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After playing Lich, Bladedancer and Marksman... Necromancer feels very underwhelming

I used to be a devout Necro main. In fact, it was the first build I played that made it to echoes in SSFHC. I had loads of fun back with her until she received a hard nerf in 0.8.4 (or 0.8.3?).

Recently I’ve been playing WS Poison Lich, UB Poison Bladedancer and HoA Marksman (leveled with Poison/Bleed UB + Puncture). HoA Marksman was also my first and only build to make it to Empowered in the year or so I’ve been playing.

These builds melted everything they touched and had great survivability, even when I goofed around building it my way.

After wiping everything, I decided to try out my dear Necro again. I’m leveling her like how I used to with no problem, but now it feels like the skellies and wraiths are wielding teddy bears instead of swords and bows and magic. They deal virtually no damage and die so fast that I instantly run out of mana trying to resummon then. And so begins 5 minutes of running circles around a pack of 10 enemies summoning skellies and wraiths that do one weak attack and die instantly.

It doesn’t feel fun to play at all and I cried myself to sleep last night because of it.

Maybe there’s a better way I could level them. Idk there probably is and it’s naïve to think that I can level them how I used to when I know they were hard nerfed.

I suppose this is a bit of a rant, but I also want some help because idk what I am doing so wrong that I have an army of gummi bears, as cute and delicious as that sounds.

Thanks :slight_smile:

EDIT: This comment by TolleWurst changed everything.


I fell in love with pet builds way back in the city of villains days and have been a die hard fan of them ever since. Having said that and played with a lot of different minion builds here its a rough road.

These are broad generalizations but also my view. Horde style is hard to do, it is why abomination outperforms, it is why manifest armor puts in the work, it also requires specific gear often fairly high rolled at that, often with LP.

There is an outlier I can give props to though it does not play like a standard pet build.

Fire Wraith A
Fire Wraith B

Aside from that if you are really after the horde style you will likely want to consider Squirrel Beastmaster.


Here are my experiences with Necromancer in Last Epoch:

  1. Skellies are either used to clear trash (Bow Skellies) or to tank (Warriors with Bone Armor) or just to sacrifice. They are good to stack armor shred. They might work if you focus on bleed really hard, but I kind of doubt it. Also, they can be used to sacrifice. I feel like in this game, normal Skellies are not meant to be a main damage source (apart from clearing trash and the occasional rare). Don’t know much about the Rogue Skellies but I heard their AI is kinda dumb.

  2. Mages are pretty good. They can actually deal good damage even against bosses. They can be pretty tanky (good leech nodes). Normal ones kinda suck imo, Fire and Ice are best. Death Knights are okay-ish but I prefer the elemental versions.

  3. Wraiths can be very, very good. Actually my Flame Wraith Necromancer is my favourite char right now (it used to be a different char pre 0.8.5 but now it’s this one :wink: ). Melee Wraiths can be playable, but I prefer Flame Wraiths. The Putrid Wraiths are nice too but have like 0 frontloaded damage. Don’t bother with Blood Wraiths… just don’t… :cry: You don’t have to go through the same pain as I am lol

  4. Abomination is the big boy! That thing is stupidly strong and I love it! I know it doesn’t feel like the “traditional” Necromancer but give it a try. :slight_smile: I used the node that made it not decay. This version is not as strong as the other ones but still very strong! The only thing that is (pretty) annoying is the fact that if you want the full potential of the Abomination you have to snapshot. Of course it’s still very playable without it.

  5. Zombies are fun. The Necrobomber build was fixed but they still can be usefull. In my Flame Wraith build I use them pretty much only as culler (with the pull of the grave node) and as healing (with the necromantic fervor node). In my Putrid Wraith build I use them to stack more poisons and specced into the repulsive vomit node. I feel like maybe some ignite shenanigans might still work? Don’t know if they are still somewhat useable as a ward generator after the Necrobomber fix…

  6. Don’t know a lot about golems. There used to be a strong Golem build with the Bone Nova + Marrow Shard interaction. This build is probably still viable and pretty strong.

If you don’t want your Skellies (or minions in general) to die so fast, give them increased health (obviously lol) but also minion HP regen. In my opinion one of the best stats for minions! It’s such a quality of life for you and your minions. It really makes a big difference, especially during the campaign! Try to get like T5 or T6 (can be split, for example T3 on helmet and T2 on belt) paired with some %increased minion health and you’ll be surprised how tanky those little stinkers can be! :wink:

Edit: Oh and don’t even think about playing any Necromancer without Dread Shade!!!

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Unfortunately, mine do neither :sob:

I’ve done the Health, but I’ll check out the Regen options!!! Sounds cool. Thx

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Don’t quote me on that but I think that Skellies have really trash base damage.
Getting passives that boost their base damage (+X flat Phys/Necrotic/whatever) can really elevate their damage to at least acceptable numbers. :wink:

Let me know how that goes because I’ve had only positive experiences with that affix.
Worth more than anything during the campaign and still retains its use in the endgame.

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I love the Necromancer, but I feel she totally falls off when reaching empowered timelines.
She is fragile, extremely fragile. So that’s why I’m trying to level a solid Necromancer. A woman that won’t insta die when monsters say “Booh”.
Here she is, in the campaign, just after rescuing Aldric and killing Harton:

And this one is not fragile. She can generate hundreds on ward, that I expect to become thousands when she gets more life.
The wraiths are destroying everything, the spirits protect her, and I have a golem who does its part.

But I really would like a review of the mastery, with more options to protect the lady, with of course as a counterpart less power or protection for the summons.


Okay wtf Minion Health Regen changed EVERYTHING. Almost makes this post pointless now :joy:

So crazy that one simple changed fixed my entire setup.


Glad to hear that. :wink:
But don’t overestimate the minion hp regeneration.
I know I kind of hyped it up and it is really strong in the campaign, but in the endgame it’s more of a “nice to have” thing.
Once your minions are tanky enough by themselves you can try and drop minion hp regeneration because they will be fine just by leeching health back.
Anyway, I never play a minion build without at least one minion hp regeneration item during the campaign.
My babies are weak and I need to protect them. :wink:
Once they are grown up we can remove the “bubble wrap” that protects them.


And she is, right after the campaign. She used what I have in the stash, so it’s definitely not a solo hero.

Wandering Spirits are a great ward generator when coupled with the unique relic released recently. Without it, I found it too weak to be interesting. So it’s main use would be to shred necrotic resistance, but my minions deal fire damage. So I removed the spirits. For my ward generation, I went with Volatile Zombies and Dread Shade, but it’s far less useful than the Spirits and the relic. I stopped using the relic when I switched to a shield, because I wanted a tanky hero.
I still don’t know how to build a tanky Necromancer. I have levelled many, I still have three in empowered timelines, but they are unable to play: they are too fragile. I’m really very disappointed and very sad, I love this mastery and I’d like to play it more.

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I very much agree. She really needs some love from EHG.

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I’m not sure what your character is supposed to do.
It looks like a mix between the Necrobomber (which got fixed) and a Flame Wraith Necro.
You invest into ward generation and ward retention while also investing into life and armor (and endurance for some reason). It just feels like you’re trying to play 3 different builds at once.

I personally play two Wraith Necros and both are Life versions.
Ward versions are probably playable, but don’t expect them to be broken like the old Necrobomber because that build was pretty much immortal.

First things first:

  1. Why are you using Wing Guards?

  2. Why are you using a magic ring with only 1 affix?

  3. Why are you using Death Rattle?

  4. Are your Zombies your main damage source or your Wraiths?

  5. Looking at your passives you are only now starting to get to the point where your (minions) damage is going to increase, but it will increase A LOT in the next ~30 levels!

  6. What are you having trouble with? Bosses? Regular enemies?

  7. What’s your playstyle? Are you running into enemies while your minions are trying to keep up with you? Necromancers don’t have to be extremely tanky (compared to some other classes) because they can play it relatively safe. As long as you don’t Leeroy Jenkins into enemies you shouldn’t really die.

Tanky? Slap a Bastion, Throne, and Ravenous Void on that Character. Slaps top of character This character can get so tanky.

For real though, Throne handles Armor, Bastion handles Block, Ravenous Void handles health/endurance and rounds it off with some nice DR.

Honorable mention to low life ward via: Last steps, Exsanguinous, And the few others that round out this mostly Primalist kit.

Unless your mastery has something beyond armor/resist those three items seem to be the key to getting some beef in your build. Anything else is how you get into the real tank spec, like Dodge in rogue DR in Primalist etc.

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Yes, add 2 phenomenally rare items & 1 rare item onto a character & they become much tankier. But, and this is only a minor niggle, what if you don’t have either of those?

Unless you were being sarcastic & I missed it.


I hope you are joking…

Bastion and RV are two items that are not that easy to get for a lot of players.
Besides that, Bastion really shines when you are close to an enemy which is usually the last place a Necromancer wants to be.

Throne of Ambition only works when you are hitting the enemy, again something that most Necromancer don’t do. I’m pretty sure that Zombies don’t count as the player hitting the enemy so you would need to use one skill that hits only to get the Ambition stacks. You can hit with transplant but why would you ever do that?

Sure you could use RV, if you ever manage to get your hands on them (see what I did there?) but there are better options for a Necromancer.

Endurance only works for life builds and is useless for a Ward build.


Dodge doesn’t make you a tank.
For non ward builds life should always be your top priority followed by resists and armor (or generic damage reduction from items/passives if it is available/makes sense).
Endurance is nice to have but never a priority. For Sentinels/Druids it’s bit different but still.

I guess i’ll

@TolleWurst If you really want to debate the nature of tanky open a thread and lets hash it out, its a bit beyond the scope of this one.

I only now realized that it is YOU who posted… the chances of your post being sarcastic increased by at least 50% (that is a more multiplier) (this is a buff)

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You sure, we can use the EHP calculator and really get into it. Just because its got a spoon of sarcasm does not mean its not all Tea.

True, of course you’re not wrong.
I don’t think anyone would tell you that you are wrong when you say that Bastion, RV and Throne can make a character tanky.
But it completely ignores the practicality of those items in a certain build.

Quick example: I have two identically forged Swords (of course Katanas because every other sword is just a toy for filthy gaijins!). Both swords are swung at the same target with the same speed. The only difference is that one weighs 2 pounds while the other on weighs 200 pounds.
Which one will do more damage? Which one can be swung by a regular human?

You see what I am getting at? Yes I can slap all the juicy items on a character and get way more EHP, but does that really solve the problem? What good is 50% more EHP if I loose 50% damage, have to use one skill exclusively to get ambition stacks, are forced to use a certain type of weapon, have conditional EHP, etc.

Again: I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that slapping all the “best” Items on a character does not mean that character will be the “best” version it could be.

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Who said best? There are builds that can ignore defensive layers to some extent because they can bonk T4 Julra, however for the low low cost of two item slots and 4 idol slots you wont get more bang for your buck.

…and like 100+ hours of your time to get said items XD