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Diablo Wiki
Revive and Skeleton combo
Warped Shaman (Diablo II).gif
Game Diablo II
Class Necromancer
Primary Attack Revived minions and Mercenary
Can Solo Hell? Yes
Creator MrFreel


This build uses a mix of skeletal minions and revives in combat versus focussing solely on skeletal warriors or mages. I know it is not the most original build, but i couldn't find another build with the same point distribution that I use. I am a novice at wikitext, so do not be too harsh of my technical work. I do not focuss as much on equipment and mercenary types as I felt they did not matter at the time that I beat the game. I will warn you, the character can be aggravating in areas like the Arcane Sanctuary or Maggot Lair, but is more realible and steady than any other character I have ever attempted. This character is not only viable as a solo character in hell, but has the ability to work great in teams. I find that he is a perfect match for a sorceress or an amazon, to essentially cover them while they stand back and shoot, though to be honest, a max skeleton mage and max skeleton warrior build works just about as well in multiplayer co-op, just not well in single player in my opinion.

Stat distribution

1. Strength: I recommend putting points here as you feel comfortable, i usually do 1 point every couple levels, but its your choice.

2. Dexterity: None.

3. Vitality: Almost all, as long as you are comfortable with the quality of your armor being a bit low

4. Energy: i didn't put any points here personally, but a couple certainly won't hurt.


This build utilizes all 3 skill trees, while only maxing 2 skills, giving you flexibility to put points into other skills as you go. You will finish up this build at about 75-80 points, depending on how many points you may put in skills i didn't give clear numbers on, leaving you wiggle room to kinda do what you want afterwards. An important thing to remember is that because I recommend using gear that gives benefits to necromancer skill levels, you don't actually need to place all these points here yourself, the only thing I recommend is maxing the skills I recommend to regardless if your gear gives you benefits. If you don't have gear that gives you the bonus to skill levels, then go ahead and place the points yourself as I recommend.

Summoning skills

1. Raise Skeleton: max, main offensive force in normal and good defense in hell and nightmare

2. Skeleton Mastery: max, gives bonuses to skeletons, revives, and golem.

3. Raise Skeletal Mage: 1-2 points, they don't deal incredible damage, but are good backup in case some of your minions die. What their main usefulness is lies in the poison mage.Poison damage prevents monsters from healing, wihich is incredibly useful on monsters that have fast health regeneration, such as Uber Diablo. I personally learned how important these guys are when I first tried to beat Lister the Tormetnor, who for some reason has to ability to regenerate health at an astounding rate despite being a super-unique.

4. Clay Golem: Great summonable tank to help your mercenary gather minions for you, slows enemies, and is incredibly tough, i'd say point one point in him and then wait until he dies regularly to put more points in him, I ended up with about 8 points in him by the time i beat Baal in hell.

5. Golem Mastery: 1 point, gives good benefits to golem, no reason not to put a point here, also prerequisite to summon resist

6. Summon Resist: 8 points, gives passive resistances to summoned creatures, but the returns get down to 1 percent after 8 points, so don't max it unless you have points to spare.

7. Revive: All-right, here's where it gets a little complicated. Hold off putting points into this into you get into Act 1 Hell, where you will hit a damage wall with your skeletons, and will need some backup in battle, otherwise, even fighting carters and fallen will become a massive chore. These guys in Hell get the immunities the are spawned with upon being revived, in combination with the benefits of skeletal mastery, and summon resist (300% life and 200% damage) . I personally recomend having about 12 points in this instead of maxing it, as they will disapear before you get the oppurtunity to raise more. These guys basically make you impirically superior to the monsters you are fighting, as they are statistically better if they are of the same type.

8. I didn't decide to give these their own line, but Blood Golem and Fire Golem are prequisites to revive, so only one point in both.

Poison and Bone skills

1. Corpse Explosion: Possibly one of the best skills in the game, great for crowd control, and dispatching of stone skin or other tough monsters. Start out with only 1 point, then place points if you want to make it more effective.

2. Teeth: prerequisite


1. Amplify Damage: 1 point, good in the early parts of the game, cheap and easy to use with long duration and low mana cost. prerequisite to all curses

2. Weaken: 1 point, prerequisite, not very useful, but good on occasion

3. Terror: 1 point, great curse, monsters run away, allows you to limit amount of monsters you want to fight at a time, and gets annoying monsters of your back ( like leapers).

4. Decrepify: 3-4 points, slows, weakens, and does amplify damage. Higher mana cost and shorter duration than amplify, so multiple points are recommended. The slowing effect in combination with clay golem and any cold damage your minions might do greatly slows bosses, and limits the offensive capability of your enemies.

5. Attract : optional, makes monsters attack one particular monster, so is useful in taking down tougher enemies, can also be stacked with other curses, only invest 1 point if you use it though.

Gameplay Strategy

You can relax in normal, as enemies are not going to really going to kill you instantly. Once you reach nightmare, then hell, try this basic battlefield strategy. 1. gather skeletons in act 1, blood moor, revives too if you have the mana to get new ones in the harder areas. 2. when you enter the area you currently are "working on" nudge your guys ahead slowly until they come across a group of enemies, then rapidly fall back and let them approach the hostiles. 3. stay far back, avoid cold enchanted, curse all enemies with decrepify or terror if need be, and corpse explode. Raise minions when necessary. 4. repeat

What is key in being able to play this character well is a great deal of patience. You may be sitting around, waiting for minutes until your guys manage to get of a SINGLE kill, trust me, its annoying. You will need to be able to take a back seat and wait it out until you can get your foot in the door sometimes. It literally took me about 20 min. to kill hell Baal, but I didn't lose a single guy in the process, proving to me that this is a very steady and reliable character, versus a fast paced powerhouse.

Who to revive?

Pick guys to revive who in your mind, are the biggest pains in the bum, do the most damage, and have the most health. These guys can come in handy if they do elemental or special damage, as they will deal with guys who have physical immunity. Try to avoid raising monsters who curse, as they will override your current curse. An interesting thing to keep in mind regarding monsters is that not only do most have immunities by hell, but also have good resistances, for example Balrogs have 50 cold resistance, fire immunity, 75 lightning resistance, 50 physical, and 75 poison resistance. Now, with a handful of points in summon resist, they will be practically immune to all elemental damage, will have 200% extra damage, and 300% extra life with max skeletal mastery. Certain monsters work better against each other than others, based on damage type, immunities, and health. When you are in an area, try to observe the variety of monsters around you, and begin to strategize as to who you will need to revive, in order to deal with particular monsters. For example, an area like the Worldstone Keep has not only a large concentration of tough monsters, but also an incredible variety of types. There are melee fighters like Death Lords and Undead Soul Killers, mixed in with a variety of ranged monsters, such as Vile Witchs and Burning Souls. You will need to pay attention to what immunities certain monsters have, and also what type of damage they do. For example, raising a Poison mage (monster, not the skeletal mage summon) will be useless in a battle against Reanimated Hordes, as they are poison immune. Also, having only melee fighters in your arsenal will make you limited in terms of your ability to be flexible in battle, so try to have a good solid mix of tough tank melees, in combination with casters or archers. There is something you need to keep in mind though, you sometimes do not get the luxury of picking and choosing the types of revives you want, and will most likely usually have to deal with just whats in front of you, though, if you have a wide selection, you should make good use of it.

My personal preferences are megademons,120px-Balrog (Diablo II).gif council membersCouncil Member (Diablo II).gif maulersMauler (Diablo II).gif , and undead stygian dolls Undead Stygian Doll (Diablo II).gif

NOTE: This is merely meant to show what I would most love to have in combat on a stylistic and personal level, I am not saying that you need to get these guys before you go into battle, I am merely showing you who I would have in my arsenal if I had the ability to choose.

Tip- when about to face a boss, open a portal, and go get a full crew of revives and skeletons to help out, even better, try to figure out what type of damage the boss does, and find someone with an immunity to it (example: Diablo does massive fire damage, so raise fire immunes to deal with him).


Get the act 2 mercenary, as his auras can benefit your minions from a defensive, or offensive standpoint.

To tell the truth, the mercenary you use is your choice. The only ones to avoid are the Blessed Aim aura, and the Thorns aura. Skeletons don't really rely on attack rating very much, and thorns just doesn't seem to be effective for me.I use the Might aura mercenary for the extra damage, but again, your preference really.


To be frank, I don't really think it matters to much, and is why I love this build. I literally gave my belt, all my good rings, charms, and gloves to other characters because I was never actually getting hit by enemies with physical damage, only elemental.

Try to get equipment that gives you benefits to necromancer skill levels such as

unique wands like..

Bone Wand
Gravespine (Diablo II).gif

1H Damage: 3 to 7
Range: 1
Attack Speed: [-20]
Minimum Strength: -
Minimum Dexterity: -
Durability: 15
Level Requirement: 20

+50% Damage to Undead
+2 to Necromancer Skill Levels
Adds 4-8 Cold Damage - 3 Second Duration
5% Mana Stolen per Hit
+25-50 to Mana (varies)
+10 to Dexterity
+10 to Strength

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.09 or later)

Or my personal helm,

Undead Crown
Undead Crown (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 99-113
Minimum Strength: 55
Durability: 50
Level Requirement: 29

+30-60% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+40 Defense
+50% Damage to Undead
+50-100 Attack Rating Against Undead (varies)
Half Freeze Duration
5% Life Stolen per Hit
Poison Resist +50%
+3 to Skeleton Mastery (Necromancer Only)

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.09 or Later)

As you are not a tank, you don't particularly need great armor, so give all the good stuff to your mercenary. Your mercenary should have a decent weapon, such as a Hyperion Spear or War Pike by hell, but he is not the only one doing damage, so keep that in mind.

I always personally carry at least 20 scrolls of town portal on my at any given time, to reorganize my troops in case they lag behind, this is espcecially important for revives, who will disapeer if they lag of the screen. The Enigma runeword is also useful, but I would choose to give that to another character; just my personal preference.

The only thing really recommend focussing on is lightning resistance, as it passes through minions, so put Ort Runes in your armor, or a perfect Topaz in your shield.