Problem with Lich's Skeleton Vanguard

There’s an issue I keep having with my Lich build.

I’m running Hungering Souls/Seal Death Lich, and boss fights are rough. Not in a sense that they’re difficult, but every boss I encounter in the mono’s, they almost always 1 shot my Skeleton Vanguards.

Why is this important? HS Lich uses Unholy Trinity, which requires us to have exactly 3 minions to have a much needed damage buff. To get 3 minions, this build uses Harvested Legion from the Lich passive tree and Entreat the Damned from the Bone Curse skill tree. However, both skills requires you to kill something to have a chance to spawn 1 Skeleton Vanguard.

When I initiate any boss fight, within the first 3 seconds of the fight, the boss eliminates my Vanguards making me lose 150% multiplier. It’s a huge DPS loss and it takes me ages to kill a boss. It is unreasonable to build for minion defences as they’re just there to buff me. It’s also nearly impossible to dodge mechanics with both me and my minions using A key, besides, they will always die quickly from boss regular attacks anyway, making A key useless micro here.

If Unholy Trinity is a mechanic the devs want Lich’s to have (which is fine) then they need to find a solution for these Vanguards. I think, rather than buffing the Vanguards defences or spawn rate, just make an addition to Harvested Legion where hitting a elite or boss is enough to have a chance to spawn a Vanguard, much like how Maelstrom works for the Druid. This would fix this issue without changing anything drastically for the class.

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Isn’t the solution just to run an actual minion skill instead of just relying on the vanguards?

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It would be, yes, but i didn’t want to suggest that (didn’t want to be a dirty elitist gatekeeper).

No, I don’t have space in my bars to run minion skill. This build uses Transplant, Bone Curse, Reaper Form, Death Seal and Soul Feast, with Death Seal auto casting Hungering Souls. There’s just not enough space.

Besides, I tried it. I swapped Bone Curse and Soul Feast for Summon Skeleton and Hungering Souls. However, I just end up most the time summoning Skeletons cos unspecced, they just die in a heart beat, plus I miss out on big DPS with my Bone Curse + Soul Feast combo. It’s just not doable. And Hungering Souls just consume a lot of mana, leaving me OOM to recast Death Seal.

Also, what’s the point then? This build relies on Harvested Legion and Entreat the Damned for minions because of lack of space for Summon Skeletons. That’s the whole point of having these nodes in the Passive tree and Bone Curse tree. However, it’s a small detail the devs overlooked.

They had the oversight for Druids Maelstrom, cos they knew a Druid couldn’t upkeep Maelstrom if it only procced on kill. So they made Maelstrom proc on hit if you’re hitting a elite or boss. Harvested Legion should work the same way, but it doesn’t.

So I looked at it. It looks like the way those nodes are designed makes HS good for monoliths but potentially bad for bosses. That’s probably an intentional design decision.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have that changed to on boss/rare hit considering a minion build would already have three up at all times since they would have health to survive.

You could always just hot swap transplant with summon skeleton for bosses, as you’d have access to reap in reaper form. They’d die just the same as vanguards it just costs you some extra mana.

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While I think it might be reasonable to add a % chance on hittin a boss/rare to the node, ultimately, if you want minions to be able to survive a boss fight you need to build into it (passives, gear, affixes and specialise them as a skill). If you don’t or can’t do that then that’s a choice you make but the consequence is that your minions will die repeatedly.

Sorry to say this, but you just don’t understand how this build works. This isn’t a Necromancer, it’s a Lich. Not only itemisation towards minions isn’t viable for a HS Lich, having a slot just for Summon Skeletons doesn’t work either.

HS Lich needs Reaper Form (self explanatory), it needs Death Seal as that’s what’s buffing majority of its damage. It has HS as it’s main nuke ability. It uses Bone Curse to gain Haste and survivability and Soul Feast for AoE and sustain Reaper Form with Leech, and gives extra procs to spawn Skeleton Vanguards. That’s already 5 skills.

Besides, you’re missing the whole point of this mechanic. There’s a reason Unholy Trinity is a thing, because without it you don’t do damage. There’s also a reason why nodes like Harvested Legion exists in the Lich’s passive tree. And there’s a reason why Bone Curse has Entreat the Damned in its skill tree.

I don’t want the Vanguards to survive a boss fight. They die all the time. The difference is that while mapping, I can easily replace the Vanguards by naturally killing enemies. That’s the whole point of it. You curse enemies, nuke them down and Vanguards will spawn. This isn’t a minion build either. The point is that on a boss fight there’s no way to replenish my Vanguards. Well, that’s kinda untrue. Bosses that have adds allows me to do this, but, bosses don’t have adds all the time, and generally adds come mid fight then they no longer show up. Leaving big parts of the fight without them, because once add phase is done, boss instantly kills my Vanguards and I have no other method in bringing them up.

You also don’t want to cast HS manually because it will quickly drain your mana. You don’t want to constantly spawn Skeletons because it will drain your mana in conjunction with Bone Curse and Soul Feast. It’s just not a viable strat. I’ve tried it, and am left OoM without mana to even cast Death Seal.

As I said, and you seem to agree, the solution to this is to make Harvested Legion proc on hit when the target is a elite or boss, not to make unviable changes to its kit. It just doesn’t work.

It doesn’t work. Transplant is vital for this build. There are times where I will lose Reaper Form, and when that happens I am squishy asf and do no damage. I need transplant to juke away from shit while on human form and survive long enough until Reaper Form is out of CD. The extra mana I don’t have to spare, cos if I can’t Death Seal, there goes majority of my damage.

Also, this build is made for boss killing. Hungering Souls is specced to throw 1 single projectile at a bigger cost but at a way higher damage. It nukes bosses, if only there was a way to upkeep the 3 Vanguards. When you goto, here’s what’s written on the description of the build:

Manipulate the forces of death and the afterlife to cause havoc with Hungering Souls, Bone Curse and Soul Feast. The first one is mainly specced for high single target DPS while the other two are combined to AoE clear.

That’s the entire point of this build. I’m not asking for Vanguard survivability. Just asking for Harvested Legion to proc on hit when the target is a elite/boss, that’s all.

That’s your choice, but even if you had a chance on hit v bosses, you’d be missing out of the bonus modifier since they’d be squishy as fuck and die to an angry glare from the boss.

You do though, since they enable such a big multiplier. Trash shouldn’t need it while, ironically/frustratingly, enabling it because you have the Vanguards relatively easily replaceable…

You just don’t know how this build works, I don’t know what else to tell you. It’s not about choice, I’m forced to build this way. I wouldn’t be missing out on anything if Harvested Legion procced on hit on bosses because I’m always spamming Soul Feast while the boss has Bone Curse on it. I gain a lot of Haste while using Bone Curse and using potions that causes me to be poisoned in return for cast speed and damage and from my Marina’s Lost Soul which in turn would proc Harvested Legion very consistent (if it were to proc on boss hit).

This build is all about risking your health for more damage and more cast speed to proc my Vanguards while Leeching enough to keep me in Reaper Form. This main mechanic is defeated when fighting bosses.

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I see why they are dying, your build doesn’t work with minions well.

The problem isn’t them dying. I’ve said this before if you took the time to read. The problem is not having a method to replenish the Vanguards on a boss fight. They die all the time while I’m mapping but easily replenished by killing mobs.

Except you seem to be running a CASTER build, complaining that MINION skills do not work well in it

You need a bunch of investment to make minions tanky, and by that point you should run a minion build

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You seem to have an issue understanding the build. Caster builds aren’t minions builds my guy. It would help you if you read the post rather than making assumptions of what the build is. I’m building a LICH not a NECROMANCER. I don’t want my MINIONS to be TANKY. I want the main mechanic of the build to work when fighting a boss. You’re either trolling, or the point is passing right over your head.

except you seem to be using skeleton vanguards as your main mechanic

Man, you’re all over the place. You misunderstand the build, you misunderstand the purpose of the Vanguards. They aren’t suppose to be tanky. They aren’t supposed to survive. And this could all be avoided if you knew what this build is about. The Vanguards aren’t even from a skill.


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I do understand, but this would be one other option.

I do, incidentally, quite like that pic.

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It’s just not feasible. First, there’s no other way to make Vanguards tankier through speccing. Harvested Legion already gives Vanguards 60% more Health. The only other way would be through itemisation. I’d have to sacrifice health or mana to itemise for Minion defensive stats. I need health to stay longer in Reaper Form since Death Seal puts me at 35% HP. I need mana to do all sorts of things like cursing, Soul Feast and Death Seal. I need Mana Regen for the same reason. Besides, bosses have mechanics that will do immense damage to minions regardless of how tanky they become, and when they die, I still have no way to replenish them.

Thanks about the pic, but that was towards the other guy that came in the end, not towards you ;p

I was thinking you needed a unique for those minions, I was wrong, as they are passives.

the stuff does look rather dumb… caps at 10%, not on hit, they are all weaker minions without a skill tree

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