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When the Necromancer DLC came out for Diablo 3, the first thing I did was look up a list of items for the new class. Guess what I didn't find? Jack, diddly, or squat. And I still can't find a page that goes into any kind of detail on the subject, either. Have this thread, that you need not suffer what I did.

Since sets are so central to builds in Diablo 3 these days, this thread will mostly focus on the five Necro-specific sets, with legendaries being listed as options to supplement the massive, massive set bonuses. I'll also suggest various skills to use based on my own experiences when using the sets/legends.

Without further ado...

Grace of Inarius
Inarius's Understanding (Head)
Inarius's Perseverance (Feet)
Inarius's Reticence (Legs)
Inarius's Conviction (Chest)
Inarius's Martyrdom (Shoulders)
Inarius's Will (Hands)
  • (2) Set:
  • Bone Armor damage is increased by 1,000%
    (4) Set:
  • Bone Armor grants an additional 2% damage reduction per enemy hit
    (6) Set:
  • Bone Armor also activates a swirling tornado of bone, damaging nearby enemies for 750% weapon damage and increasing the damage they take from the Necromancer by 2750%.
► Show Spoiler
Say hello to what is by far the most powerful and popular Necromancer set, combining high durability and damage based around only a single skill, which in turn frees up all your other slots for pretty much whatever you want. The only real restriction here is that you have to fight in melee range so you can touch enemies with your swirly bone tornado and get the damage boost, but you're also taking basically no damage so that's hardly a problem. Besides, playing as a melee fighter for what is (ostensibly) a minion-oriented offensive casting class is enough of a novelty that this counts as more of a feature than anything else.

Naturally, you'll want items that boost the effectiveness of Bone Armor or play off it in some other way (speaking of, get the Wisdom of Kalan amulet ASAP), but do keep in mind what the build is trying to accomplish: melee combat. Thus, skills like Blood Rush which let you instantly teleport into fighting range are super useful, as are powerful melee-range skills such as Death Nova or Corpse Explosion with the Close Quarters rune. As such, anything that boosts such skills or your defense would also be useful. There are also passives that give boosts useful to melee, such as Stand Alone granting +100% armor (-10% per summoned minion) or Draw Life increasing your HP regen for each enemy within 20 yards.

It's less obvious, but there's also a subtle theme of curses being useful for the Inarius set. The melee skill Grim Scythe's rune Cursed Scythe affords a 15% chance to apply Decrepify, Leech, or Frailty on hit (if you have a curse skill equipped, all curses will use whatever rune you equipped to it), the Dayntee's Binding belt gives you 50% damage reduction while an enemy has Decrepify on them, and the Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang scythe will boost Cursed Scythe's chance to 100% and also boosts the damage you deal against cursed enemies by [150-200]%. Decrepify also has a bunch of useful runes, including Dizzying Curse which gives the enemy a 10% chance to be stunned when hit, which pairs nicely with the Ancient Parthan Defenders bracers and the Dislocation rune for Bone Armor.

As you can see, there's a lot of flexibility here, and the playstyle is just downright fun. Like all Necro builds however, it has something of a problem with momentum and can fail hard if it dies against a singular, powerful enemy like a Rift Guardian. You do not want to rebuild your Bone Armor one stack at a time, let me tell you. That said, the high defense means this is less of a problem than it is for the other sets since you simply won't die as much.

Trag'Oul's Avatar
Trag'Oul's Claws (Hands)
Trag'Oul's Hide (Legs)
Trag'Oul's Guide (Head)
Trag'Oul's Scales (Chest)
Trag'Oul's Stalwart Greaves (Feet)
Trag'Oul's Heart (Shoulders)
  • (2) Set:
  • Blood Rush gains the effect of every rune.
    (4) Set:
  • While at full Life, your healing from skills is added to your maximum Life for 45 seconds, up to 100% more.
    (6) Set:
  • Your Life-spending abilities deal 3300% increased damage but cost twice as much Life. Your healing from skills is increased by 100%.
► Show Spoiler
The polar opposite to Grace of Inarius, Trag'Oul's Avatar trades survivability for extremely powerful offense, typically at range since you're trading survivability and all. You're restricted to Life-costing skills here (referred to in-game as "Blood skills"), but that's hardly a restriction; nine different skills all have Blood runes, ranging from direct damage projectiles to summons and even a few support buffs (which technically gain no benefit from this set aside from matching the theme), and beyond that the set also boosts healing from HP recovery skills and buffs the everloving **** out of Blood Rush. So, while your options for those skills may be limited, the sheer variety of skills you have access to means the Trag'Oul build is not as limited in its playstyles as the other builds are... provided it stays far away from enemy attacks that is, what with all the HP you'll be spending.

Even then, the only thing preventing you from using Bone Armor and other such defense buffs is that they eat up slots you could be using on other, more awesome Blood skills. I mean, you probably could do a pretty viable melee Trag'Oul by stacking up defense with Bone Armor and abusing the HP steal and max HP boost set bonuses, and maybe a curse or two so you could make use of the thematically appropriate Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang, and from there you'd use the Leech curse to get even more healing, and if you're using Grim Scythe:Cursed Scythe then a few of those curses flying around will be Decrepifys so you might want Dayntee's Binding on to reduce enemy damage by a huge chunk... but Grace of Inarius is so much better at melee that there just isn't a reason to try. I guess the fact Trag'Oul can pull it off at all is a point in the set's favor, though.

For your passives, you'll definitely want to look at Blood for Blood, which removes the health cost of your next Blood spell every time you pick up a health globe (you can keep a stock of 10 freebies max this way), and Life from Death, which gives corpses a 20% chance to drop a health globe when you use them for a skill (side note, make use of this in multiplayer. Other classes have passives centered around health globes, but the Necro is the only one who can outright generate them). Since Necros generate corpses with every kill and you might as well use them for something anyways, it's not a bad idea to run around with Devour, Corpse Lance:Blood Lance, or Revive:Oblation just to get some benefit out of the mess. This, in turn, will net you health globes, which removes the health cost of the next Blood spell you cast, which if it's a corpse skill will net you more health globes, which... Well, you get the idea. And since we're talking about losing health and all, if you're using either of the minion Blood spells (Skeletal Mage:Life Support or Revive:Oblation), then you might also want to consider the passive Grisly Tribute, which heals you for 10% health each time your minions hit an enemy. Which you can then funnel into more Blood spells, ad infinitum. Of course, you'll also want to keep Blood is Power in mind, since Trag'Oul can set it off so quickly just by throwing self-damage around.

The long and short of it is that while Grace of Inarius has flexibility in melee combat, Trag'Oul has versatility in all areas. You can do anything or several things equally well, all at the low, low cost of that runny wet stuff you need to live. Of course, the set also gives you ways to get that back really fast, and much like Inarius this could very well be a feature if you play your cards right.

Bones of Rathma
Rathma's Skeletal Legplates (Legs)
Rathma's Spikes (Shoulders)
Rathma's Ribcage Plate (Chest)
Rathma's Macabre Vambraces (Hands)
Rathma's Ossified Sabatons (Feet)
Rathma's Skull Helm (Head)
  • (2) Set:
  • Your minions have a chance to reduce the cooldown of Army of the Dead by 1 seconds each time they deal damage.
    (4) Set:
  • You gain 1% damage reduction for 15 seconds each time one of your minions deal damage. Max 50 stacks.
    (6) Set:
  • Each active Skeletal Mage increases the damage of your minions and Army of the Dead by 250%.
► Show Spoiler
And here we have the set everyone was expecting the instant they heard the word "Necromancer". Not only does it boost your undead legions by summoning more undead legions, but it also amps the hell out of a spell literally called Army of the Dead. You can't get more Necro than that. Surprisingly, playing this build is a whole lot more involved than minion masters usually are in other games (or even in this game, if we count the Witch Doctor), since not only can the Necromancer actively direct his minions to attack specific targets or use their special abilities, but you also have to focus on keeping your Skeleton Mage numbers up so they can keep buffing your dudes while also keeping an eye out for strategic moments to drop an Army of the Dead. It's a whole lot more fun than it has any right to be, and that's before getting in to all the other skills you could be using if you decided to commit the travesty of not filling every single skill slot with more minions.

However, the Rathma Necromancer is ultimately stronger when focusing on only a single type of minion rather than all minions in general. You'll get more mileage out of only Command Skeletons and Skeletal Mage if you can fill up your other slots with juicy morsels like Frailty:Scent of Blood, Land of the Dead while wearing Bloodsong Mail chest armor with the Ring of Royal Grandeur (or putting it in Kanai's Cube), casting Simulacrum so it can duplicate your Skeletal Mage casts (with the Circle of Nailuj's Evol ring and Blood and Bone rune on the Simulacrum, you can make 6 Skeleton Mages per cast!), and so on. You could focus on your Golem or Revive minions instead, and there are even a few legendary items to do so, but people generally go with Skeletons because the Jesseth Arms set has so much synergy with Rathma's, especially if you plop a Bone Ringer phylactery into the Cube.

The passives are, of course, pretty self explanatory. You'll want Extended Servitude so your all-important Skeletal Mages stick around longer, and Commander of the Risen Dead is worth considering if you're using the Golem or don't have Jesseth to effectively remove the Essence cost of Command Skeletons. Final Service is more useful with this set than it is with the others, since you'll heal for a ton when it goes off and Skeletons respawn so fast. If you're packing enough thorns, you can try out Aberrant Animator which gives your minions double your own thorns value and will help them dispatch enemies faster. Rathma's Shield is always nifty, but it deserves a special mention here since Rathma's set can actually cast Army of the Dead more frequently than every two entire god damned minutes.

In a surprise twist of fate, what everyone expected to be the most boring and one-dimensional set actually turned out to be a very involved and oddly intricate one. Even when you're sitting safely behind a wall of meat- err, bones, you're still very much involved in the fight and need to pay close attention to how the battle is going if you want your minions to do anything resembling good damage. Perhaps the only failing here is that the Jesseth set has maybe just a bit too much synergy with this one, meaning there's less reason to go with Golems or Revives instead of Skeletons. Of course, nothing says you can't use them in addition to Skeletons, but that does cost you more options and will ultimately leave your Skeletons weaker.

Pestilence Master's Shroud
Pestilence Defense (Shoulders)
Pestilence Battle Boots (Feet)
Pestilence Gloves (Hands)
Pestilence Mask (Head)
Pestilence Robe (Chest)
Pestilence Incantations (Legs)
  • (2) Set:
  • Each corpse you consume fires a Corpse Lance at a nearby enemy.
    (4) Set:
  • Each enemy you hit with Bone Spear reduces your damage taken by 2%, up to a maximum of 50%. Lasts 15 seconds.
    (6) Set:
  • Each corpse you consume grants you an empowered Bone Spear charge that increases the damage of your next Bone Spear by 3,000%.
► Show Spoiler
Before we go any further, let me just say one thing: This is not a set for using corpse skills. Don't let the auto-Corpse Lances fool you; Pestilence Master's Shroud does not give a bonus to their damage, ergo they are not for damage. Equip Corpse Lance not to use it, but to give the auto-Lances a Visceral Impact, Brittle Touch, or Shredding Splinters rune, and then never manually cast the spell. You use Devour to give yourself Empowered Bone Spear charges and to refill your Essence to cast Bone Spears, using Devour makes a bunch of Corpse Lances fire off to distribute debuffs everywhere, and then you kill the poor bastards with Bone Spears while they're vulnerable. All clear? Good.

As you might've gathered from the above, Pestilence is a bit of an inverse to the previous sets. Rather than taking one or two skills and giving you ten different things to do with them, Pestilence gives you ten different things to do if you want to kill stuff with one skill. It's all about setting up that Bone Spear killshot. The thing is, you'll need a source of corpses if you want the build to function at all, because otherwise you're either going to run out of Empowered Bone Spear charges at some point or you'll never get them in the first place because you can't kill anything. For that, I strongly recommend Command Golem:Flesh Golem and the Moribund Gauntlets. Once you have a Flesh Golem, Devour, Corpse Lance, and Bone Spear, everything else is purely to make Bone Spear better.

Maltorius' Petrified Spike is mandatory on this build, and a Cube'd Scythe of the Cycle is highly recommended. Both of these boost Bone Spear's damage, and since it's the only spell you have that can do anything resembling damage, you'll want as much as you can get on it. Scythe of the Cycle necessitates Bone Armor, but whether you use Wisdom of Kalan or Haunted Visions depends on whether or not you want Simulacrum. Simulacrum will copy your Bone Spears and can help you kill Elites and Guardians, but a curse with Brigg's Wrath can group enemies so Bone Spear rips through more of them per cast. And with the Decrepify curse, you can use Dayntee's Binding for even more toughness and become virtually impossible to kill. It comes down to killing bosses faster or killing trash mobs more efficiently, really. For your armor Cube slot, I'd suggest either Requiem Cereplate or Golemskin Breeches. The first will make your Devours restore double the Essence (which is handy since Maltorius' Petrified Spike doubles your Bone Spear cost), and the second will make you die even less than you already do (the Golem damage boost isn't even noticeable).

Your choice of passives comes down to whether you want to boost Bone Spear more or if you want to capitalize on corpse consumption mechanics to make Blood Spear a viable option. Bone Prison will make your Spears sometimes trap enemies (which can get entirely out of hand if you're already throwing stuns around with Dislocation, Dizzying Curse, and Visceral Impact), and Serration will make your Spears do more damage at long range. On the flip side, Life from Death will let you generate health globes by using Devour, and Blood for Blood removes the health cost of Blood spells like Blood Spear so you can use it without killing yourself (though it does give you yet another stack to keep track of). Any passive slots you aren't using should go into survivability, such as Stand Alone or Final Service.

And with that, you're basically done. Unlike Inarius, Trag'Oul, or Rathma, Pestilence is not a very versatile set. It can be best described as an Abrams Tank: they all look the same, they're basically indestructible, and they have a big ******* gun.

Jesseth Arms
Jesseth Skullscythe (1-Hand)
Jesseth Skullshield (Off-Hand)
  • (2) Set:
  • When the target of your Command Skeletons dies, your skeletons are automatically commanded to attack a nearby target.
  • While your skeletons are commanded to attack a target, all of your minions deal 400% increased damage.
► Show Spoiler
Like the other classes, the Necromancer has a weapon set it can use that doesn't take up slots its other sets need. Much like the ones other classes have, this set focuses on a single skill and turns it from pretty okay to absolutely badass. In this case that skill is Command Skeletons, which makes Jesseth Arms a favorite pair to Bones of Rathma, especially since Jesseth also boosts the damage of all minions which is Rathma's entire game plan. Trag'Oul builds that use summons can also benefit from Jesseth, though in this case it's being used more as a tool than as a weapon of destruction in its own right.

Naturally you'll want skills and gear that boosts Command Skeletons or summons in general, and most everything mentioned in the Bones of Rathma section will apply here. Special mention goes to Bloodsong Mail since it applies all runes to your Command Skeletons during Land of the Dead, but you can probably ignore the Commander of the Risen Dead passive since Jesseth automatically sets new targets for free (unless you're using a Golem, in which case you'll want to keep it).

And that's it, really. It's a two-piece set that does exactly one thing, so there isn't much to say. I suppose I should mention that the Jesseth Skullshield is a shield and not a phylactery, in case you were dumb like me and spend three days farming phylacteries wondering why it wasn't popping up. Don't judge me, I thought it'd be a class-restricted item like the other classes have. On that note, is it just me or does the Necromancer only have two class-restricted item types when other classes have three?

Bloodtide Blade
  • Death Nova deals [20-30]% increased damage for every enemy within 15 yards.

Self-explanatory. If you're using Death Nova, this makes it awesome. Trag'Oul builds can get a lot out of this with Blood Nova and the Iron Rose phylactery, and Inarius builds can make use of it by virtue of it Death Nova being melee range.

Funerary Pick
  • Siphon Blood drains blood from 2 additional targets.

Each subsequent target links off the previous target, so the end result is a chain rather than just hitting the three things closest to you like you'd think. Naturally, anything that boosts or synergizes with Siphon Blood will love this, such as the Iron Rose.

Maltorius' Petrified Spike
  • Bone Spear now costs 40 Essence and deals [375-45-]% increased damage.

Absolutely required for the Pestilence set, and worth considering on the Trag'Oul set if you intend to use Blood Spear. Not much else to say here, really.

Nayr's Black Death
  • Each different poison skill you use increases the damage of your poison skills by [50-65]% for 15 seconds.

With the max 65% value and six different poison skills, you're looking at a 390% boost at the highest. Not too shabby, especially since every single one of the Necro's offensive skills has at least one poison rune. Needless to say, this is mutually exclusive with Trag'Oul since they'll want the Blood runes instead, and Rathma's will have severe gear slot syndrome with this since they'll normally have all their weapon and Cube slots used up by Jesseth and Bone Ringer. This leaves Inarius, which naturally has Grim Scythe:Cursed Scythe, Corpse Explosion:Close Quarters, and poison versions of Death Nova to go with it.

Reilena's Shadowhook
  • Every point of Maximum Essence increases your damage by 0.5% and Bone Spikes generates [2-5] additional Essence for each enemy hit.

The strongest and most important weapon Necromancers have access to, hands down. Two things to note here: one, the damage buff works off your maximum Essence rather than your current Essense, and two you don't need to use Bone Spikes just to get the effect. The main trick here is that it works with the Overwhelming Essence passive and those otherwise useless secondary item effects that boost your maximum Essence by 20 or so, which gives you a reason to run around with nearly endless amounts of the stuff. You can easily get 150% boosted damage without even trying, and since it applies to all your skills any build can benefit from it. The only time you wouldn't want to consider at least Cubing this is if you really, really need a 200%-300% or more boost to one or two particular skills rather than a 150%-200% boost to all skills, such as with Pestilence or Rathma.

Scythe of the Cycle
  • Your Secondary skills deal [250-300]% additional damage while Bone Armor is active but reduce the remaining duration of Bone Armor by 4 seconds.

Pestilence Master's Shroud with Bone Spear or Grace of Inarius with Death Nova, obviously, though it does mean you'll need to re-cast Bone Armor more often. Of course, any build that uses Bone Spear, Death Nova, or Skeletal Mage can benefit from this too, and since that's virtually all of them and a little bit of extra survivability never hurt anyone... well, you see what I'm getting at. This is right up there with Reilena's Shadowhook for most important Necro weapons, held back only because some sets like Rathma's might have other things to worry about such as boosting their Command Skeletons. Interesting tip, this item is especially useful for the Simulacrum skill, which makes a special minion (or two) that auto-casts any secondary skills you cast. And on that note, it's also useful for Iron Rose which auto-casts Blood Nova, which counts as casting a secondary skill so your Simulacrums will auto-cast it every time you do, which can get downright silly when paired with the Funerary Pick and Trag'Oul's set.

Spear of Jairo
  • Your Thorns is increased by [10-15]% for every enemy afflicted by one of your curses.

A weapon for melee sets like Inarius, but also useful for minion hordes with the Abberant Animator passive if you can spare the room for it. Trag'Oul could probably pull it off, but that's like saying bread could probably pull off holding a sandwich together.

Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang
  • The Cursed Scythe rune for Grim Scythe now has a 100% chance to apply a curse and you deal [150-200]% increased damage to cursed enemies.

Ironically, Trag'Oul is the set least likely to use this, while Inarius will at least Cube it all the freaking time. You might be able to pull off a melee Trag'Oul with Grim Scythe:Cursed Scythe, Bone Armor:Thy Flesh Sustained, Decrepify:Borrowed Time plus Dayntee's Binding, then a healing skill like Devour:Cannibalize with Requiem Cereplate or whatever else you have (maybe even the Leech curse for added flavor), then top it off with a close-range attack skill like Army of the Dead:Dead Storm or Death Nova:Blood Nova for the killing blow. Simulacrum:Cursed Form deserves a mention here, since it makes each of your curses add all three curses and also auto-casts Secondary skills like Blood Nova whenever you do for even more chaos. You'll want Blood Rush for the last slot since it helps you jump into and out of melee and Trag'Oul gives it such a huge buff anyways.

Grasps of Essence
  • When an exploded corpse damages at least one enemy, your Corpse Explosion deals [75-100]% increased damage for 6 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.

Pretty much only corpse-based Trag'Ouls will use this, since no other set gives damage modifiers to corpse skills. You'll naturally want to use this with The Johnstone, which necessitates using Land of the Dead. And when Land of the Dead is on cooldown, you'll want either Skeletal Mage with the Gift of Death rune or Razeth's Volition and a Circle of Nailuj's Evol for double Mages, or you'll want a Command Golem:Flesh Golem with Moribund Gauntlets. You will want Commander of the Risen Dead for the Golem, but you don't want Extended Servitude for the Mages since you actually want them to expire and turn into corpses as quickly as possible. And of course, Revive:Purgatory will let you ferry up to 10 corpses from one fight to the next.

Corpsewhisper Pauldrons
  • Corpse Lance damage is increased by [25-30]% for 3 seconds when you consume a corpse. Max 20 stacks.

I'm just going to copy+paste Grasps of Essence here, m'kay? These two have so much overlap that it makes me wonder why Corpse Explosion and Corpse Lance are separate skills at all.

Pretty much only corpse-based Trag'Ouls will use this, since no other set gives damage modifiers to corpse skills. You'll naturally want to use this with The Johnstone, which necessitates using Land of the Dead. And when Land of the Dead is on cooldown, you'll want either Skeletal Mage with the Gift of Death rune or Razeth's Volition and a Circle of Nailuj's Evol for double Mages, or you'll want a Command Golem:Flesh Golem with Moribund Gauntlets. You will want Commander of the Risen Dead for the Golem, but you don't want Extended Servitude for the Mages since you actually want them to expire and turn into corpses as quickly as possible. And of course, Revive:Purgatory will let you ferry up to 10 corpses from one fight to the next.

Razeth's Volition
  • Skeletal Mage gains the effect of the Gift of Death rune.

Skeletal Mage is one of those supremely useful skills that can benefit almost every build that doesn't use Inarius and the Stand Alone passive. This item gives it even more flexibility and also lets Trag'Oul join in on the corpse bombing fun, since they'd normally be restricted to the Life Support rune.

Requiem Cereplate
  • Devour restores an additional [75-100]% Essence and Life. In addition, when Devour restores Essence or Life above your maximum, the excess is granted over 3 seconds.

If you like Devour, this will make your Devour more Devour-y. Mostly useful for builds that desperately need more Essence and don't want to waste time spamming primary skills, or for builds that need a whole lot of health in one go like Trag'Oul.

Bloodsong Mail
  • While in the Land of the Dead, Command Skeletons gains the effect of all runes and deals 125% additional damage.

Land of the Dead is already 10 seconds of omnipotence, but Bloodsong Mail takes that awesomeness and applies it to Command Skeletons, which already gets really badass with Jesseth Arms and Bone Ringer. And since Jesseth Arms puts Command Skeletons on autopilot, you can spend every one of those seconds spamming Corpse Lance or Corpse Explosion instead of micromanaging your army. Which, naturally, means you can also make use of anything that boosts Corpse Lance or Corpse Explosion, like The Johnstone or Corpsewhisperer Pauldrons. Actually, this is a really good reason why you don't want to fill every slot with summons on a Rathma build.

Note: If you re-activate Command Skeletons during Land of the Dead while wearing this, they'll explode because of the Final Service rune. Which isn't terribly helpful, so be sure to set them on an enemy before using Land of the Dead.

Fate's Vow
  • Army of the Dead gains the effect of the Unconventional Warfare rune.

This Helm buffs the already badass Army of the Dead by giving it more damage output, which goes really well with Rathma already boosting its damage by up to 2,500% and trimming its normally preposterous cooldown. As with all items that add skill runes, you can't double up by equipping the same rune to the skill itself, so try to equip a rune with practical applications like Death Valley or Dead Storm.

Mask of Scarlet Death
  • Revive now consumes all corpses to raise a minion that deals [125-150]% more damage per corpse.

Mostly for Rathma and its minion-centric playstyle, but Trag'Oul might be able to pull off a Blood version if you really want to. You'll need to max your corpse output to use this one, but once you do the results are horrifying. Command Golem + Moribund Gauntlets (maybe the Decay Golem rune to power it up too, or Flesh Golem for instant uber-Revives), Skeletal Mage:Gift of Death, then Mask of Scarlet Death (Cube either this or the gauntlets, depending on which got the better roll). The result will be a somewhat regular stream of enhanced turbo-Revives with an unreasonable amount of damage output. Pity their AI is dumber than a box of rocks, but their sheer strength and the fact that you can still have up to ten (summoned one at a time) goes a long, long way towards helping matters.

Note that each cast of Revive will still only consume up to ten corpses, meaning the highest damage modifer per Revive is 1,500%. Except during Land of the Dead, where it consumes 17 corpses per cast for whatever reason (2,550%).

Haunted Visions
  • Simulacrum now drains 5% of your maximum life every second and lasts twice as long.

If you like Simulacrum and spamming secondary skills like Bone Spear, Death Nova, or Skeletal Mage, go ahead and give this a shot. You'll basically double your damage output (or triple it with the Blood and Bone rune). Simulacrum itself is of course useful with the Iron Rose, and Iron Rose is useful with Trag'Oul and the Siphon Blood skill.

The Johnstone
  • Each corpse consumed in the Land of the Dead grants a stack of Macabre Knowledge. Macabre Knowledge increases the damage of Corpse Lance and Corpse Explosion by [150-200]% while outside Land of the Dead.

Strictly for corpse-based Trag'Oul builds. Pair it with Corpsewhisper Pauldrons and/or Grasps of Essence for maximum effect.

Wisdom of Kalan
  • Increases the maximum stacks of Bone Armor by 5.

Obviously, this one goes on builds using Inarius. In fact, if you have Inarius but not this, you're doing something terribly wrong. Beyond that, anything that pairs well with Bone Armor will also go well with this, such as Scythe of the Cycle, and SotC itself boosts secondary skills, and if you wanted to use Simulacrum and Cube a Haunted Visions for even more secondary skill spam you could do that, too.

Bone Ringer
  • The damage bonus of Command Skeletons increases by [25-30]% per second they spend attacking the same target.

Part and parcel with the Jesseth Arms set, though you could probably leave it out on something like Trag'Oul that doesn't care too much about its Skeleton damage. In fact, Bone Ringer is only useful in cases where the damage of your Command Skeletons is a major part of your build strategy, and only Rathma with Jesseth Arms cares about that. Since it's specifically for Command Skeletons, anything that works with the skill such as Bloodsong Mail will also be helpful here. And Bloodsong Mail opens up Land of the Dead shenanigans, if you want those as well.

Iron Rose
  • Attacking with Siphon Blood has a [40-50]% chance to cast a free Blood Nova.

You might've seen me mentioning this item several times in this thread. That isn't because it's especially powerful or anything (it kind of isn't), it's because the thing just has so much synergy with so many other items. Tying the trigger to Siphon Blood means Funerary Pick can get in on the action, Blood Nova being a secondary skill means Scythe of the Cycle, Bone Armor, Simulacrum, and Haunted Visions can join in, Blood Nova being a Blood spell means Trag'Oul gets to have fun too while Bone Armor means Inarius is maybe thinking about getting some, and at that point it's just a full-on orgy and everyone's invited. Heck, the only things that don't get an invite are Pestilence and its corpse skills or Rathma and its minion army, and I suspect the reason Rathma didn't show up is because they're already throwing a party with Bone Ringer.

Word of warning: For some inexplicable reason (probably a bug), Trag'Oul's damage buff to Blood skills will only apply if you have the Death Nova:Blood Nova skill equipped to your skill bar. If you don't have it on your skill bar, then it doesn't get the 3,300% damage bonus and its damage will be pretty much nil.

Leger's Disdain
  • Grim Scythe deals an additional [7-10]% damage for each point of essence it restores.

You'd think this item would bear mentioning along with Grace of Inarius or at least Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang, but the sad truth is that, while it is pretty okay, there are just other, better things you could be using. Such as, to use a random example, Reilena's Shadowhook. If you have the room for it then by all means, but odds are you probably won't.

Brigg's Wrath
  • Uncursed enemies are pulled to the target location when a curse is applied to them.

Like the Ess of Johan, but more useful. I'd say this goes well with curses, but it'd be more accurate to say curses go well with everything so you could use this ring on any conceivable Necromancer build if you wanted. Darn good way to group enemies for a quick Bone Spearing, if nothing else.

Circle of Nailuj's Evol
  • You new raise an additional Skeletal Mage with each cast and they last an additional [2-4] seconds.

Absolutely necessary for Bones of Rathma, and highly useful for Trag'Oul summoner builds that want to pretend they're Rathmas. Skeletal Mage is a solid and reliable skill already, and this ring makes it even more so.

Krysbin's Sentence
  • You deal [75-100]% increased damage against slowed enemies or triple this bonus against enemies afflicted by any other type of control-impairing effect.

The Necromancer's answer to the Witch Doctor's Ring of Emptiness. I'm not 100% sure, but I think the triple bonus might require you to have slow AND another control debuff, not just the other debuff. But anyways, effects like stun or freeze count, and the Necro has lots of ways to apply those. The Decrepify:Dizzying Curse skill is also useful since it both slows and opens up a chance for stun, and Land of the Dead:Frozen Lands or Command Skeletons:Freezing Grasp can get some use since they cause freezing.

Bryner's Journey
  • Attacking with Bone Spikes has a 30% chance to cast a Bone Nova at the target location.

Pretty much as stated, you get a Death Nova with the Bone Nova rune wherever you're aiming Bone Spikes. This doesn't help much with Trag'Oul since it isn't the Blood Nova, but if you have a Simulacrum or two out they'll auto-cast your equipped Death Nova every time the Bone Nova goes off (if you don't have Death Nova equipped, they'll just cast a basic runeless Death Nova). Unfortunately, since you can't cast Bone Spikes and Siphon Blood at the same time, you won't be able to combine this and Iron Rose. It's one or the other, and frankly Iron Rose is usually the better choice since it can at least work off a set bonus.

Steuart's Greaves
  • You gain 50% increased movement speed for 2 seconds after using Blood Rush.

Self-explanatory. Use Blood Rush, move faster. Trag'Oul might get some use out of this if it didn't have so many other things vying for that Ring of Royal Grandeur slot.

Golemskin Breeches
  • Your Golem's damage is increased by [100-125]% and you take 30% less damage while it is alive.

Have Golem, will travel. Pestilence might appreciate Cubing this one for the added defense when using Flesh Golem (though you'd have to give up either Moribund Gauntlets or Requiem Cereplate), but it takes Rathma to really abuse it and push the Golem's damage through the roof. Sadly, Golems do not have much synergy beyond corpse skills, so more likely than not you'll end up using this with Pestilence or Trag'oul and saving Rathma for the Skeletons.

Defiler Cuisses
  • Your Bone Spirit's damage is increased by 100% for every second it's active.

Bone Spirit is one of those skills that you'd think would be a whole lot more useful than it really is, until you remember that the only class set it gets a bonus from is Trag'Oul with the Possession rune. And when you do that, things tend to die instead of get possessed. Still, given the limited number of casts, anything that makes it stronger goes a long way towards making it more useful, and it's at least novel on a Trag'Oul corpse build.

Dayntee's Binding
  • You gain an additional [40-50%] damage reduction when there is an enemy afflicted by your Decrepify.

Decrepify already makes enemies deal less damage, and this makes them deal even less than that. A great way to stay alive against hordes, and a major part of Inarius's godlike tankiness when combined with Grim Scythe:Cursed Scythe and Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang. In other words, this belt makes you the opposite of dainty. Anything using Grim Scythe or Decrepify can benefit from this though, and the fact that it's the only Necro-centric belt makes it a no-brainer.
Last edited by TSMP on Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:41 am, edited 11 times in total.
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By Lich180
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Well now I need to find some cash to drop for the expansion.

This sounds awesome, thanks for the hard work putting this together!
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By Emergence
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Is this what you were writing for the blog too? Is this ready for blogifying? Just PM me or @ me to let me know and I'll get started on it.
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By Emergence
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So what are the missing items? The piece i started working on for the blog was before you made these editions.
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Emergence wrote:So what are the missing items? The piece i started working on for the blog was before you made these editions.
As far as I'm aware, I now own and have experimented with every Necromancer item in the game. I'd call the thread complete, barring later edits when I find new combinations or tactics.
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Hey, remember how I said the Pestilence Master's Shroud set was just absolutely awful and unplayable and stuff? Well it's still not that great, so don't worry. But I've finally figured the thing out, and I now have a fully functional build for it that runs like oiled clockwork and is freakishly tanky. Which means I need to completely re-write the section for it, because apparently I was going about it all wrong before.

Long story short: IGNORE CORPSE SKILLS. THIS IS NOT A SET FOR CORPSE SKILLS. Trag'Oul is a set for corpse skills. Lose the Land of the Dead + The Johnstone entirely, Strip off those Corpsewhisper Pauldrons and forget all about Revive or Corpse Explosion or even Corpse Lance. Instead, you just have Flesh Golem + Moribund Gauntlets, Devour + Requiem Cereplate, and then everything else goes into Bone Spear. The Golem makes corpses, Devour munches corpses to give you charges for your spears and also refills your Essence for more spears, and then you kill things with spears. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to somehow turn this into 3-4 paragraphs.

Edit: wow, ended up having to change a whole lot more than just that one section. Lots of legendary descriptions needed to be scrubbed, too. Worth it in the end though, because removing that massive wall of WTF from Pestilence's section and turning it into something more serious and helpful does wonders for the thread's professionalism, methinks.
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Fun fact: activating Decay Golem's corpse-eating skill counts as consuming corpses for the purposes of Pestilence's auto-Lances and Empowered Bone Spear counter. And Moribund Gauntlets gives it its own reservoir of corpses to munch from. Pretty nifty, though kinda pointless since Pestilence doesn't really benefit from the damage and would rather use Devour anyways.

I gotta try this on Rathma, see if a self-fueled Decay Golem plus Cubed Golemskin Breeches is as crazy strong as I'm thinking it might be. And on that note, I'm now wondering if Skeletal Mage with Gift of Death rune and a Flesh Golem with Moribund Gauntlets would be enough to make the Mask of Scarlet Death practical?

Oh, also! It turns out the maximum number of corpses on screen is 15, not 17. Land of the Dead's infinite corpse effect lets Revive+Mask of Scarlet Death top out at 17, but outside Land of the Dead you can only have up to 15 corpses. So, Revive+MoSD would normally top out at 2,250% extra damage instead of 2,550% in LotD. Add that on to both Rathma's and Jesseth Arm's damage modifiers to minions... yikes.

Edit: After putting the theory to practice, it looks like Revive+MoSD doesn't use more than 10 corpses at a time outside LoTD, so the normal modifier is only 1,500% maximum. "Only". Still crazy high, and with both Gift of Death Skeletal Mages and a Golem with Moribund Gauntlets, that isn't terribly hard to pull off. I mean, you don't really need maximum corpses every time for that matter, it's still a boost even if it's only two or three...

Dammit, now I need to edit this again.