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Minion Necromancer (Diablo II)

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The Minion Necro is a necromancer build that utilizes, primarily, the skeleton, skeleton mage, golem, and revive abilities. After reaching a high level it is quite easy to summon an entire army and have them slaughter demons for you.

Necromancers are slow. Yeah, that was what I thought before I started building them like this. I was wrong, so are you. --Gaby de wilde

For the most part this is a PvE build, but can be fun to PvP. Just make sure you teleport away if you think you're in danger of dying. If you die all your minions die with you, and it can be a pain to raise another army.

Warning: This build is meant for more advanced players. It utilizes items that are very difficult to find in the world. Therefore, having items of value to trade and being a good trader is very necessary.

Update: I just went on D2 and made this build. IMO it is extremely slow at killing monsters (compared to bilzz sorc, hammerdin, etc.) After summoning an army there isn't much to do other than cast amp damage, and the occasional corpse explosion which doesn't give the player a very active role in slaying monsters. That said, I do have friends who extremely enjoy this build so I still encourage people to try it.

This build is the strongest Minion Necro build there is. Your necro will have max resists, a decent block rate, and lots of pets. Assuming you use your mercenary, you and your army will constantly be effected by:

  • Might
  • Fanatacism
  • Thorns
  • Insight

Not impressed? Did I mention you can teleport? When teleporting, all minions are teleported to the exact spot that you click. This indirectly allows you to force your minions to focus fire.

In addition, you can turn into a bear at will. (not practical, but fun) :D

Play style

This character is based mostly around his minions. That means you, the player, are not to be running in monsters faces and taking hits all the time. Think of your pets as your "tanks".

Depressing as it may be, armies do not follow you from one game to the next. Therefore, after entering a new game your first goal should be to begin building your army. Go to an area of your liking and begin killing stuff with your spells, your mercenary and your golem. Use Revive, Raise Skeleton, and Raise Skeleton Mage on every single body that dies until your army is at its maximum force. Now you are set. Teleport wherever you like and begin killing things. Casting amplify damage debuffs enemies and forces them to take sufficiently more damage, making your army much more effective. If your army is at its maximum capacity and there are bodies of demons on the ground, use corpse explosion on them. Corpse explosion does excellent damage and is 50% physical damage so having the curse Amplify Damage on your enemies buffs that spell as well. As your monsters take damage, some of them may die. Remedy the situation by resurrecting more out of the bodies on the ground.

While there is no way to control your minions, using the teleport skill you acquire from Enigma, you can teleport yourself and all your minions onto a single target. This is your best form of "focus fire".

Character Build

Make sure to finish these quests, allowing for increased stats, skills, and resists:

  • Den of Evil, gives a skill in each normal, nightmare, and hell difficulties allowing for 3 extra skills.
  • Radament's Lair, gives a skill in each normal, nightmare, and hell difficulties allowing for 3 extra skills.
  • The Golden Bird, awards 20 health from each normal, nightmare, and hell difficulties, allowing for an extra 60 hp.
  • Lam Esen's Tome, this quest gives 5 stats from each normal, nightmare, and hell difficulties, allowing for an extra 15 stats.
  • Fallen Angel, gives 2 skills in each normal, nightmare, and hell difficulties allowing for 6 extra skills.
  • Prison of Ice, awards 10 resists in each normal, nightmare, and hell difficulties allowing for 30 extra resist.

Stat Distribution

If you have an Annihilus and Torch, you shouldn't even need to put any points into strength to get to the point that you can wear your Breast Plate Enigma. Equipping your Enigma will add a large amount of strength, satisfying other items' strength requirements, etc. If, after Chain Equipping, you still have not satisfied the stat requirements of all your items, allocate points into the proper stat so you can equip your items.

Next, if you think you will be pvp'ing you may want a decent block value to block from melee and ranged attacks. Put points into dexterity until you are satisfied with your blockrate. (As you level up, your blockrate will decrease.)

Done with your strength and dexterity requirements? Dump all the rest of your points into Vitality (Shift + Left Click)

Skill Distribution

Your skills should be allocated so that you have the maximum amount of minions. I found by level 82, I could max Raise Skeleton, Skeleton Mage, Skeleton Mastery, Revive (remember these are your priorities, as well as 1 in amplify damage) as well as 1 point in the entire summoning tree. Even then I had over 30 skills unused so I put points in corpse explosion (very good damage) and many skills in the Poison and Bone tree for fun.

You can access my preferred build by clicking on the link underneath the Necromancer skill tree to the right. (My build considers additional skills from gear, Annihilus, and Hellfire Torch, but does not include any regular Skill Charms.)

Character Gear

With this gear build, you will have +11 all skills, and +15 to curses not counting any additional +skills from an Annihilus, Torch, or skill charms.

This section is set up as follows: Item farthest left is your optimal item for that slot in your character. Any items to the right may be a second choice, or a magic find opt-in.


Harlequin Crest
Harlequin Crest (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 98-141
Minimum Strength: 50
Durability: 12
Level Requirement: 62

+2 To All Skills
+1-148 To Life (+1.5 per Character Level)
+1-148 to Mana (+1.5 per Character Level)
Damage Reduced By 10%
50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+2 To All Attributes

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.09 or later)


Mara's Kaleidoscope
Amulet 1 (Diablo II).gif

Level Requirement: 67

+2 to All Skills
All Resistances +20-30 (varies)
+5 to All Attributes

(Only Spawns in Patch 1.09 or Later)


Exceptional: Hierophant Trophy
Demon Head (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 177-213
% to Block: 72%
Minimum Strength: 58
Durability: 20
Level Requirement: 42

+150-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+5 To Mana After Each Kill
40% Increased Chance of Blocking
30% Faster Block Rate
+2 To Necromancer Skill Levels
+20 To Energy
Regenerate Mana 33%
All Resistances +40
+2 To Curses (Necromancer Only)

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.09 or later)

Elite: Succubus Skull
Gargoyle Head (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 323-367
% to Block: 30%
Minimum Strength: 95
Durability: 20
Level Requirement: 72

+120-150% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+20% Faster Run/Walk
+2-3 To Necromancer Skill Levels (varies)
All Resistances +20-30 (varies)
15% Chance To Cast Level 3 Terror When Struck

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.10 or later)


3 Socket Body Armor
Jah •  Ith •  Ber
Level Requirement: 65

+2 To All Skills
+45% Faster Run/Walk
+1 To Teleport
+750-775 Defense (varies)
(+0.75 Per Character Level) +0-74 To Strength (Based On Character Level)
Increase Maximum Life 5%
Damage Reduced By 8%
+14 Life After Each Kill
15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
(+1 Per Character Level) +1-99% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based On Character Level)

Putting this in a breast plate allows for a very low strength requirement. As Enigma gives almost 70 strength at higher levels, it allows you to satisfy strength requirements of other items without even putting points into strength. This way you can save the majority of your stat points for Vitality.


Trang-Oul's Claws
Heavy Bracers
Trang-Oul's Claws (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 67-74
Minimum Strength: 58
Durability: 16
Level Requirement: 45

20% Faster Cast Rate
Cold Resist +30%
+30 Defense
+25% to Poison Skill Damage
+2 to Curses (Necromancer Only)

Light Gauntlets
Magefist (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 24-25
Minimum Strength: 45
Durability: 18
Level Requirement: 23

+20-30% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+10 Defense
+1 To Fire Skills
20% Faster Cast Rate
Regenerate Mana 25%
Adds 1-6 Fire Damage

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.09 or later)

Chance Guards
Chain Gloves
Chance Guards (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 27-28
Minimum Strength: 25
Durability: 16
Level Requirement: 15

+20-30% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+15 Defense
+25 To Attack Rating
25-40% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (varies)
200% Extra Gold From Monsters
+2 To Light Radius

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.09 or later)


Arachnid Mesh
Spiderweb Sash
Arachnid Mesh (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 119-138
Potion Slots: 16
Minimum Strength: 50
Durability: 12
Level Requirement: 80

+90-120% Enhanced Defense (varies)
Slows Target By 10%
+1 To All Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Increases Maximum Mana 5%
Level 3 Venom (11 Charges)

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.10 or later)

Tal Rasha's Fine-Spun Cloth
Mesh Belt
Tal Rasha's Fine-Spun Cloth (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 35-40
Defense: 95-100
Potion Slots: 16
Minimum Strength: 47
Durability: 16
Level Requirement: 53

Requirements -20%
37% Damage Taken Goes to Mana
+30 to Mana
+20 to Dexterity
10-15% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (varies)

+60 Defense (2 Items)
10% Faster Cast Rate (3 Items)

Heavy Belt
Goldwrap (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 34-36
Potion Slots: 12
Minimum Strength: 45
Durability: 18
Level Requirement: 27

+40-60% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+25 Defense
10% Increased Attack Speed
30% Better Chance Of Getting Magic Items
50-80% Extra Gold From Monsters (varies)
+2 To Light Radius

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.09 or later)

With regards to MF, Goldwrap is the best belt in the game of Diablo II. I still prefer Tal Rasha's belt to it though because Goldwrap only has room for 3 rows of potions.


5 Socket Axes/Scepters/Hammers
Ber •  Tir •  Um •  Mal •  Lum
Level Requirement: 63

Level 9 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped
+40% Increased Attack Speed
+240-270% Enhanced Damage (varies)
20% Chance of Crushing Blow
25% Chance of Open Wounds
+3 to Werebear
+3 to Lycanthropy
Prevent Monster Heal
+25-40 to Strength (varies)
+10 to Energy
+2 to Mana After Each Kill
Level 13 Summon Grizzly (5 Charges)

While many might consider the Beast runeword more of a melee class item, the runeword is incredibly powerful on a minion necromancer. The axe offers fanatacism to all your minions, increasing their damage output substantially. Compared to the next best weapon (arguably the Heart of the Oak), Beast becomes an obvious choice, as one realizes Fanatacism far outweighs the gains of +3 skills, resists, and some faster cast rate.


The Stone of Jordan
Ring 3 (Diablo II).gif

Level Requirement: 29

+1 to All Skills
Increase Maximum Mana 25%
Adds 1-12 Lightning Damage
+20 to Mana

Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band
Ring 2 (Diablo II).gif

Level Requirement: 58

+1 to All Skills
+0-49 to Life (+0.5 per Character Level)
3-5% Life Stolen per Hit (varies)
+50 to Maximum Stamina

(Only Spawns in Patch 1.09 or Later)


Sandstorm Trek
Scarabshell Boots
Heavy Boots (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 158-178
Kick Damage: 60-110
Minimum Strength: 91
Durability: 14
Level Requirement: 64

+140-170% Enhanced Defense (varies)
20% Faster Hit Recovery
20% Faster Run/Walk
+1-99 to Maximum Stamina (+1 per Character Level)
+10-15 To Strength (varies)
+10-15 To Vitality (varies)
50% Slower Stamina Drain
Poison Resist +40-70% (varies)
Repairs 1 Durability Every 20 Seconds

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.10 or Later)

Sharkskin Boots
Heavy Boots (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 112-124
Kick Damage: 28-50
Minimum Strength: 47
Durability: 14
Level Requirement: 32

+180-210% Enhanced Defense (varies)
20% Faster Run/Walk
+100 Defense vs. Missile
+15 to Dexterity
+5% to Maximum Fire Resist
Heal Stamina Plus 50%
+40 to Maximum Stamina
+45-65 to Life (varies)

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.09 or Later)

War Traveler
Battle Boots
Light Plated Boots (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 120-139
Kick Damage: 37-64
Minimum Strength: 95
Durability: 48
Level Requirement: 42

+150-190% Enhanced Defense (varies)
25% Faster Run/Walk
+10 to Vitality
+10 to Strength
Adds 15-25 Damage
40% Slower Stamina Drain
Attacker Takes Damage of 5-10 (varies)
30-50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (varies)

(Only Spawns In Patch 1.09 or Later)

Alternate Weapon/Shield

Call to Arms
5 Socket Weapons
Amn •  Ral •  Mal •  Ist •  Ohm
Level Requirement: 57

+1 to All Skills
+40% Increased Attack Speed
+250-290% Enhanced Damage (varies)
Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
7% Life Stolen Per Hit
+2-6 to Battle Command (varies)
+1-6 to Battle Orders (varies)
+1-4 to Battle Cry (varies)
Prevent Monster Heal
Replenish Life +12
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

4 Socket Shields
Tal •  Thul •  Ort •  Amn
Level Requirement: 25

+2 To All Skills
+25-35% Faster Cast Rate (varies)
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense Vs. Missile
+22 To Vitality
+89-112 To Mana (varies)
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+3-8 Magic Absorb (varies)
Attacker Takes Damage of 14

Call to Arms weapon and Spirit shield, both with low requirements are very useful on your alternate weapon/shield. Battle Orders is incredibly useful even on characters that are soloing. With a minion necro, battle orders can be cast on your entire army, making it that much more useful.

Mercenary Gear

Get an act 2 Might mercenary.

Note: All mercenary items should be ethereal, as items do not take durability damage on mercenaries. This way their armor gives much more defense, and their weapons do much more damage.


4 Socket Body Armor
Ral •  Ohm •  Sur •  Eth
Level Requirement: 61

Level 15-21 Thorns Aura When Equipped (varies)
+50% Faster Hit Recovery
+25-50% to Poison Skill Damage (varies)
+300 Defense
Increase Maximum Mana by 5%
Regenerate Mana 15%
+5% to Maximum Cold Resist
+30% Fire Resist
+100% Poison Resist
+13 Life After Each Kill
Level 13 Spirit of Barbs (33 Charges)

4 Socket Body Armor
Shael •  Um •  Pul •  Lum
Level Requirement: 47

+60% Faster Hit Recovery
+250-290% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+300 Defense Vs. Missile
+16 To Strength
+16 To Vitality
+10 To Energy
All Resistances +15
Level 16 Molten Boulder (80 Charges)
Level 16 Clay Golem (16 Charges)

4 Socket Body Armor
El •  Sol •  Dol •  Lo
Level Requirement: 59

20% Chance To Cast Level 15 Chilling Armor when Struck
+25% Faster Cast Rate
+300% Enhanced Damage
+200% Enhanced Defense
+15 Defense
+X To Life (Based on Character Level)
Replenish Life +7
+5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
All Resistances +25-30 (varies)
Damage Reduced By 7
12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
+1 To Light Radius


4 Socket Polearms/Staves
Ral •  Tir •  Tal •  Sol
Level Requirement: 27

Level 12-17 Meditation Aura When Equipped (varies)
+35% Faster Cast Rate
+200-260% Enhanced Damage (varies)
+9 To Minimum Damage
180-250% Bonus to Attack Rating (varies)
Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
+75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds
+1-6 To Critical Strike (varies)
+5 To All Attributes
+2 To Mana After Each Kill
23% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

The Meditation Aura granted by Insight increases your mana regenaration rate by an enormous rate, which allows you to cast and teleport over long distances without spamming mana potions.

If you feel your mana regeneration is sufficient for the way you play, I suggest you find a weapon that offers a large % chance of Crushing Blow. A crushing blow acts in the same way as the spell Static Field, taking off a large portion of the enemies health, which can be extremely helpful against bosses.


Andariel's Visage
Mask (Diablo II).gif

Defense: 310-387
Minimum Strength: 102
Durability: 20
Level Requirement: 83

+100-150% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+2 To All Skills
20% Increased Attack Speed
8-10% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
+25-30 To Strength (varies)
+10% To Maximum Poison Resist
Fire Resist -30%
Poison Resist +70%
15% Chance To Cast Level 15 Poison Nova When Struck
Level 3 Venom (20 charges)

(Ladder Only)
(Only Spawns In Patch 1.10 or later)