Diablo II Necromancer Dueling Guide v0.2 - CyberSushi
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Diablo II Necromancer Dueling Guide

by CyberSushi   Updated to v0.2 on
                               =--===-----------------===--==
                              NECROMANCER DUELING GUIDE v.0.2
                               =--===-----------------===--==

                           By : Cyber-Sushi [cyber-sushi@home.com]

                              Based on Diablo II version 1.08

		                      June 23rd 2001


             DISCLAIMER : You may not take this document, or anything
			  within it without permission from myself.
                          This faq should only be found at GameFAQS.com.
                          If you see it anywhere else, please notify
                          me immedietly.


=================
Table of Contents
=================

1. Introduction
2. Skill Placement
3. Stat Placement
4. Equipment
5. Duelling Etiquette
6. Basic Strategy
7. Class-specific Strategies
   i. Amazon
  ii. Barbarian
 iii. Necromancer
  iv. Paladin
   v. Sorceress
  vi. Assassin [coming soon]
 vii. Druid [coming soon]
8. Team Duels
9. Credits/Thanks

==================
1. INTRODUCTION
==================

Greeting fellow Priests of Rathma. The game of Diablo II is plenty of fun while levelling up,
attempting to destroy Diablo, and co-operating with other characters.. but you haven't played
Diablo II until you've felt the heat of a good duel. The head-to-head competition, the huge
clashes between everyone's unique characters. Dueling is definitely where it's at. And as with
every class, during duels you have your advantages and disadvantages. However with this guide,
I hope to point you in the right direction with my experience.. but I can't stress this enough,
the best way to learn is to practice, and don't get discouraged if you end up losing.

Basic Terminology

clvl : Character level
PvM : Player versus monster
PvP : Player versus player [duelling]
IM : Iron Maiden
BS : Bone Spirit
LR : Lower Resist
FoH : Fist of the Heavens
GA : Guided arrow
WW : Whirlwind
FO : Frozen Orb

The first half of this FAQ has to do with building up your PVP Necro. If you wish to merely
see strategies, scroll down .. quite a bit.

=====================
2. SKILL PLACEMENT
=====================

In this large section, I will review each and every skill for the Necromancer regarding dueling
purposes, an idea of how it works for other purposes and how many points I reccomend. Oh by the way
I'm not always right [obviously.] I will not be providing the stats for these skills, simply because
that type of information is not available as of yet [it's so soon after the patch.] When choosing skills
to invest in, keep in mind although you want little skill points put in skills that will not assist
you in PvP, you need to level up somehow.

I'm assuming you have a general idea of how these skills work. Also keep in mind, the points
I reccomended is how many base points, not considering +skills items.

----------------------
Poison and Bone Spells
----------------------

Filled with mostly useful spells, this is a great tree. :P


TEETH
Required clvl : 1, Recommended points : 1

Small projectiles, barely damaging except early in the game. But it's a prerequisite for
the heavy hitters later on, therefore no more then one point.

-

BONE ARMOR
Required clvl : 1, Recommended points : 1+

Bone floats around you, protecting you from physical damage. The amount of points in this
is really up to you, sometimes it can be a life saver, sometimes it's just useless. But
at least one point in here. Plus it looks really cool. Heheh.

-

POISON DAGGER
Required clvl : 6, Recommended points : 0

Even after its boost in the patch, it's still useless in PvP and always will be. First of
all, you need to have a dagger equipped [yuck] and you must run up and hit your opponent.
Unless you want to get Poison Nova [which may be useful] stay away from Poison Dagger.

-

CORPSE EXPLOSION
Required clvl : 6, Recommended points : 1-5

Explode a corpse! Handy for leveling up, although it has been toned down a little.
Useless in PvP.

-

BONE WALL
Required clvl : 12, Recommended points : 1

With a set amount of life and health, a bone wall is ... a wall of bone. When you're
not duelling, this can be semi-useful if you need to block off the enemy. In PvP, bone wall
can be very helpful, especially now that it does not lag. Your golem, minions, and bone spirits
will attempt to attack your walls which gets annoying. Its life is not very high even
at higher levels which can end up limiting some of its uses.

-

POISON EXPLOSION
Required clvl : 18, Recommended points : 0

Just like CE except with poison. Not useful in PvP, has limited use in PvM.

-

BONE SPEAR
Required clvl : 18, Recommended points : 1

Standard projectile. Wait for Bone Spirit if you truely wish to duel.

-

BONE PRISON
Required clvl : 24, Recommended points : 1

Like bone wall except it cages people in. Incredible while dueling,
and 1 point is really enough. Limited uses in PvM.

-

POISON NOVA
Required clvl : 30, Recommended points : 0

Although semi-useful now after the patch, in PvP it is usually not very helpful.

-

BONE SPIRIT
Required clvl : 30, Recommended points : 20

This is your main weapon. It's a flying player seeking, damage dealing blast of
wonderful undead energy. I think at level 20 it ends up doing roughly 300 dmg for 20
mana.


-------
Curses
-------

You should try to always have a curse on your opponent when possible. Some in this
tree are very useful, while some, not.

AMPLIFY DAMAGE
Required clvl : 1, Recommended points : 1

If you're planning on using corpse explosion to help you level up, this'll help out.
Not useful in PvP, since bone spirit does magic damage, not physical. One point,
but not only because it's a prereq.

-

DIM VISION
Required clvl : 6, Recommended points : 0-1

Depending on whether you want this side of the tree or not, invest 0 or 1 point in
dim vision. This curse can really be helpful however, against ranged attackers [PvM.]
This doesn't work while dueling.

-

WEAKEN
Required clvl : 6, Recommended points : 1

It has its uses in PvM, and possible use in PvP. Even if you don't like it, one point
since you know you want Decrepify :)

-

IRON MAIDEN
Required clvl : 12, Recommended points : 10-20

Definitely a popular choice for cookie-cutter Necros, although it has been toned down
after 1.08. IM deals back a certain % of the damage dealt by the cursee to themselves.
While duelling, this is a great curse to use against melee fighters such as barbs,
pals, and very rarely, zons.

-

TERROR
Required clvl : 12, Recommended points : 1

A good curse to have. When you're swarmed, terror'll chase em away for you. Obviously (I hope)
this does not work in PvP.

-

CONFUSE
Required clvl : 18, Recommended points : 1

Limited use in PvM, no use in PvP.

-

LIFE TAP
Required clvl : 18, Recommended points : 1

Limited use in PvM, little or no use in PvP. Prereq. for lower resist however.

-

ATTRACT
Required clvl : 24, Recommended points : 1

Turns the cursee into an enemy to other monsters. This curse can assist you greatly
in PvM, but it doesn't work in PvP.

-

DECREPIFY
Required clvl : 24, Recommended points : 5-20

Decrepify slows down an enemy, and weakens them at the same time. While it's PvM uses
aren't so great, this is another key curse for PVP. Slowing a character down can prove
to be one of your most useful abilities. Decrep cannot be resisted or stopped in anyway.

-

LOWER RESIST
Required clvl : 30, Recommended points : 5-20

Another key curse for you. Lower Resist, uh.. lowers your opponent's resistance.
The main purpose is to increase the damage your Bone Spirit does. At high levels the radius
is huge and minus to resists is significant. Great curse.

---------
SUMMONING
---------

While summoning anything but golems will not help in PvP, this is the most popular way
to level up. Besides, this is what a Necromancer does best! :) The points you put in here
can be a tough decision. How big of an army do you need? Could these points possibly be
going in something more useful for when you duel?

SKELETON MASTERY
Required clvl : 1, Recomended points : 1+

Depeding on if you're big on revives/skellys or not [yes Skelly mastery effects revives]
you may or may not want to invest in this skill.

-

RAISE SKELETON
Required clvl : 1, Recomended points : 1

Put one point in, let +skill items do the rest. Useless in PvP.

-

CLAY GOLEM
Required clvl : 6, Recomended points : 1

Your first golem. Useful early in the game, has a few uses in PvP.

-

GOLEM MASTERY
Required clvl : 12, Recomended points : 1-5

At least one point for PvM, at least a few for PvP. It increases speed/life of your golem.

-

RAISE SKELETAL MAGE
Required clvl : 12, Recomended points : 1-2

Put one point in, let +skill items do the rest. Almost completely useless in PvP.

-

BLOOD GOLEM
Required clvl : 18, Recomended points : 1

With the Iron Maiden/Blood Golem bug still about, this is an option for PvM. Blood
Golem has limited uses in PvP.

-

SUMMON RESISTANCE
Required clvl : 24, Reccomended points : 1

Raises resistances for all your summons. One point.

-

IRON GOLEM
Required clvl : 24, Reccomended points : 1 or more

Choose either Iron Golem or Fire. With the Iron Golem, you make a golem from a metal
item and it gains that items properties. Also, he has a natural return damage ability
that raises with investment. Personally, I like Fire Golem better.

-

FIRE GOLEM
Required clvl : 30, Reccomended points : 1 or more

You may need more then one point for PvM purposes, but other then that keep the points
low. The Fire Golem has a natural holy fire aura, hitting enemies with fire every 8 seconds
or so.

-

=================
3. STAT PLACEMENT
=================

Depending on what you want to wear, stats may be a little different. These are options for
what you want your stats to eventually be.

Strength : 55-100
Dexterity : 25-? [With dex now effecting blocking, I'm not sure.]
Vitality : 50 + [You'll need more life then the average necro to duel.]
Energy : 100-200+

Not a big subject really, just make sure you balance your improvement to stats so that you're
not too one-sided as you grow. A PvP specialized Necro will need a little more vitality
then the average one, however don't go crazy.

=============
4. EQUIPMENT
=============

Realistically, you may not have everything you want to have. Trading can be a pain, and most
of these items aren't very easy to find. You do not need the following equipment to
be successful. Below are the items, and the main mods that are useful to you.

HELM : Wormskull [+1 to necro skills], Tarnhlem [+1 to all skills]
ARMOR : Rare Mage Plate, Silks of the Victor [+1 to all skills], Blinkbat's Form [faster running]
        Twitchthroe [higher blocking rate]
AMULET : Rare Fast Cast + to necro skills amulet
WAND : Ume's Lament [+2 to all skills, fastest cast], Rare wand with good mods
BELT : Nightsmoke [50% dmg goes to mana], Death's Guard [Cannot be frozen]
BOOTS : Vidala's Fetlock [fastest run], Treads of Cthon [fastest run]
SHIELD : Sigon's Guard [+1 to all skills, high blocking rate]
RINGS : Stone of Jordan [+1 to skills, 25% additional mana], Rare fast cast +to mana/life
GLOVES : Frostburns [40% more mana], Magefist [fastest cast, 25% mana regen]

======================
5. DUELLING ETIQUETTE
======================

Diablo is a social game, and there are generally unspoken rules while in a public duelling game.
The following rules are not enforced in any way, and no one can stop you or any others from breaking
them. However if you wish to be respected, and thought of as a good sport, try to follow these
guidelines.

1. Never kill someone who is picking up their corpse. If it is accidental, apologize.
2. Never kill someone who has just picked up their corpse, unless they attack you.
3. Do not interrupt another duel, unless it's a free for all.
4. Never whine about how someone got lucky after you die.
5. Only blame your death on lag if that's the truth.
6. Never stay in town, come out for a few shots, then run back in.
7. Do not take another's gold, unless it is allowed.
8. Do not gloat about your victory.
9. Although insults are hurled around, whether serious or fun, never take it too far.
10. Low level duels usually refers to any level below 50.

==================
6. BASIC STRATEGY
==================

Alright. You have your equipment ready, your skills organized and powerful, you know your
etiquette.. so how do you duel? In this section are basic strategies to keep in mind.

キ Don't mindlessly fire bone spirits. If you run out of mana, you're practically dead.
キ If you have a person on the run from Bone Spirits, keep em on the run by firing a few more.
  Decrepify, bone prison. If done correctly they should get trapped for at least a few seconds
  and all the spirits will smash into them.
キ Higher level characters can be scary. Sometimes level 80s will come into low level duelling
  games. Just try your best, team up on em, or leave.
キ A clay golem is a fantastic sponge. At the low mana cost, re summoning him is fairly cheap.
キ Against speedy characters, try to keep Decrepify constantly on them.
キ Retreat to town only when you need to.
キ Occasionally a bone spirit will turn invisible due to lag.
キ Keep your auto-map on all the time.
キ Lag, luck, and mistakes happen.
キ Bone spirits, and all other magic damage now stun for a split second.
キ Always try to keep moving, and be alert.
キ A faster casting rate can make a huge difference.

===========================
7. CLASS SPECIFIC STRATEGY
===========================

More advanced strategies for what to do against specific classes.

-------
Amazon
-------

The PvP Amazon almost always has a bow. Her primary attacks include Guided Arrow and Multi-Shot.
A good amazon is tough to beat, but if you're smart you'll have a chance. Guided arrow can be
devastating, it costs next to no mana for the zon, it's fast, and powerful. Multishot on the other
hand covers a wider area, and can hurt just as much. Wearing twitchthroe can be useful here,
it provides a nice bonus to your blocking rate.


Level 30 and beyond
--------------------

First off, a golem is absolutely necessary for fighting a zon. Either have a clay or fire golem
always up on running. The reason for this is that half of her guided arrows will hit the golem
instead. Even if this means she leeches back a lot of her life, you're not dead. Bone walls can
be useful, as they attract the guided arrows, however they also attract your bone spirits and
golem. Every now and then throw a BS [bone spirit] in her direction. You must try to get her on
the run.

If you catch her on the run, move in immedietly. Throw some more BS in her direction. Once you have
her on your screen, quickly cast either decrepify or lower resist and bone prison. She'll be caught
in the prison, and the spirits will catch up. With LR on, they will do more damage. With Decrep on,
if she tries to escape chances are the spirits will still catch up. If you wish, just hold the
mouse button down with bone prison on it to keep trapping her or adding more bone.

If she slow missles you, you're not completely doomed. You can either run back to town
or run around until it wears off. Even with snail speed spirits, you may get lucky if she
tries to move in. You can prison her and hopefully the spirits will catch up.


Pre level 30
-------------

You're at a huge disadvantage. She has guided arrow available already, and your primary weapon
would be Bone Spear. Which should not be very strong, since you're going to wait for bone
spirit right? Your only real chance is to fling those spears every where, try to prison her
and spear her to death.

----------
Barbarian
----------

A Barbarian can be dangerous, inflicting huge damage, having huge amounts of hp
and being faster then anyone else in Diablo. However, the Necro has a spell that can make
em cry --- Iron Maiden. Without high level enough IM, it won't be very effective though.
There are dumb barbs, and smart barbs out there - and the smart ones are tough to beat.
Wearing Blinkbats helps, so you're a little faster. Also, look out for a lance barb's long
reach.

Level 30 and beyond
-------------------

A barb's main attack is Whirlwind. Highly damaging, and annoying, usually one ww will
kill you. The trick is realizing that whirlwind is slower then their actual speed, and
knowing how and when to dodge it. The main strategy here is to have IM cast on them. If they
continue to whirlwind anyhow [either they're stupid or confident that they have enough
hp] just dodge em. When they're chasing you, zig-zag a lot, make 90 degree turns, etc. But
when they ww and miss, immedietly throw a clay golem in their path. This may or may not be enough,
depending on the amount of hp your golem has and the level of IM. If they end up hitting you,
chances are you'll die - and they might. Some barbs will chase you and never stop. If you turn
around to fire a bs, they just ww right through you. If you cast IM on them, they'll still ww
right through you and possibly live. Try to slow them down before they get to close.

If they decide to leap attack while under Iron Maiden [LA is not effected by Iron Maiden] keep
enough distance and throw plenty of bone spirits. When the barb lands, all of em catch up
and he dies. If you have quick fingers, you can cast lower resist right when he hits the ground
in order to get the spirits to hurt more, and quickly IM him again before he realizes he can WW.

Some barbs will be afraid of your bone spirit. Chase em down, decrep, prison, and they're dead.


Pre level 30
------------

This is basically leap attack versus bone spear. Iron Maiden won't effect them unless they end
up attacking you normally. Sipmly wait till they finish their leap, and spear the crap out of
them.


------------
Necromancer
------------

Usually, these duels are quite boring, tedious, or not challenging at all. However some
end up being energetic duels, just as fun as the rest. Sometimes, this just comes down to
who has more invisible spirits.

Level 30 and beyond
-------------------

It's important to make sure you're not caught on the run. Fire a few spirits at him, he'll
fire back. You'll both end up running. Bleh. If you get lucky and are able to catch him
on the run, LR or Decrep, prison and he's dead. :P

Pre Level 30
------------

There's nothing funnier then watching two pre level 30 necros try to duel. Usually, you just
get two Necros firing bone spear blindly  trying to hit the other one.


--------
Paladin
--------

These holy knights usually fall under three categories when it comes to PvP....
A charger, a Fist of the Heavens user, or a mix of both. These guys are strong,
but in general the necro should win most of the time. A charger when under decrepify
can end up being horribly slow.

Level 30 and beyond
-------------------

Chargers may have Vigor, Holy Freeze, or Concentration on. When you see them approaching you
on the auto-map, decrepify the air in which they will most likely be and lob a few spirits.
When he's on screen bone prison him in. He will hit the prison with his charge, and while doing
so, the spirits will catch him. Another strategy would be to Iron Maiden him and constantly bone
prison. If you get frozen from Holy freeze, be a little more careful, but excercise the same
strategy.

Mages, who use fist of the heavens are fairly easy. Their main weakness is the fact that
they are vulnerable while they send the fist. If they lock on to you [left click on you and
hold it] and you don't realize it you may end up in trouble. Usually they'll get one or two
fists in. With max lightning resist and reduction of magic damage items, you should survive.
Just catch em where they're standing and spirit them until they die.

Pre level 30
------------

This can be tougher. Try to decrep and prison the pal, and spear him.


--------
Sorcerss
--------

Your worst enemy. The sorceress teleports like crazy, throwing orbs at you (having
death's sash increases your chances), and now after the patch even thunderstorm hurts
a lot. Fire sorcs are a little more viable during duels, however remain not a threat
to you. So what's your strategy?

Level 30 and beyond
-------------------

Try to have Lower Resist on them, cast it in the air around
where they're coming from. Always lob spirits in the direction which they are, and the direction
of where they may be. There is a chance they'll run into one, and even if they teleport away a
spirit that is locked on continues to chase them. The key is to ALWAYS keep at least 3 or so
spirits after them. If they come in close and orb, you can run, since there's a small casting
delay, or stand your ground and spirit as much as you can. A lot of sorcs can be stubborn,
once they have you trapped in orbs, they won't stop until you die. This is where you have to make
sure your spirits make contact. An orb is strong, however semi-blinding with all the ice bolts
flying around. She may or may not see a bs coming for her.

If she's just dancing around you, waiting for thunderstorm to do its work, you have to be ready
to run and cast spirits at the same time. Always have LR on her. Run in random patterns away from
her, and cast a bs in her direction every now and then. Hopefully, one will catch her. Eventually,
if you don't die she'll make a mistake or get lagged and get caught.

Despite popular belief, you can get Sorceress on the run. Even with the fastest cast setup, a
sorc needs to pause for a split second to teleport or cast. If a spirit is very close to her,
she'll either try to teleport and get hit, or simply run. When this opportunity arises, you must
rush in and go for the kill right away. Lower resist or Decrep, and prison.


Pre Level 30
------------

You're doomed. She has teleport. You don't have spirit. You can try to spear everywhere I guess.


---------
Assassin
---------

Coming soon.

------
Druid
------

Coming soon.


===============
8. TEAM DUELS
===============

On occasion, you will get an invitation to a party in a dueling game. Team Duels end up being as
fun or even more fun then 1 on 1 duels. Below are some pointers on what to do when you're co-operating
to conquer.

キ With a zon, Decrepify the opponent and bone prison. The power of your spirits and her guided arrows
  is amazing. Don't make too many bone walls, as they will attract both guided arrow and spirits.
キ With a Pal, take advantage of the aura they provide. Vigor and Meditation are great. Decrepify the
  opponent for chargers, lower resist for FoHers. Prisoning will get in the Pal's way.
キ With a sorc, lower resist on the enemy. This makes her even more powerful. Also, if the opponent
  does not have Death's Sash, decrep and being chilled can bring your enemy to a crawl slower then
  a snail. Due to an orb bug, if it passes through anything completely it won't do anymore damage.
  Therefore, don't prison people.
キ With a barb, you can try life tap on the enemy for additional leeching, or amplify damage. Amp
  damage makes the barb twice as powerful.
キ With a necro, your strategies are about the same. Try not to over curse each other, that can lead
  to confusion and conflict within your team.
キ With an Assassin..... coming soon
キ With a Druid.... coming soon

==================
9. CREDITS/THANKS
==================

If you notice a typo, or a mistake, or you have suggestion - e-mail me at cyber-sushi@home.com.
Your name will appear here if the information is used in the faq. So far, the following people
have helped me in some way.

---
The Duellers of Diablo II - I've gained all my experience from all of you.

Blizzard - For making such a great game.

Battosai - A great guy, who has assisted greatly in my Diablo II career.

Dashy - I don't know where you are, or your account name (:P) but thanks for everything :)

Mr.Paladin - I don't recall his name, but in my first game ever, he showed me the ropes.



--------------------------

Happy Duelling :)

- Cyber-Sushi


















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