What do you need help on? Cancel X

Jump to:
Would you recommend this Guide? Yes No Hide
Send Skip Hide

"Summonancer" Guide by IsamuKun

Version: 0.5 | Updated: 05/14/02

Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Summonancer Guide
Version 0.5
Created by: IsamuKun


-May 14th V0.5
Updating Equip, skills and more!
Changed mercs to hireables
Added thanks section
Changed the Summonancer General to an Overlord

-May 11th V0.1
FAQ launched, did everything, need improvement ^-^

Table of Contents
1. Intro
2. Legal Stuff
3. Getting Satrted
     -A) Overlord
     -B) Pure Summoner
4. Skills
     -A) Skeletons and Revival
     -B) Golems
     -C) Other Skills
     -D) Skill Strategies
5. Atribute Points
     -A) Overlord
     -B) Pure Summoner
6. Equipment
     -A) Arms
     -B) Body
     -C) Head and Belt
     -D) Rings and Ammys
     -E) Charms
7. Hireables
     -A) Rogues
     -B) Mercs
     -C) Iron Wolves
     -D) Barbs
8. Playing a Summonancer
     -A) General Strategies
     -B) Playing in a Party *coming soon*
9. Golem Crafting *being elaborated on more soon*
10. Finalé
11. Thanks

1) Introduction!

Welcome to the Summonancer class build guide. The Summonancer is a Necromancer
build, where the player focuses all his skill points into summoning, in turn
creating an Army of Undead. Most people say this is stupid, or the worst way to
play a Necromancer, with all of the amazing curses and bone spells. I decided
its about time for the Summonancer to get the respect he deserves, since most
people have this mentality. I write this guide in hopes of enlightening
everyone to this fun new way to play a Necro, and to show that, yes, it can be
done without bone spear and iron maiden.

2) Legal Stuff

This FAQ belongs to me. You can read it, show it to your friends, have fun with
it, but do not try to sell it, pass it off as your own somewhere else on the
net. If you see this guide anywhere else on the net, report it to me. This is
copyrighted. Don't steal. Would you like it if someone did the same?
Diablo 2, and everything in it mentioned here, is property of Blizzard. All
specific weapon stats were taken from Areat Summit, though I could have found
em in the game, just lazy ^_^

3) Getting Started

So you've decided to play a Summonancer! Where do you begin? Well let's look at
the basics. This character build, is most useful for PvM, since against other
players, they have a really hard time against them(let alone bosses ^-^). They
are best suited for party questing, where they can greatly help in normal
battles, and are aided for the Act bosses(No matter how big or strong your army
is, they wont last long against, say, the Lord of Terror himself) There are
actually two different types of Summonancers, which play differently. In both
cases though all of your skill points will go into your summoning category.

A) Overlord:
The first is to think of the Summonancer as an Overlord, with a small, but ever
growing(And self sufficiant ;) army. He charges into battle with them as back
up, leveling the playing feild number wise. You will be focusing more on your
necromancers physical abilities, Strength and Vitality(making up for the
necromancers natural weakness), since you'll be leading your troops into

B) Pure Summoner:
The other side is to play a pure Summoner, where you let your minions fight.
For this you focus more on having a higher number of minions and really having
your mana stat really high, making sure to have enough vitality, and high
enough strength to have strong armor. Pure summoners make great additions to
mutually benefiting partys, especially since boss battles are quite tough for
these masters of the art.

Now that you have the general ideas, Let's get specific!

4) Skills

The necromancer has Curses, Poison and Bone spells, and finally Summoning.
Since this is a Summonancer, we're only going to be using the Summoning.
Depending on the type of summonancer you wish to play, you might want more in
creature(for a pure) and less in one area, or whatever. It all depends on your
play style, and which genre of Summonancer you wish to play. You'll want more
summons as a pure summoner, where as quality is that bit more important as a
Overlord. So let's take a look at the summoning spells.

A) Skeletons and Revival
Bringing the dead back to life to fight for you.


Required Level:1

This is the beginning of your army. This summons a skeleton from a killed enemy
corpse and brings him under your control. Early on this is a great skill, but
as you go, the become weaker and weaker compared to the enemies, and will die
off more and more quickly. You should get a couple in the beginning, but finish
off with about 7-10 MAX, as there are many better things you can aquire.

Basic stats for Skeletons:
Skeletons per level: 1
Damage: 1-2
Base HP:21 HP(normal), 30 HP(NM) and 42 Base(Hell)
Mana cost: 6+(level-1)

So for example, a Level 3 Skeleton, allows you to summon 3 skeletons, at a cost
of 8 Mana each.

Skeleton Mastry:

Required Level:1

This, you really want to level up early on. It improves your skeletons health,
damage, missile damage, and increases the damage and health of your Revived
monsters as well. This becomes key for your skeletons and mages, as they need
to become more powerful, as well as really boost your revives power, for when
you finally get them. You'll definetly want to max this out.

Basic Stats for Skeleton Mastry:

Skeletons HP: +7*Level
Skeletons Damage: +2*Level
Revived monsters HP: +(7*Level)%
Revived monsters Damage: +(2*Level)%
Improved missile Damage per level

You basically can apply these changes to the skeletons base stats. So our level
3 skeletons, with a Mastry of 4, now have 49 HP and do 8-9 Damage.

Skeleton Mages:

Required Level:12

These are your distance warriors. They work just like a Skeleton, but use Magic
Missile Attacks (Fire, lightning, Ice, or Poison) against opponents. These
become more valuable to you later on, for they keep their distance and don't
die as often. Once you reach level 12 you'll want to shift your points from
leveling up your skeletons, to these. Again, by the time your done with them,
you should have between 7-10 MAX.

Basic Stats for Skeleton Mages:

Skeleton Mages per level: 1
Base HP:61 HP(Normal),88 HP(NM),123 HP(Hell)
Mana Cost: 8+(level-1)

So, at level 4 Skeleton Mages, you can summon 4 skeletal Mages, at a cost of 11
Mana Each.

Summon Resist:

Required Level: 24

This also becomes necessary for you as you adventure. It gives all your little
minions resistances against magic attacks. It really helps when your up agaist
one of those nasty lightning enchanted foes who wipe out your whole force
before you can even say Rakanishu. This is another skill you should have high
enough, though it slightly slightly increases past level 13

Basic Stats for Summon Resist:

Resist all %:
Level 1=28%
Level 5=47%
Level 10=57%
Level 15=62%
Level 20=66%


Required Level: 30

This skill becomes very key for you as you progress through the difficulties,
as your skeleton warriors are weaker, compared to the current enemies, but hey,
why have skeletons when you can bring those oh so nasty baddies back to life to
fight for you? The downside is their cost and the time limit, but you should
have no problem finding your way around those. You should want to have this
around level 9 or 10, to keep a well sized army with you.

Basic Stats for Revive:

Monsters revived per level: 1
HP: 200% that of the original monster
Mana cost: 45 mana
Life limit: 3 minutes, then they drop dead... again.

B) Golems
Creating a behemoth from nothing. You can only have one golem at any time.

Clay Golem:

Required Level:6

Golems are your body guards, your right hand men, the guy who's always got your
back. The first is a clay golem, created from the earth itself. Its efficient
for its era, but you'll most definetly want to upgrade it to one of his
stronger brothers. I don't reccomend more than a single point here.

Basic Stats for Clay Golem:

Mana cost: 15+[(Level-1)*3]
100+[(Level-1)*35] Normal,
175+[(level-1)*61] NM,
275+[(Level-1)*94] Hell
Defense: 20
Level 1: 2-5(Normal),2-6(NM),3-7(Hell)
Level 5: 4-12(Normal),4-14(NM),7-16(Hell)
Level 10: 8-20(normal),8-24(NM),12-29(Hell)
Level 15: 11-29(normal),11-35(NM),17-41(Hell)
Level 20: 15-38(normal),15-45(NM),22-53(Hell)

Golem Mastry:

Required Level:12

This basically does what skeleton mastry does, but to your golems. It adds to
all golems base life, and also increases their speed. You'll want to max this
out for your golem.

Basic Stats for Golem Mastry:

HP: (Level*20)%
Speed increase:
Level 1: 6%
Level 5: 20%
Level 10: 27%
level 15: 31%
Level 20: 33%

Blood Golem:

Required Level:18

This creates a golem which is linked to your life. If he gets hit, you get hit.
If he hits someone, you gain health. He's stronger, and better in ways than the
clay golem, but I wouldn't reccomend him for boss fights, as you can be easily
destroyed(since we're not using curses ^_^). Again, I only recomend putting one
point into this, for without curses, you'll probably want one of the last two

Basic Stats for Blood Golem:

HP:201(Normal), 388(NM), 636(Hell)
Defense: 90
Mana cost: 25+[(Level-1)*4]
Level 1: 6-16(Normal), 9-23(NM), 10-27(Hell)
Level 5: 14-38(Normal),21-55(NM), 24-64(Hell)
Level 10: 24-66(Normal), 37-95(NM), 41-112(Hell)
Level 15: 35-94(Normal), 53-135(NM), 59-159(Hell)
Level 20: 45-122(Normal), 68-175(NM), 76-206(Hell)
Damage converted to Life %:
Level 1: 86%
Level 5: 112%
Level 10: 126%
Level 15: 133%
Level 20: 138%

Iron Golem:

Required Level: 24

These golems are made out of any metallic equipment you find in the game. They
gain properties of the Item used as well as the Attack or Defence values. The
Iron golem also has Thorns, so any damage dealt is returned back. This golem is
very good for melee, and combined with a unique or rare item, becomes even more

Basic Stats for Iron Golem:

HP: 306(Normal), 595(NM), 980(Hell)
Defence: 111
Mana cost: 35
Damage: 7-19(normal), 11-30(NM), 12-33(Hell)
Thorns Returned Damage %:
Level 2: 150%
Level 5: 195%
Level 10: 270%
Level 15: 345%
Level 20: 420%
*Note!* The base numbers are modified by attributes of the weapon/armor itself.

Fire Golem:

Required Level: 30

It's a golem. It's on fire. It burns Enemies near it. It absorbs fire damage.
'Nuff said.

Basic Stats for Fire golem:

HP: 313(Normal), 613(NM), 1013(Hell)
Defence: 160
Mana Cost: 50+[(Level-1)*10]
Fire Damage:
Level 1: 20-54(Normal), 30-78(NM), 36-94(Hell)
Level 5: 34-91(Normal), 51-132(NM), 61-159(Hell)
Level 10: 51-139(Normal), 77-200(NM), 92-242(Hell)
Level 15: 69-186(Normal), 103-269(NM), 124-324(Hell)
Level 20: 86-233(Normal), 129-337(NM), 155-406(Hell)
% of fire damage converted to health:
Level 1: 36%
Level 5: 62%
Level 10: 76%
Level 15: 83%
Level 20: 88%

C) Other Skills

D) Stat Strategies

Skeleton Mastry
     - MAX

     - Level 7-10 or Level 1(depending on what you want)

Skeleton Mages
     - Level 7-10

Clay Golem
     - Level 1

Golem Mastry
     - Level MAX

Iron Golem
     - Level 10

Summon Resist
     - Level 15

Fire golem
     - Level 10

     - Level 7-10

Your first point should go into skeleton, for you should try and ditch your
wand, because your going to need a better weapon, and you should never really
depend on an Item that raises a skill, that can be easily replaced. After that,
you should spend your points in skeleton mastry(1-3) before you start working
up your army, like you've always been taught, Qualityy over quantity. once you
get to you level 6, you should put your one point into golem, that will be good
enough, with the mastry leveled up periodically, until your blood golem. At
level 12, start with your mages, to catch their numbers up to that of your
skeletons. Alternating skeleton mastry and golem mastry is important, then
working in the Summon resist periodically(Until its level 15, since the
increase is only 1% each level). The rest is pretty much leveling up The
masteries and resist, getting your iron golem, and saving so you have 2 points,
so that your able to have revive and your fire golem all in one go. After that,
you basically work up those two and your iron golem, periodically tossing in
one of the mastries, for best results.
This is just a general outline, and can be easily be changed to fit your play

Skeletons are a mixed lot. Many say to go with having a single skeleton as a
prereq, putting more into your mages and revives, for in the long run, they are
better suited. Though, others say, with enough mastry, they should be able to
help through NM. So I really find that it depends on what you want to try. But
like I and many others have said, skellys are pretty much useless agaisnt

As for your golem, since you will be using lots of skill boosing equipment, you
should try and level these up equally, so you can use which ever is good for
the current situation. Most would say normally the iron golem is far
superior(for its thorns), and combined with a good merc, can be deadly,
especially when using golem crafted Items, but then theres just some times
where fire is dominant(BH runs anyone ^_^?). So, level them equally, and let
the items boost the rest.

5) Attribute Points

A) Overlord:

Since your necromancer is going to be a fighter so your going to need much in
here, not only for your armor, but weapon as well, so Strength will be very

I'm still indecisive. You can go about it two ways really. Level it up
periodically, until there isn't much of a change in your attack rating, then
hope for equipment and charms to raise it, or from the start go for the
equipment/charm way. Either way, always make sure you have a good chance to hit
your opponent. No point in having a hard hitting weapon, if you only have a 7%
chance to hit :P
But then again, you may want to use a bow, for primary or secondary, so it all
really depends.

This is almost as important as your strength. You need to have high health and
stamina for when your right there in the heat of battles(that and to run away
fast when your losing :P). Got to be able to take hits as well as you give em.

Early on this isn't too important, but as you progress, it should be focused on
a bit less, if not equally as Vitality. Your going to need to quickly be able
to bring back anyone killed in the heat of battle, and if due to overwhelming
or lit enchants, you need a whole army again, your ready for it(that and the
high costs for em), but since your fighting with them, its not as important as
a pure summonancer.

B) Pure Summoner:

For the pure summoner, this is less important. You need to have it high enough
for strong armor. Thats about it. Toss your extra points here.

None here. Your not fighting. No reason to.

This comes in second, for you'll need alot of health if your army is
momentarily broken through. Must be nimble to avoid any unnecessary damage as

The majority of your points will go here, as you'll be summoning quite a bit,
and with the costs always heightening towards the end, its necessary to be able
to summon at any moment, especially with revives. This is your main area with
the pure summoner.

6) Equipment:

Equipment makes the man. I don't really know alot about specifics with armor
and equipment. the big main thing, is you should try and find good
weapons/armor/whatever that add to all skills/all nercomancer skills/All
summoning skills. These really give you extra strength, extra fighters, and
with the right kind of equipment, extra power. It's almost essential to get
these, especially with raising skills over lvl 20. You know what you need,
power wise, so just use your judgement, and this as a possible base. Though I
have a few examples, if anyone has some good reccomended equipment ideas(For
Overlords and Summoner), feel free to mail me.

A) Arms:
For the Overlord, your best bet would be any powerful single hand melee weapon
and a good sheild, or monster head, where as for the Pure, you'd probably want
a good summoning wand to aid your skills and definetly a monster head with the
same skill bearing properties.

Arm of King Leoric (Massive summoning bonuses)
One-Hand Damage: 10 To 22 (16 Avg)
Required Level: 36
Required Strength: 25
Durability: 15
Base Weapon Speed: [-20]
150% Damage To Undead
10% Chance To Cast Level 2 Bone Prison When Struck
5% Chance To Cast Level 10 Bone Spirit When Struck
+ (1.25 Per Character Level) 1.25-123.75 To Mana (Based On Character Level)
10% Faster Cast Rate
+2 To Terror (Necromancer Only)
+2 To Raise Skeletal Mage (Necromancer Only)
+3 To Skeleton Mastery (Necromancer Only)
+3 To Raise Skeleton (Necromancer Only)
+2 To Summoning Skills (Necromancer Only)
+2 To Poison And Bone Skills (Necromancer Only)

Hehehe Rest Well Leoric, I'll find your son!

For the Overlord, I'd reccomend a good bow, for those pesky guys you don't want
to risk getting close to. For the Pure, probably a different set of Summonable
things, such as something to raise mastries just for creating, or to power a
different kind of golem.

Pus Spitter (Good for both)
Two-Hand Damage: (52.5-67.2) To (107.5-137.6) (80-102.4 Avg)
Required Level: 36
Required Strength: 32
Required Dexterity: 28
Base Weapon Speed: [0]
+150-220% Enhanced Damage(varies)
+150 Poison Damage Over 8 Seconds
Requirements -60%
9% Chance To Cast Level 6 Poison Nova When Struck
4% Chance To Cast Level 1 Lower Resist On Striking
+ (5 Per Character Level) 5-495 To Attack Rating (Based On Character Level)
10% Increased Attack Speed
+2 To Necromancer Skill Levels
10% To Maximum Poison Resist
Poison Resist +25%

B) Body:
For both cases, your going to want something tough, more for the Overlord than
the Pure(since your trying to avoid getting hti as opposed to being on the
front line). Anything rare or unique would suffice, but high def is a must. I
guess for alot of cases your looking for the best attributes and bonuses.

Trang-oul's Scales (Good for both)
Defense: 787-857 (varies)(Base Defense: 315-342)
Required Level: 49
Required Strength: 84
Durability: 70
+150% Enhanced Defense
Requirements -40%
40% Faster Run/Walk
Poison Resist +40%
+100 Defense Vs. Missile
+2 To Summoning Skills (Necromancer Only)

C) Head, Belt, and boots:
Like I said, I don't really know specifics, but like before, anything really
good, possibly with mana leech or adds to mana would be good.

Summoner's circlet(+3 to skills)

D) Rings and Ammys:
What ever you can get that helps your dex and attack rating or resistances.
Mana/life leech are also good. Like I keep saying, you know what's good, and
what you need.

Summoner's Amulet (+3 to Skills)

These are blessings ^_^ Theres such a wide variety of things they can do, you'd
be crazy not to keep some good ones for elemental/poison damage, Dexterity,
attack rating, even adding to skills.  You'll want as many skill raising ones
as you can, to keep your army fit and strong. As long as you don't over burden
your inventory, you should be fine. Replace the olds with equally better
smaller ones, its all pretty standard.

+Skill ones
Dex/attack rating ones
Fire, Thunder, and Poison damage ones

7. Hireables

Finally we get down to Hireables. I personally have always loved an Ice Rogue
from act 1(In retrospect, i don't know why, fire is far better for this
situation), for her missile attacks. Others have talked about Getting a thorn
merc, or a Might one in NM, but it really comes down to what you want. Any way
you look at it, your getting back up for you and your troops, so it again comes
down to style. Sure I benifitted by the extra fire power, but someone else may
love the returned damage or the magic, or even the front line. Ice really isn't
reccomended, not at all, for it greatly hinders your chances at briging up an
army at times.

A) Rogues:
Missile Attack, Elemental. Good for the first difficulty, with fire, until you
can get a Might or thorns Merc.
One of these are great, for the first difficulty, having that constant missile.

B) Merceneries:
Nightmare has the best, with Might and Thorns auras. I'd definetly reccomend
either of these.
Your party can, well, Whats the downside to aura's like that? Really. Either
one greatly helps your troops.

C) Iron wolves:
I guess Missile magic attacks are good, again no ice, since you need the
corpses. There are better Hireables though.

D) Barbariens:
What isn't good about them? In your face melee men. They are up there in my
Your Party can greatly benefit from the extra power.

8. Playing a Summonancer

A)General Strategies:

- Almost alyways play with others, unless you know you'll have no problem(even
at that, don't be cockey). You benefit so so much from them, especially against
bosses. Where one is weak, others are strong. Work together and nothing will
stop you, and your Amy of Darkness(Yeah, you knew it was coming :P).

- Use your minions to your advantage. When your almost dead, trapped, or are
against a bunch of monsters your having problems with, you should be able to
slowly dwindle them down, by always making a new golem, and skellys from the
corpses he makes. It takes a bit of skill, but It can really help you in a

- Your minions also make good sheilds. Standing behind your golem as you beat
down a lightning enchanted cuts down on the hits you take sometimes.

- Be careful in close quarters. They can be almost hellish if you get stuck, or
you can't backtrack because of your minions blocking the path(Astral Plane,
Kurast docks, spider caverns, etc)

- Devide and conquer. Against monsters, don't be afraid to seperate from the
group for a bit in a big battle. These guys are tough enough to fend for them
selves. You should usually try to go for the enemy leaders(Unique monsters,
shamans or any kind, annoying reviving guys) while your gang take the rest out.

- Constantly keep your minions at their maximum numbers. It's just common sense
to battle with a full battalion.

- Don't rely too much on your summons for Act Bosses, for they wont last too
long. Pure Summoners should always travel with a party that can help and get
help from them.

- Take a breather. The nice thing about having an army is with guys fighting
for you, your able to step back sometimes and get away from the battle safely,
so you can restore health, ID some stuff, count your gold, ponder why those
crazy guys all say "Rakanishu". Just make sure that they have the upper hand
and aren't on the brink of defeat.

- Don't be afraid to run sometimes. Regrouping and taking the time to rebuild
your troops can turn around a battle not going your way.

cannot stress that enough. I just love how your wandering skellys, or anything,
just decides, hey, let's open Andariel's door while my master is getting ready.
It gets very annoying when your not ready, and a whole new batch of monsters
pours right in.

- Have fun! This is a different way to play, but adds a different aspect to the

B) Playing in a party:
*Coming soon*

9. Golem Crafting

I will go more indepth in this, next update, but here, I'll post great Iron
golem recipies. It would be good to keep a few of these golem Items on you, for
what ever situation calls. Etherial Items are pretty choice for Iron golems as
well, as they have increased stats(Plus they look ethereal too ;)

High Resistance:
With high Summon resistance, creating him out of a 4 perfect diamond paladin
sheild makes a really tough really immune Iron Golem.

More to come...

10. Finalé

Well for now, this concludes the Summonancer Guide. I plan to add more indepth
things, such as more indepth gaming, specifics about mercenaries and their
benefits, and if i ever do feel like it, some Equipment stuff :P I just hope
this finally gives props to the Summonancer, since most people don't even
recognize it as a real character build :P Hehehe, not bad for my first FAQ, ne?
Written in a Day too!

If you have any questions/comments/whatevers, e-mail me at

11. Thanks

I'd Like to thank:

CjayC for hosting this
Toady007 for equipment stuffz and tips
Drxia00 for the idea to call Summonancer generals, Overlords
Chris2001 for lots of help, and the different skill plan

Areat summit for offering us such great D2:LOD info

Blizzard for making this wicked game

And you for taking the time to read this
Good journey fellow hero!

Copyright IsamuKun 2002

View in: