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Presenting: The Renegade Arbalist - an expensive off meta necro

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Description

Preface.

It’s funny, I was experimenting with different set-ups to maximize merc DPS and stumbled back into one of my favorite build types: a ranged Necro.

After exploiting the airplane mode save glitch, high runes are no longer a limiting factor to my builds - probably the only reason i could even make this build viable, but if you’re rich online, you can make this work too.

Background.

Are you sick of
Nova
sorcs, hammerdins, javazons and Mosaic assassins? Love Necros but hate
Corpse Explosion
? Hate how every build wears either SOJ or FCR rings? Want your merc to use something other than Insight or Infinity? Do you want your main skill to be just …
Um
… attack? And do you dislike using mana in general? Do you hate how your stash is always full of high runes? Well then the Renegade Arbalist is for you!

Description.

The Renegade Arbalist (or RA for short) is a Necromancer that fully maximizes his merc’s damage output, in doing so he also maximzes his own. RA is a safe build, and can easily clear P8 content - admittedly not as fast as a Javazon or
Nova
Sorc, but I’d place him solidly in “A” Tier. He has an interesting play style, both offensive and defensive at the same time. It’s the most fun build I’ve played in a while. It’s just you, your merc, an
Iron Golem
and a
Crossbow
… you renegade.

So how does this work? Firstly you’ll need to be at least level 75. You’ll need an act 2 might merc, then you’ll need some expensive rune words… like all of them.

Gear.

We’ll start with you’re Merc’s gear. His weapon is Breath of the Dying - in an
Eth
Great Poleaxe
(or probably a
War Pike
is fine too), high rolls preferred. You might think max damage needs a Pride, and you’re right, but we’ll address that later. On the head there’s an
Andariel
’s visage ideally with a 15ias/+ Fire Res jewel or maybe a
Cham
rune, and an
Eth
Fortitude armour.

Next is your gear.
Head:
Giant Skull
with 2 x +40%ed, could also go with +flat damage, no need to add ias, we’re already at our breakpoints. Could maybe put a Wisdom here… or a Gface, i just love that
Giant Skull
! And knock back is a
Key
component of the RA.
Chest:Enigma - fr/w, tele, + all skills, MF, etc. In a non-superior mageplate!
Weapon: Faith in a demon cross bow - you’ll want the level 15
Fanaticism
aura, +skills doesn’t really matter (but it’s still nice), everything else about this bow is awesome, static damage, ITD, 300% bonus to AR, all res… no wonder it’s on like all Bowazons. I once though Brand was BiS for a ranged necro, while that is a
Great Bow
, when the RA has a Faith, he’s on another level.
Belt
: razor tail - you need at least some piercing
Amulet, gloves,
Boots
- RA is a physical damage character so high lords,
Laying of Hands
, and gore riders
Rings: Ravenfrost and: Bul-Kathos’ wedding band (life is much better than mana)!, you could swap out the BK ring for a
Wisp Projector
, i just haven’t found one yet.
Charms: anni, torch, enough to get resistances respectable, a have a few summoning skillers and then like 10 x 4/20s. I put ident and tp scrolls in my
Belt
(which i almost never drink from). Can put a good number of MF charms here too
On switch I’ve got my CTA and Spirit - you could go with other options here, i forget to apply them fairly often and it’s not that biga deal.

Also: you need a Pride - again you want the highest possible
Concentration
aura.

So that a grand total of 9 high runes - sorry, but it’s worth it!

Skills.

Ok first things first - you’re going to have an
Iron Golem
, and it’s going to be from your Pride. The single most expensive item is you’re IG, so max out IG,
Blood Golem
and
Golem Mastery
. With all the extra +skills and BO, he’s actually pretty tanky. My IG has 8.6k life before the BO. I only need to keep an eye on his health in the moo moo farm or against a tough mob in the
Chaos Sanctuary
- but user beware: every now and then 2 or more elites get together for a party, one brings fanatasism, another one fast attack or spectral hit and the day sucks, but i digress.

The next skill to max out is
Amplify Damage
- this is your main/only skill.

After that: Bone armour i guess? Don’t get any Skellies - they just get in the way and slow down your merc, other curses aren’t needed, any poison novas would be overwritten by the ones coming from your merc’s kills, and you don’t have enough points left to make
Teeth
or
Bone Spear
/Spirit useful. You could put some into
Corpse Explosion
, but on higher player counts it starts to suck. But your spare points are yours to spend.

You sorta want to get this all right the first time though, if you need to respec you’ll drop your IG - maybe you could throw on a metal grid or Oath and he might stay… im too afraid to try.

Stats.

Strength enough to wear everything (remember to check your swap), i threw like 100 points into dex for some AR and a bit of extra damage. Everything else into vitality.

Play Style.

It’s pretty basic: Buff, amp damage, let the merc kill everything, and fire some
Bolts
if you want - you’ll find your merc kills stuff really fast, it’s crazy. You’ll see how you can kill stuff really well too, and the knock-back allows you to multitask and stops ranged badguys from firing. You sorta want to get yourself in there (walk into groups of enemies, I don’t recommend telestomping) to get your merc to commit, then disengage and line up the bad guys to be taken out with any
Bolts
that
Pierce
(enough do to make it satisfying).

The only thing that can slow you down are the physical immune
Iron Skin
elites, so usually i just skip them - they’re pretty rare though - you’ll know you’ve found one when your merc and IG are attacking the same creature for more than like 2 seconds. 99% of enemies can only take a single stab or maybe 2. The on-paper merc damage is ~13k, but amp damage realty kicks it up a notch. The IG does suprisingly decent damage from his
Thorns
, and while you’re damage should say between 1-3k on the lying character screen, you’ve got crushing blow,
Critical Strike
and the amp damage. The RA should be able to put down most monsters with ~6
Bolts
or less.

The RA is almost never in direct danger, the knock back from the
Giant Skull
and life leach from BK ring are a great combo. And if you run out of ammo you’re not dead in the water like a bowazon, after a minute or so your merc will put some
Bolts
on the Ground for you!

One thing the RA is great for are those
Terror
zones no-one wants, the bloodmores, great marshes, glacial caverns, rivers of flame, ect. They’re all great for the RA. The really high density is more fun for the S tier builds. I’d stay away from cows - no point trying to complete with javazon/
Nova
sorc. While you’d be able to handle a terrorized trav and WSK on P8, it’s still just risky enough to make me question it (I have done it though, both the IG and merc handled the
Baal
waves just fine). I’d stay clear of
Nihlathak
on P8 too.

I’ll be honest i did lose a Pride IG to an elite pack in cows once (that sucks let me tell you) - you sorta got to be on your game when you play as the RA. But once you get the play style you should find it to be rather safe. The risk is addicting - sorta like what i imagine it’s like to play on hardcore (but I’m too scared for that)

Once i find a
Wisp Projector
i’ll do a follow-up, but otherwise let me know if there’s anything that probably could be improved and please let me know if you try it or something like it! It’s way more fun than you’d think and totally worth it.
Description by Nate
5

Can be used to make Runewords:

7
User avatar

Nate 552

Switch
Preface.

It’s funny, I was experimenting with different set-ups to maximize merc DPS and stumbled back into one of my favorite build types: a ranged Necro.

After exploiting the airplane mode save glitch, high runes are no longer a limiting factor to my builds - probably the only reason i could even make this build viable, but if you’re rich online, you can make this work too.

Background.

Are you sick of
Nova
sorcs, hammerdins, javazons and Mosaic assassins? Love Necros but hate
Corpse Explosion
? Hate how every build wears either SOJ or FCR rings? Want your merc to use something other than Insight or Infinity? Do you want your main skill to be just …
Um
… attack? And do you dislike using mana in general? Do you hate how your stash is always full of high runes? Well then the Renegade Arbalist is for you!

Description.

The Renegade Arbalist (or RA for short) is a Necromancer that fully maximizes his merc’s damage output, in doing so he also maximzes his own. RA is a safe build, and can easily clear P8 content - admittedly not as fast as a Javazon or
Nova
Sorc, but I’d place him solidly in “A” Tier. He has an interesting play style, both offensive and defensive at the same time. It’s the most fun build I’ve played in a while. It’s just you, your merc, an
Iron Golem
and a
Crossbow
… you renegade.

So how does this work? Firstly you’ll need to be at least level 75. You’ll need an act 2 might merc, then you’ll need some expensive rune words… like all of them.

Gear.

We’ll start with you’re Merc’s gear. His weapon is Breath of the Dying - in an
Eth
Great Poleaxe
(or probably a
War Pike
is fine too), high rolls preferred. You might think max damage needs a Pride, and you’re right, but we’ll address that later. On the head there’s an
Andariel
’s visage ideally with a 15ias/+ Fire Res jewel or maybe a
Cham
rune, and an
Eth
Fortitude armour.

Next is your gear.
Head:
Giant Skull
with 2 x +40%ed, could also go with +flat damage, no need to add ias, we’re already at our breakpoints. Could maybe put a Wisdom here… or a Gface, i just love that
Giant Skull
! And knock back is a
Key
component of the RA.
Chest:Enigma - fr/w, tele, + all skills, MF, etc. In a non-superior mageplate!
Weapon: Faith in a demon cross bow - you’ll want the level 15
Fanaticism
aura, +skills doesn’t really matter (but it’s still nice), everything else about this bow is awesome, static damage, ITD, 300% bonus to AR, all res… no wonder it’s on like all Bowazons. I once though Brand was BiS for a ranged necro, while that is a
Great Bow
, when the RA has a Faith, he’s on another level.
Belt
: razor tail - you need at least some piercing
Amulet, gloves,
Boots
- RA is a physical damage character so high lords,
Laying of Hands
, and gore riders
Rings: Ravenfrost and: Bul-Kathos’ wedding band (life is much better than mana)!, you could swap out the BK ring for a
Wisp Projector
, i just haven’t found one yet.
Charms: anni, torch, enough to get resistances respectable, a have a few summoning skillers and then like 10 x 4/20s. I put ident and tp scrolls in my
Belt
(which i almost never drink from). Can put a good number of MF charms here too
On switch I’ve got my CTA and Spirit - you could go with other options here, i forget to apply them fairly often and it’s not that biga deal.

Also: you need a Pride - again you want the highest possible
Concentration
aura.

So that a grand total of 9 high runes - sorry, but it’s worth it!

Skills.

Ok first things first - you’re going to have an
Iron Golem
, and it’s going to be from your Pride. The single most expensive item is you’re IG, so max out IG,
Blood Golem
and
Golem Mastery
. With all the extra +skills and BO, he’s actually pretty tanky. My IG has 8.6k life before the BO. I only need to keep an eye on his health in the moo moo farm or against a tough mob in the
Chaos Sanctuary
- but user beware: every now and then 2 or more elites get together for a party, one brings fanatasism, another one fast attack or spectral hit and the day sucks, but i digress.

The next skill to max out is
Amplify Damage
- this is your main/only skill.

After that: Bone armour i guess? Don’t get any Skellies - they just get in the way and slow down your merc, other curses aren’t needed, any poison novas would be overwritten by the ones coming from your merc’s kills, and you don’t have enough points left to make
Teeth
or
Bone Spear
/Spirit useful. You could put some into
Corpse Explosion
, but on higher player counts it starts to suck. But your spare points are yours to spend.

You sorta want to get this all right the first time though, if you need to respec you’ll drop your IG - maybe you could throw on a metal grid or Oath and he might stay… im too afraid to try.

Stats.

Strength enough to wear everything (remember to check your swap), i threw like 100 points into dex for some AR and a bit of extra damage. Everything else into vitality.

Play Style.

It’s pretty basic: Buff, amp damage, let the merc kill everything, and fire some
Bolts
if you want - you’ll find your merc kills stuff really fast, it’s crazy. You’ll see how you can kill stuff really well too, and the knock-back allows you to multitask and stops ranged badguys from firing. You sorta want to get yourself in there (walk into groups of enemies, I don’t recommend telestomping) to get your merc to commit, then disengage and line up the bad guys to be taken out with any
Bolts
that
Pierce
(enough do to make it satisfying).

The only thing that can slow you down are the physical immune
Iron Skin
elites, so usually i just skip them - they’re pretty rare though - you’ll know you’ve found one when your merc and IG are attacking the same creature for more than like 2 seconds. 99% of enemies can only take a single stab or maybe 2. The on-paper merc damage is ~13k, but amp damage realty kicks it up a notch. The IG does suprisingly decent damage from his
Thorns
, and while you’re damage should say between 1-3k on the lying character screen, you’ve got crushing blow,
Critical Strike
and the amp damage. The RA should be able to put down most monsters with ~6
Bolts
or less.

The RA is almost never in direct danger, the knock back from the
Giant Skull
and life leach from BK ring are a great combo. And if you run out of ammo you’re not dead in the water like a bowazon, after a minute or so your merc will put some
Bolts
on the Ground for you!

One thing the RA is great for are those
Terror
zones no-one wants, the bloodmores, great marshes, glacial caverns, rivers of flame, ect. They’re all great for the RA. The really high density is more fun for the S tier builds. I’d stay away from cows - no point trying to complete with javazon/
Nova
sorc. While you’d be able to handle a terrorized trav and WSK on P8, it’s still just risky enough to make me question it (I have done it though, both the IG and merc handled the
Baal
waves just fine). I’d stay clear of
Nihlathak
on P8 too.

I’ll be honest i did lose a Pride IG to an elite pack in cows once (that sucks let me tell you) - you sorta got to be on your game when you play as the RA. But once you get the play style you should find it to be rather safe. The risk is addicting - sorta like what i imagine it’s like to play on hardcore (but I’m too scared for that)

Once i find a
Wisp Projector
i’ll do a follow-up, but otherwise let me know if there’s anything that probably could be improved and please let me know if you try it or something like it! It’s way more fun than you’d think and totally worth it.
7
User avatar

Necrarch 1802Moderator

Necromancer Europe PC
Wow, seems great fun, thanks for this guide !

Image

Main: Necromancer / Second: Assassin / Third: Amazon / Check my stash and my crafts including my caster belts :), and my many cheap
Annihilus
/ Accepting payment in L or NL currency though I only play NL
7
You can reset your skills after creating your
Iron Golem
(with all synergies maxed).
You won't loose your IG if you have
Metalgrid
(with charges) in your amulet slot.
So you can have
Bone Armor
(with all synergies maxed) or any skill that you want

Relax and have fun!
7
User avatar

Necrarch 1802Moderator

Necromancer Europe PC
mockingbirdreal wrote: 7 months ago
You can reset your skills after creating your
Iron Golem
(with all synergies maxed).
You won't loose your IG if you have
Metalgrid
(with charges) in your amulet slot.
So you can have
Bone Armor
(with all synergies maxed) or any skill that you want
So for any necro, for the cost of 2 tokens and a
Metalgrid
on yourself while respeccing, you can have an Insight / Infinity / Pride...
Iron Golem
with the stats of one at 20 IG/20
Golem Mastery
?
Losing it is annoying and pricey, but much less likely - very interesting to know !

Image

Main: Necromancer / Second: Assassin / Third: Amazon / Check my stash and my crafts including my caster belts :), and my many cheap
Annihilus
/ Accepting payment in L or NL currency though I only play NL
7
So I’ve heard that even though the IG bug is fixed and it persists as long as you’re wearing a metal grid or Oath, each time you log in it rolls the IG’s stats according to the current skill level - meaning if you did a fully leveled and synergies end IG, then threw on a metal grid, used a token then only put 1 point into IG it’s life total wouldn’t be the ~8k of a fullly synergised one, it’s the like 1k of a 1 point wonder

I don’t know it 100% as a fact, i think i heard it in a ginger gaming mentor video
7
I might try an mf version of the RA. with how you can spawn all the monsters in an area at p1, go away for a bit, turn it to p7 and get p7 drops for p1 fights, it might be worthwhile. You could probably swap out basically all your gear less the Faith for more mf cantered stuff …

Still waiting on that
Wisp Projector
to drop, really want to try this with a Spirit of the wolverine!
7
User avatar

TheDoo 326

Europe PC
Skeli Mages don't get in a way and they are pretty useless otherwise... Maybe consider putting some extra points in there and see how it goes (just for the funzies)? :D
P.S. Very nice off-meta build I like it! GGs :)

Ma neeeeeeema veeeeeeeze! xd

Someone much smarter than me already said once: "The real value of something doesn't reflect in a number of how much a seller is asking for it, but on how much a buyer is willing to pay for it."
7
Edit from above, i did a bunch of
Nihlathak
runs with the RA on P7, wasn’t an issue, you know, as long as your smart about it. so farming all keys isn’t a problem
7
So it’s been a while since i played this character, and i made some upgrades:

I found a +15ed 4os
Crusader Bow
, with fanatasism, high lords and
Laying of Hands
it gets to 11 frames per attack - if you have 2 40/15s you could get to 10 frames per attack.

I swapped out the 4/20 small charms for 10max damage, AR and +6 dex grand charms, higher damage overall (but technically sharp large charms of dexterity would be even better)

I dropped the bul-Kathos wedding band for a life leech ring with +dex/+strength + damage and some res.

I’m still farming for some jewels to replace the 2 x 40ed ones in the
Helm
, but no luck yet.

Oh yea and i respec’d to max dex, so has like 12k ar and damage increased by quite a lot.

I also swapped out the Andy’s face for a g-face with a 40ed jewel on the merc

Much better performance! Well actually slightly better performance, but runs go much faster now
7
Been playing this quite a bit over the last couple days, with the new updates it’s really good, p7
Terror
zones, normal lvl85 areas. It even took out the trav council without a sweat, i barely need to keep track of the IG, even in a place like cows.

So damage with all the auras is 1.5k-6k (the necro’s normal attack), but that before deadly strike (33%) and amp damage.

Could probably get a bit more damage with some really gg jewels, charms and a
Blood Ring
. The
Giant Skull
totally has utility with the knock back-and it’s fun!-but objectively g-face with a good socket might be better.

So there’s still some fine-tuning to go (oh yea, don’t have a perfect torch either), but this might be a contender for fastest general clear speed for a necro…just an IG, amp damage and some gear
7
have u considered crafted knockback gloves? then the
Helm
opens up. Wisdom for
Pierce
?
7
So initially you mentioned when you get dual packs of mobs it can kill your golem fast. What about 1 decrep for the few times? Wouldn't a slower but much safer kill be worth much more than potentially 3 HRs? I assume you've considered this, just curious to know.

I also wonder if there's a healthy balance to shifting points into
Bone Wall
for a stronger shield, since shield and synergies are 1:1 so it makes more sense to get the benefits of having a
Bone Wall
also. But obviously, this would be with maybe a few points out of mastery since I'm sure it diminishes a lot beyond 5-10 points as skills tend to do.

This all said w/o having played the class and not knowing how dangerous/safe it truly is. It sounds interesting to try that's for sure! I know you said you don't like summons cause they get in your way, I'm wondering how a 1 point for special use cases with Urdars would go.

Great build shifting from cookie cutter as always, delivering something fresh like Nate does. :)

Time i'm most active 03:00am - 06:00am UTC on occasions 02:00pm-07:00pm
7
I’ve though about crafted gloves, it’s just hard to give up that 350% damage to demons, but maybe i will try it. Right now I’m just trying to optimize the ring & charms!

Yea you could get decrep, it just takes so many skill points to get down there, so if i see a mob with decrep im just a little more careful (just ready to tele away)

Yea with my leftover points i only put 1 into Bone armour the rest into
Bone Wall
, or could do
Bone Prison
, they buff the armour the same as a direct point but don’t add any mana cost to cast

I might try a respec and see if i can take a few points away from the IG without loss in survivability and get some skele mages, probably wont make a difference but i might try

Another option to switch it up even further would be to make the IG out of Beast and give the necro a Mist! Less powerful auras, but that might be a better bow… idk yet
7
Thanks for the guide, will try.

By the way,
Metalgrid
is the one you can use to respec. Tried and it worked.

Image
Image
* I trade both ladder and non-ladder, please check before asking.
* All my trades are for runes, keys (especially KoT and KoH) and essences!
7
Nate2.0 wrote: 5 months ago
Yea with my leftover points i only put 1 into Bone armour the rest into
Bone Wall
, or could do
Bone Prison
, they buff the armour the same as a direct point but don’t add any mana cost to cast
For sure, I left out Prison cause it branches off
Spear
and that's extra points lost. Could keep a decrep
Wand
, but that seems painful lol.

Yeah, Mist seems kinda hot.

Time i'm most active 03:00am - 06:00am UTC on occasions 02:00pm-07:00pm
7
Once i get a really good ring and charms, I’ll probably try the Mist, Beast combo on another necro character i have, couple things I’d need to do first, gotta find a good base, then I’d have to figure out what to do with the
Belt
, as razor tail would be basically irrelevant (it’s still got +damage and dex), maybe I’d try making a
Blood Belt
.

It’s funny because I’ve never worried so much about stats as with this build, any +strength, +dex or +life matters. Like a lot. So i guess a good
Blood Belt
could be useful for +strength.

The character almost never gets hit with the merc and IG running around, so even though he’s max dex right now i still put like 100 points into vitality…which really sux on a necro. Could probably just focus on the +life stats on gear and really go max dex
7
So i found a 5os
Shadow Bow
, rolled a Mist - lvl 12
Concentrate
, 366ed. Not bad, and also i was trying my luck going into the
Chaos Sanctuary
whilst falling asleep… woke up and my IG was gone. Well it happens, it’s not hardcore so all i lost was my Pride.

Anyways i took my spare Beast (lowest possible roll in a
Berserker Axe
), turned that into an IG and equipped my Mist.

This is interesting.

The Pride IG would every now and then actually hit something an cast blind on it. This normally isn’t a problem except when you encounter a pesky physical immune. The merc can’t deal with it and the IG keeps applying blind, so it’s kinda a race for you to cast amp damage and get the merc to hit before the IG does. Not the end of the world, but can be annoying.

A Beast IG solves this problem. Sure each aura is lower (your necro’s max damage drops to around 4K only, and the merc’s max damage is sitting around 12k), and your attack rating takes a nose dive (from 12k to about 6k), but your IG actually starts killing stuff.

So much so i want to re-roll the Beast in an
Eth
2-handed
Axe
and pump up
Fire Golem
and see how high his damage could get. He’s also got the crushing blow and open wounds from Beast, so could actually be value added in a boss fight!

Oh yea swapped out then razor tail for nausferatu’s coil, you shoot faster and steal way more life, so it’s still safe, and because your 100% piercing you can make up for the lost damage by lining up your targets
7
Yep, so i did it, made an
Eth
Beast in a big 2 handed
Axe
(not decapiter, the
Glorious Axe
… still good speed and decent damage), i also upgraded the merc’s ebotd to a 400/12
Ghost Spear
, and my bow to a crusader Mist. I also pumped up
Fire Golem
to max up the IG damage.

I do 2-4.5k damage, the merc does 2.5-15k damage, and the IG is somewhere in between (he can kill a thing faster than me!).

The gameplay is super chill, the IG still needs a bit of baby sitting, but thats the way it goes.

Probably a bit slower than Pride IG and Faith weilding, but you know, a bit safer and still fun!
9

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