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Would like some build advice for my Bone Curse necromancer

Hey all, I’m going for a build based around maxing out the damage that Bone Curse can do, and then using a bunch of minions to quickly, constantly proc the effect. I’m going max attack speed for all the minions so they can proc more per second and I’m kind of not focusing on the minion’s actual damage at all. It’s all about the Bone Curse to me. Here’s the tentative build:

Some notes, the passive nodes aren’t really refined / ideal. All I know is that I’m trying to take all the minion attack speed nodes and +max minion summon nodes. As for gear, I’m basically just going to try to maximize +spell damage, and then either +physical or +necrotic, depending on which choice I make (I’ll go into that later).

Real quick overview of the playstyle. I have lots of minions summoned at all times. When I see a pack of enemies, I apply bone curse to one, then use rip blood to spread it to everyone. Bone curse lasts indefinitely so I just need to quickly do this to a pack, and then I am free to use and spend mana on my 5th ability that I am undecided on yet (part of the reason for this post). Also I use melee minions because I use blood splatter to buff their attack speed.

So on to the choices. I have 2 decisions I’m struggling with.

The first is if I should try to scale bone curse off of necrotic or physical. I have enough spare points in the ability to take the node for it to be necrotic instead of physical. I’m not sure which damage type is more supported. To me the upside of physical is that there’s a few abilities/passives that encourage armor shred. There’s a passive in necromancer that gives my minions 200% armor shred, so this would scale better in this way. I’m not sure if necrotic damage has any upsides, but just thought I’d ask.

The second choice is what my 5th ability should be. Here’s the three options I’m currently looking at:

The first is going down the lich tree, taking soul feast, and using the nodes that turn it into a cone. The upsides of this is that it is a ‘hit’, so benefits from proccing Bone Curse. It also does pretty decent damage so is a good mana dump. It also gives ward, but tbh I’m not sure how defenses currently look on this build. The downsides is it’s kind of pretty expensive at times depending on which nodes you take and the range isn’t the GREATEST. There’s a few other routes I could go to proc the ‘hit’ effect of Bone Curse; marrow shards (but I don’t love the idea of spending health), and harvest (but to me its range just feels a bit small/short, even with the nodes. I like the idea of me being at ranged, sending my minions out to kill and I’m safely in the back, while debuffing enemies). Last downside is I have to use a lot of points in the lich tree (which could be beneficial! Idk! lol)

Second option is Summon Wraith. This one makes a lot of sense because my whole build is centered around having a sheer multitude of minions. So the more, the better. As each individual hit procs Bone Curse. Downside is that I’m just not in love with the ability. It will probably be better with minion AI improvements in the future, but sometimes all my skeletons are hitting a cursed enemy, I summon wraiths, and they don’t join in the fray and just stand around until I tell them to. To me this seems like a good option but it is very mana intensive if I go the route to summon more wraiths.

Last option is Bone Golems. It seems not as good as Wraiths for damage but seems to offer a lot of other benefits that I’ll explain. If I went the Bone Golem route, I would use 2-piece bonus from this item set:

Here’s where the benefits come in. I can take the nodes that when I use potions, it heals my minions also, and increases their attack speed even FURTHER (bottom row of necromancer tree). Also since I’m already going big on attack speed, my bone golems will hit faster which makes them more likely to proc potions for me. And lastly, sometimes my minions die and it’s annoying to keep track because it’s not often. Bone Golems could generate more threat and tank most things, which keeps me and my other minions alive even better. I really like the Bone Golem idea for all the advantages and synergies, but to me raw damage from Wraiths just might be better. I wonder if I should be dropping either skele mages or skele warriors for wraiths instead (though it could likely be too expensive to upkeep. That being said I know I’ve seen videos of like ONE HUNDRED WRAITHS or something). Also if I dropped mages, I’d lose out on the awesome affix shards for %spell damage per skeleton mage.

I know that’s a lot of text, but thanks to y’all for reading all this and for any advice on the build!

Oh! And the other thing I was curious about is how I should go about defenses with this build. Should I look into implementing ward or just go usual defensive stacking?

If you’re going to use Bone Curse as a DPS skill, you’ll want to use a staff & get as much adaptive spell damage as possible. An option for the 5th skill is Transplant as you can spec it for something like 7 hits per transplant which will all proc & spread Bone Curse (x3 damage since it’s you). I’d probably also put points in Rip Blood’s Splatter node (for more hits).

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I really like your build idea. It’s very similar to my current Necro. Just that I went full minion damage instead of spelldamage from bonecurse (using bc as debuff).

This is a tough question. I believe that as an Acolyte you have a bit better support for necrotic damage. The armour shred applies to necrotic damage, too. So armour shred will make your necrotic hits dealing more damage, too.

As for the skill choice for your 5th:
Everything you write is valid. The golems will tank a lot (you can have 2 so 2x the hits) and buff your other minions defense.

Wraiths can be skilled to be cast in cursor position so you can summon them in the middle of the enemy pack. Having 100 Wraiths is no longer possible. The skill got nerved a lot in that regard.

Soul Feast is the one I’d go. You’ll have a lot of adaptive and increased spelldamage for zbone Curse so this will scale with Soul Feast well. In this case I’d also suggest to go necrotic with BC to match SF damage type.

With BC I’d not recommend going the cone route. It’s not necessary and you will lose range and damage potential. Also kiting with SF is not that viable with the cone. Instead I’d go for multicast and mana efficiency. The multicast will eat your mana, but synergizes very well with your BC. As you hit your enemies multiple times, you proc BC with every hit.

This combo is devastating. A really cool big damage nuke for rares and bosses. Some additional mana efficiency on your helmet helps with SF…

Back in the days SF was an OP ward generator. This mechanic got nerfed very hard. So as long as you don’t go balls to the wall with ward and ward retention, I wint recommend the ward nodes.

For defense I’d say that it’s not that important for your build most of the time. Your minions will tank a lot and draw aggro. Resistances and crit avoidance is mandatory. On my Necro I use a shield for a bit more defensive potential.

I’d not recommend to go for ward. You will need spell- / necrotic damage and resistances on your gear. To prevent your minions from melting you’ll also need some minion defensive affixes like minion health and dodge. This doesn’t leave to much room for ward since that would need a huge investment into intelligence.

Good luck and have fun with that build :grin:

Lol… I just have a deja vu here. I thought you were referring to an old Boardman build he did some time ago.

Now I see he came up with a new 200 minion build (ab)using the recent affix changes. Well, this is currently possible it seems. :sweat_smile:

Oh wow, the ‘tons of minions’ build video I’d seen was definitely the older one, as I remember seeing it a long time ago. I haven’t seen the more recent one.

And yeah, I forgot to mention that last synergy with Soul Feast. It is a spell! So it will take advantage of all the +spell damage that I’m stacking.

Thanks for your input. I’ll try out your build for Soul Feast. I may also do some testing with golems just to see how it feels and to see if the potion spamming makes a noticeable difference on minion attack speed (via the hunger node).


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