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Thoughts re: Necromancer and elemental skills on minions

First off, this isn’t meant to be an efficiency post, more a clarification post.

Acolytes (and all the passive trees related thereof) have almost no mention of elemental skills, but their minions sometimes have skills thereof e.g. Pyro Golem, fire/ice arrows, Pyro/Cryomancer for the skeletal mages. As elemental damage isn’t in the Acolyte’s wheelhouse, it would be nice if A) there was more clarity on what passives help the elemental-based attacks (this isn’t too bad to be honest), and also B) not divide them too much in the Necro tree. For example, there is very little in the way of ice buffs (or minions; there’s a Pyro Golem but not an Ice Golem, so right there I have more incentive to play fire rather than ice), so why would I take a cryomancer over a pyromancer on the skeletal mage tree? Why is getting ice arrows an extra skill over fire arrows?

The ice minions offer a lot more survivability compared to fire. I tried both builds:

  1. Fire Archers only + Pyromancers
  2. Ice Archers only + Cryomancers

While the fire build had a little bit more damage due to ignite the freeze rate ot the ice build helped a lot more to control the enemy mobs.
I agree with you. I would like to have an ice golem, too. And having to spend 1 more skillpoint for ice arrows is not that nice.

I am not 100% sure if +fire/cold damage scales with the minions. On mousover you see what attributes affect your skills. This also alters when you change the damage type of the skill.

I did not pay attention and only went for minion damage as this effects all damage not only a specific type. As I remember there are no special passive nodes for elemental damage of your minions, but global damage increase for minions. So you don’t need to bother imho.

Actually I am trying a melee minion build with warriors and death knights. I’ll try rogue and death knights next.

I’ve looked at this too and come up with the following:

  • It’s probably a build path that is currently incomplete and not meant to be played.
  • They probably originally thought that the existing nodes could work with an intelligence stacking hybrid - intelligence can help defences, some other self cast skill, and minion damage and minion life and freeze chance for minions.
  • It just works out that such an intelligence stacking hybrid is lacking in all areas: damage, defences, minion survivability, minion AI, item synergy, passive synergy, minions actually freezing anything, clearspeed, AOE clear, single target damage, ward generation.
  • of all those points, minion AI is the biggest killer. Your ranged minions do not tank for you, hit nothing too often, shoot at walls, overkill a minor target too often, relocate when you do so that if you are kiting/running for your life, they don’t help at all, and have very poor passive and item help.
  • Freeze as a defensive layer is really, really bad vs most monster types. They shoot a projectile, start a ground effect or wind up an ability and freezing them does not stop the projectile, stop the ground effect or stop the ability from killing you…
  • still, the idea is fun, and maybe we can find something that works for feezy minions now that there are a few more item sets, that mark for death got resist shredding buff, and maybe the idols get fixed. If you watch the shaman freezing build video, that freezes everything screenwide with no effort at all, it’s clear that minion elemental builds are not comparable right now.

I agree with your statement. The passive tree for Necro seems to be not very straight forward with some bonuses here and there.
However while I think that the new set while being weak shows some intent of the developers to establish elemental minion builds. If you’re looking for an elemental damage necro I’d recommend skipping skeletons and focus on mages and wraiths (& maybe golem). With only 2 idols you can get a 100% chance on summoning a flame wraith that shoots fireballs. If you stack those they can deal a lot more elemental damage than the skeletons (in my experience).
Building survivability for you and your pets is another story though.

Note: not to argue, that’s not why I wrote this in the first place nor this message, is not to comment on “strength” and “weakness” of skills, nodes, etc. I’ll leave that to those more qualified than myself (which is most of you). I’m writing only on things like perception, aesthetics, and “fun”, and even that only from my point of view as everyone’s is different.

My goal, and I hope the goal for everyone, are to have skills, nodes, etc., that are all fun to play, worth taking, clear and easy to understand, consistent, and most of all, “fun”.

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