Steal Skull
    Crown of Thieves (High life leech)
    Vampire Gaze
    Veil of Steel (Might work if you can get the str, has 50 res to all)
    
    Armour...
    
    Spirit Shroud
    Skin of the Vipermagi
    Skin of the Flayed One
    Steel Forge
    Duriel's Shell
    Atma's Wail ***Coldplay(not to big a fan but you've probably heard of them by
    now in America)***
    Black Hades (becuase it sounds evil and has 3 sockets) ***magic missile***
    
    Shields...
    
    Tiamat's Rebuke (elemental bonuses, etc) ***ash***
    Gerke's Sanctuary (good damage resistances)
    Radament's Sphere
    Blackoak Shield
    Hormunculus
    
    Boots...
    
    Waterwalk
    Silkweave
    War Traveler
    
    Gauntlets...
    
    Frostburn
    Venom Grip
    
    Belts...
    
    String of ears (does alright for a low level item) ***mark&lard(don't ask if
    you don't know)***
    Glooms Trap
    Thundergods Vigor ***sounds good to boot***
    Nosferatu's Coil
    
    Amulets...
    
    Mahim Oak Curio (Stats are nice)
    Saracen's Chance (Stats and res)
    Mara's Kaleidoscope (Stats, skills and res)
    
    Rings...
    
    Stone of Jordan (Good for mana)
    Ravenfrost (Cold and stuff)
    Bul Kathos Wedding Band (Possibly better than SoJ)
    
    
    ******************************
    7. What's been done?
    ******************************
    
    Weapon and Curse or Lower Resist/Poison Nova - The BasherMancer
    
    Reinhart and Sweedish Guy came up to me with this. Whilst Reinhart uses the
    Elemental damage of his weapon with LR and PN. Sweedish Guy (I forget his name,
    sorry) relies on PN and CE to do his Elemental damage whilst he bashes things
    with Lifetap and his main weapon.
    These are essentially fairly basic builds with the idea being to beat anything
    that gets in your way and using the skills of the Necromancer to boost your
    fighting ability. This is the easiest of builds to build and use, however you
    can get in some difficulty if the right equipment doesn't show up.
    Mana can be an issue but you'll simply have to get some mana boosting gear and
    some mana leech.
    
    Bone Spear/Spirit - The Zappermancer
    
    Okay so not usually a meleemancer but it's not a Summoner type and you can try
    to hit stuff. These basically hit everything with Bone Spirit or Spear. No idea
    if Amp or LR affect the damage done by either but if you're going to hit stuff
    then go for Amp or Lifetap. Lifetap helps with Bloodgolem and a thorns merc.
    This is almost like making a Sorc so it shouldn't be to hard to do, you'll just
    need some more Necro specific gear to use. Try and get +10 to either Bone
    Spirit/Spear from your wand and totem and you'll be fine.
    
    Bows and stuff - The Bowmancer
    
    When the expansion came out, this was the first Necromancer I had that I could
    call truly succesful. A high Elemental damage bow, Bone Spirit, A few skelly
    mages and 2 revived A fire golem and a Might merc. LR helped kill things and I
    found that the bow was doing damage to match Bone Spirit and the mages just
    helped things along. I did raise Fire Golem a bit and this was the first
    character I had to reach Act 5 hell (Chaos Sanctuary was nasty for all my
    chars). Of course Act 5 was easier than Act 4 but this still worked well for
    me. Although not a meleemancer it is still more fighter than anything.
    
    Curses, Curses, Curses - The Curser
    
    Mostly using Curses (surprise) to help others in combat. This is mainly a
    supportative character as Terror is not something you see being cast every day.
    Act 2 Merc power helps but anything that can do fairly well on the killing
    front is good. Used Poison Dagger to hit things but had Terror on them so they
    ran away whilst poisoned and gave some form of protection to the user. LR, Amp,
    Life Tap, Terror and Sometimes Atract and/or Confuse are good choices. I don't
    recomend IM as you might not have anything using it.
    
    A sugestion - The Blood Drinker
    
    This worked wonderfully until they stopped life/mana stealing from skeletons
    and the like. Works though you'll probably want some other weapon to deal with
    anything you can't leach off.
    
    Amulet - Crescent Moon 7% LS
    Rings - Manald Heal*2 6% LS and RL+7
    Belt - Nosferatu's Coil 5%
    	-String of Ears 8%
    Gloves - Venom Grip 5% High Poison resist
    Boots -  Wartraveller +10 Str/Vit 100 def Adds 15-25 damage
    Weapon - Doombringer 6% 2 handed elite and powerful
    	 - Spineripper 8% 1 handed dagger low req
    Shield - Gerke's Sanctuary 20-30% Res RL+15
    	 - Tiamat's Rebuke 25-30% res elemental damage
    	 - Moser's Blessed Circle 25% res 2 sockets
    Armour - Black Hades Looks Cool 3 sockets High Def
    	 - Skin of the Flayed One 6% LS RL+20
    Helm - Veil of Steel (50% res)
    	- Vampire Gaze Looks Cool 7% L/MS 17% Damage Reduction
    	- Crown of thievs 11% LS +25 Dex High Def
    
    As you can see, sugested gear focuses on Life Stealing (LS) and Replenish Life
    (RL). Main skills being Lifetap and Blood Golem. If you bulk up the Blood Golem
    then you'll get him draining loads of health for you and you can get a Prayer
    Merc to keep you health up even more. The only really problem being the low
    resistances you'll have and dealing with things you can't leach from (though RL
    will help somewhat with both). You can easily get over 100% Life Stolen each
    hit, though the distinction between Doombringer and Spineripper is up to choice
    and you may want to go for Spineripper later on as you can get some bonus to
    res from a shield then. Note that if you get the right combination of gear,
    then your character will look as sinister as they are, also giving a list of
    your gear will sound pretty nasty too, except for Moser's blessed circle and
    manald heal.
    ******************************
    -1. Stuff
    ******************************
    
    Legal Stuff. DON'T COPY MY WORK, ALRIGHT. This document is protected by some
    copyright laws, read someone elses FAQ if you want to know which, it's probably
    the same except it's my copyright or whatever.
    
    Contact Stuff. You can contact me at Snuffkin79@Hotmail.com I WILL get back to
    you, providing I can find your E-Mail amongst all the junk mail I get (teens
    doing stuff apparently).
    
    This bit will be updated when I can be bothered to go through all this basic
    stuff
    
    *****************************
    -Pi. Thanks to
    *****************************
    
    Snuffkin, for writing this.
    Reinhart, for his input and giving me ideas again.
    Zelphi, for his input.
    Sweedish Guy (He probably knows who he is) for their input.
    The radio for providing something other than T.V.
    Steve Lamacq(SP?) for giving me something more to listen to.
    Everyone that emailed me.
    Gamefaqs and all involved parties for hosting this Faq.
    I'll come up with more later.
    Yes I'm actually saying thanks.
    
    *****************************
    Final Words
    *****************************
    Why the Meleemancer?
    
    Lets look at the necromancer at a whole. It was designed to be a character that
    summons creatures and supports those creatures with other abilities. Which is
    fine for solo play, why isn't it so good for multiplayer?
    
    The key aspect of multiplayer is the chance to play with others who can
    supliment your weaknesses or assist you generally or that can gain benefits
    from going with you. So what does the Necromancer have to offer other
    characters?
    
    Well from the summonings we can see that it has a number of tanks to soak up
    damage in place of others, how many people want 20 of these things running
    around. Usually getting in the way and adding to lag problems. The biggest
    issue being them getting in the way, especially in crowded areas like the
    Arcane Sanctury/Maggot Lair or the cave sections. Seeing as the only others
    that need something to hide behide are thoughs that can't take the damage
    themselves, such as Sorcs and the odd Zon, these are mostly useless for the
    other classes. Combined with the summons from other Necro's and you've got a
    problem.
    
    So curses, who can't benefit from them? Everyone can benefit from curses.
    There's a curse for every situation, many don't need to be maxed to benefit
    from them. So for the best multiplayer support, curses are key. However, it is
    difficult to kill things with curses alone and you won't beat any of the game
    bosses with curses alone. Also, you may have to be the one taking advantage of
    your curses. Especially early on where your curses won't benefit sorc's that
    much.
    
    Then there's Poison and Bone spells. I don't think any necromancer can have
    problems with Phsyical immunes if they invest correctly in these skills. So
    they can offer powerful magical support with Poison and Bone spels. So again,
    alot to offer here.
    
    So from that you can see that the best way to support others come from P&B
    spells and curses. So a combination of curses and P&B skills would be a good
    combination. Which I am not dismissing.
    
    So where does the Meleemancer come into things? Meleemancers are powerful. They
    may not be able to kill everything with the greatest of ease, but they can sure
    hold there own. Meleemancers also use a variety of curses, which posess great
    ability for protection and enhancing the party. Meleemancers offer everything
    from phsyical powers, magic ability and group support. They can have a golem to
    tank and a merc to help in whatever way.
    
    Concepts and Ideas...
    
    To kill things in Diablo II you have to be able to do 2 things :-
    
    1. Do enough damage to kill them
    2. Be able to hit them
    
    Hitting isn't such a hard thing to acheive. There are numerous modifiers to
    improve your chances to hit and you can get ITD weapons to improve your chances
    even greater, you can even lower their defence each hit making it even easier
    to hit. The only thing to consider is that most fighter classes have 3 ways to
    enhance their Attack Rating. These come from the weapon themselves (through
    enchantment), a passive skill (like sword mastery or fanaticism) and a special
    attack (zeal or fury for example). They can also have outside bonuses like from
    a summoned creature(Heart of the wolverine) or mercenary with blessed aim.
    
    Quick Druid check...
    Werewolf +AR and Damage
    Special Attacks +AR and Damage
    HotW +AR and Damage
    Weapon +AR and Damage
    Merc +AR or Damage
    So that's why Druids where invented, that's ignoring a Fanaticism using Pally
    supporting, giving an extra boost to AR and Damage. Dispite this, Druids still
    seem to be a bit rubish. Anyway...
    
    Necromancers and Sorcs (the non fighter chars) have...
    Weapon +AR and Damage
    Poison Dagger +AR and Damage (Necro's and Daggers only though)
    Enchant +Damage (Sorcs and it's naff)
    So 2 at most though Necro's can use curses to Amplify Damage done and other
    such benificial effects. Sorcs can have some reasonable spell support to help
    them out as well.
    
    To cut it short and get to the point quicker, the non fighter characters don't
    have as many bonuses to their combat statistics as the other classes. Even
    paladins are put down a bit as they have to make a choice between damage and
    defence levels, it's not so much of an issue but it does raise the barbarian
    above other characters in some ways.
    
    *****The Point*****
    When making and playing as any meleemancer, you will need to check the two
    things above, that you can hit monsters regularly enough to make a point and
    that you can do enough damage to get the point across (Generally, I'm going to
    kill you). Remeber that with the expansion you can easily switch from a one
    handed weapon and shield to a big nasty two handed weapon so you don't have to
    rely on one weapon alone, you may want high restance gear on one end and big
    damage stuff on the other hand.
    *****End of THE POINT!!!*****
    
    One more final thing, if you thought the above was to involved or maybe you
    just skipped it, then here's some fun things to try out with Necromancers and
    the like.
    
    The Poison Fetish Soldier...
    One of my favourite from the past right through to the present, although poison
    doesn't stack like it used to so they are a bit weaker. The PFS focuses on
    getting as much poison damage as they can do on their weapon and using that
    along with distraction curses or lower resist, along with Poison Nova and
    Explosion to get the initial attacks or just to take advantage of hiding behind
    others, or when running of course. Again, Tiamat's Rebuke is commonly used to
    bypass poison immunes and other such nasties that don't want to die. You don't
    have to use daggers for poison although Poison Dagger can help with hitting as
    well so it's up to you.
    
    I'm actually a barbarian but you can't tell... (Barb)
    This is based apon my original Wand barb but seeing as you can't get any wands
    with any great amount of power now, or if you can then they're very rare. So
    instead of trying to beat up the Chaos Sanctuary whilst dual weilding wands on
    Hell Difficulty (note that IM wasn't really the problem as with most barbs) you
    can take the initiative as I did and equip a wand in the left hand and a big
    nasty two handed sword in the other. You only then need to use one handed
    attacks like berserk or jump attack, stun, bash or concentrate to do damage
    with the sword rather than the wand. Wear a grim helm with black armour and
    some people will automatically assume your'e a necromancer. Have fun with
    newbies and claim to have a special sword that give you the ability to dual
    weild weapons and you just wanted to have a wand to support you're necromancy
    skills. Later claim that Grim ward is in fact terror as it's cast by
    necromancers.
    Alternatively claim to have done some special act 5/cow level quest that's
    given you the chance to multiclass and you picked the Necromancer because you
    wanted all the curses, get a wand with charges for added effect (lifetap is a
    good choice).
    
    I'm a female necro, honest... (Sorcs)
    Use a wand or dagger, like the good old days when all sorcs ran around with
    Spectral shard or Ume's Lament, except replace it with Wizard spike or Suicide
    Branch (50% faster cast). Use Hydra and claim it's the special version of Flame
    Golem you get. Maybe get a wand with lower resist on it and extra mana. So you
    may not get all the bonuses you get from using orbs (which you can equip but
    the money for the sex change might come through and you don't want to get
    caught out) and you felt like using a shield rather than a totem for the
    defensive bonuses. Try not to use the more offensive spells except maybe
    Galacial Spike and claim it works better than Bone Spirit for you. Remeber the
    grim helm and the black armour for all your pretending to be a Necromancer
    antics.
    
    I am the Unholy and Almighty Anti Paladin... (Pally)
    Do your best to look evil and use skills that effect the enemy rather than
    yourself, skills like conviction, holy freeze (very evil) and holy shock. Or be
    an anti undead and use sanctuary, redemption (stop resurections) and holy bolt
    or FotH. On a side note, my favourite Paladin build being the ones that use
    Smite. There's nothing really more humiliating in PvP than being beaten to
    death in a corner by some lame Paladin with a broken buckler. For those that
    don't know, Smite is unavoidable and stuns with knockback so you can trap
    people against walls with it. Get a Holy Freeze merc and use Holy Shock or
    Conc/Fanaticism to kill them, you can try charging them to get the initial hit
    and beat them into a corner from there.
    
    Fear the almighty Valkerie, more powerful than a hundred skeletons (not
    revived) but probably not as good as a blood golem... (Amazon)
    Use a good bow like Eaglehorn (for damage) and simple skills like Magic Arrow
    (it does work if you're good) and an elemental damage attack like frozen arrow
    or flame arrow. Maybe get a bow that casts curses on hit and use multishot to
    curse pretty much everything that gets in your way (good ones are Amp or
    Terror). Make sure max Valk too, as this is the whole point of the exercise.
    You might be able to settle for decoy though and remember to get Necro looking
    gear for added effect.
    
    Evangilion Ultra God Daimyo Spirit:URA - Grand Legacy Final... (Necro)
    This is basically using teeth till your'e 18, then Bone Spear till your'e 30
    and then blowing everything up with all of those when neccisary. You can get a
    golem for added support but never underestimate the power of lvl 20 teeth, well
    it's nice if you're rushing someone through act 1-2(maybe). Get a holy freeze
    or ice merc for added fun and use gear that raises mana, mana regen and poison
    and bone spells. It is theoretically possible to get a magic wand and head that
    have +3 to teeth and both BS, +2-3 Poison and Bone spells and +2 to all
    Necromancer skills, though it's highlt unlikely. Treat this build like a sorc
    and try to avoid taking damage as you have no Energy shield or teleport to use.