Need help understanding what I'm doing wrong

Not gonna hide my lack of skill or the fact I’m a noob, but I’m tryin to understand exactely what I’m doing wrong.

Using The Icy Veins Masquerade Bone Spear build.

My gear is not perfect but all the necessary pieces are in place. Just need better rolls/stats.
The way I understood it the flow of gameplay is:

  1. Keep Bone Shield up and make good use of its stun effect to save you from tight situations.
  2. Use Curse on a group of enemies
  3. Use Grim Scythe to recover Essence (and keep the stacking att speed and movement speed bonuses active). Make sure Essence is never capped.
  4. Use Bone Spear a few times until stuff is dead
  5. Warp to the next group of enemies, rinse & repeat

There’s a lot more of real time decisions to be made but of course I tried to simplify things.
Now my damage is decent, even on GR 100 those Bone spears are good.
I have two other problems:

  • What do I do when I’m fighting an elite or a boss from distance to stay alive (and deal more damage) and I run out of essence?
  • I die way too easy. Often I get, like, oneshot. I have 50% damage reduction from Simulacrum, which also furtherly splits incoming damage in 3 parts (66% reduction?), then 30% reduction from stacks of Bone Shield, 48% damage reduction from Daynte’s bindings, 50% from Razeth’s volition. I’m not sure how all these numbers add up in the real damage taken calculation formula, but it seems like it’s a lot of damage mitigation! If that’s not enough then what? How can all those players I meet just stand around in GR 110 and higher rifts without ever being at risk of dying whereas I can die in a nanosecond?

Thanks for your time!

The way you fight bosses (or single targets) is exactly the same, only you don’t benefit from area damage and you cannot generate essence that fast. To compensate for that you kinda want to time your rotation of COE. When it rotates to poison damage, that’s your 4 second window to go all in, stun the boss and start throwing as many bone spears as you can. Then for the next seconds you can start hitting scythe to generate your essence so you can have plenty of it for the next poison rotation. There are elites that have the juggernaut affix that means they are immune to crowd control and make your bane of the trapped and krysbin sentence worthless. If you struggle against them just skip them.

You get around 83% damage reduction just from your set. Yes this is a tanky build. 50% is reduced just from the start, then the other 50% that passes is split between 3 targets. You, 1st simulacrum , 2nd simmulactum. That means (2/3) * 0.5 = 0.33 (33%) is taken away. Hence, 50% +33% it adds up to 83% dmg reduction. Now lets factor the next item. You alreay have 83% dmg reduction, that means 17% hits you. If you take let’s say for example dayntee’s binding which is 50%, then that 50% of that 17% that hits you is also reduced. 0.5 * 0.17= 0.085= 8.5%. So in total you have 83% from the set plus 8.5% from the belt, equals 91.5%. For the next item in line you should multiply that remaining 8.5% with the dmg reduction percentage of that item. It goes on and on like that. This is a very tanky build, you get a lot of damage mitigation layers. As you said it, Razeths volition, dayntee’s binding and bone shield added on top of the already tanky set. From that point all you can do to increase your toughness is to find better gear and increase your paragon.

I saw in your profile that your gear are legendary and you are sitting around 1k paragon. If you start finding ancient pieces, assuming of course that they rolled with the desired stats, not only they provide higher intelligence, vitality, armor, but more importantly you can use the last recipe in the cube to augment them even further. A good milestone is to level up gems up to lvl100 and augment to your gear. This means that if you find 13 ancient items, 13 * 100*5 = 6500 intelligence. Trust me, if you add this number of main stat to a low paragon character it will make a significant difference. Both damage - wise and toughness - wise. Remember, intelligence will increase your toughness through all resistances.

Another thing that i like to do is use the final service passive. Every class has a similar passive that protects you from death and it procs once every 60 seconds ( it cannot be further reduced with cooldown reduction). Change one of your offensive passives with final service and try it to see if this makes it easier. What you can also do is replace the gem in the helmet with an amethyst that gives you more life, altough i doubt that this will save you if get one shotted all the time.

To give you an idea, i am 1700 paragons and have augmented 7-8 of my gear with 120 gems. I believe i have around 17-18k intelligence. I can speed farm gr105 very fast, under 3 minutes with a good map and the only thing that can kill me is if i sit inside molten explosions and maybe another one or two annoying affixes. Although, i am currently playing my seasonal necro and i have access to the 4th cube slot which is another weapon to add more damage to the build. There are things that can hurt me, sure, but my damage is so high that i one-shot the entire screen with my bone spears so nothing can come close. In some cases, best offence is the best defence.

To sum up, you kinda want better gear (ancient with the correct stats) and higher gems (your gems are very low). Then start augmenting them. In the process, you will also be increasing your paragon.

1 Like

Thanks a lot for all the feeback.
Yes gear is still entry level, I set this Necromancer up in just a few days, that’s also why Gems are all 25-60 and so on.

I’ve read in some guides that at “high paragon level” they suggest to start using STR gems (because they raise your Armor, which protects you against physical damage and furtherly benefit from the 100% armor boosts we get from Bone Armor and other stuff).
I wonder where is the threshold for “high paragon level” though.
Around 2000 maybe?

After over 4000 Blood Shards I finally managed to get some decently rolled Ancient wrists which were better than my non ancient ones.
Working on the Phylactery now.
Hope to get some other Ancient items for the other slots in the process.

Again, thanks a lot for all your feedback :wink: Understanding how the damage reduction works in a multiplicative way really cleared up my ideas.
Still, quite insane stuff can oneshot me when I have over 90% damage reduction! xD

May I ask how much VIT you have? Total VIT, from gear, paragon etc. What about your base armor? Base one, before multipliers boost it up.

Happy to help.

Yeah in D3 the numbers are so high that it’s very hard to get used to them. I mean think that you have 90% (or more) damage reduction and almost 1m life pool. Stuff hit you for hundreds of millions of damage in those high GRs.

Unfortuntely, there isn’t a guranteed method to farm better items. You just play the game. There are ways to farm more efficiently though. For exmple a good way to farm items, is to find a GR level that you can clear in 3-4 minutes, whatever that is and keep doing that. You will be accumulting many items this way, and hopefully some of them are fit for your build.

The thing about gems is a common question for new players. Long story short you want to put in your chest and pants the opposite gems of your main stat. Intelligence heroes put str / dex gems and str / dex heroes put int gems. Str/ dex provide armor (they are the same in that regard) and int provides all resist. Since you are a Necro , you will be having a tone of intellect from gear, paragons, augments but a low amount of armor. That’s why you use red / green gems in those slots. Your main stat increases your toughness but with deminishing returns, meaning that the rate of which your int increases your toughness will start to drop the higher your go. If you were a monk for example, i would suggest you put diamond gems in those slots, cause you would be having very high armor through dexterity.

Your paragon is decent enough and i imagine sooner or later you will get the hang of this build and get used to the mechnics, enemies, positioning and start farming high GRs. And with a little patience you will start finding better items. Sure, you may be unlucky for the first few days, but it happens to all of us. It’s just a matter of luck, time and how well you distribute your game time when you log into the game.

Edit: i have around 700k to 800 k life. Not only with this necro but for many other builds. I have found that this is adequate for me to not die easily. That means that you can remove some paragon from int and distribute them to vitality. Don’t overdo it though. Just a couple of hundreds. Of course, if i were a better player i might need even less.

As for armor, i have armor rolls in chest, pants, boots, bracers, belt and of course the gems in chest and pants are rubies. And all of the afforementioned are ancient.

1 Like

A top level Topaz gives you 280 INT.
A top level Ruby gives you 280 STR.
A top level Emerald gives you 280 DEX.
A top level Diamond gives you 78 All Resist.

The mitigation gained from the main stats are…

  1. 1 STR = 1 Armour
  2. 1 DEX = 1 Armour
  3. 10 INT = 1 All Resist

STR and DEX based heroes naturally have high Armour, but low All Resist.
INT heroes naturally have high All Resist, but low Armour.

That’s why STR and DEX heroes take Diamonds in their chest / legs (not Topazes) and INT heroes take Rubies or Emeralds, because those gems provide them with the mitigation that they’re not naturally obtaining via their main stat (which will always be increasing due to paragon allocation).


Meteor is correct. I meant to say diamonds for all res, not topazes. For dex and str classes that is. Also depending on your class, if you can afford it, without sacrificing another offensive stat, it helps to reroll one of the two with the Enchantress. For example in the build that is mentioned here, chest, pants, belt, boots can roll with all resistances for example. It is better to reroll it to armor. The stand alone passive doubles the value of armor, therefore it’s even more effective.

1 Like

With a few changes in gear (haven’t been particularly lucky so far, alas) and lotsa new gems and rerolls I now have over 750k Health and lotsa armor.
Manage to stay alive and help groups in GR 110+ easily.
I still occasionally die but hey, bad luck happens. Overall I feel much more confident.

Damage on GR110+ still isn’t where I’d like it to be, but I’ll get there eventually. With my ability to slow down/stop/stun enemies I still feel I’m contributing to a group, and when I manage to get corridors with a lot of enemies in line and it’s the Poison phase of Convention of Elements, I sure do pack some interesting damage even with 4 players.

Whereas I was struggling on GR above 75 solo, I managed to solo a 100 like a breeze, I think I can easily do 105 as well. I could probably handle even more but at that point damage might become an issue.

Thanks for all the tips, I got a lot better understanding of many choices I was doing wrong :slight_smile:

Good job man.

Some times deaths happen, it’s ok as long as you are not playing hardcore, and for that build it is not that punishing cause you can recast simulacrums again when you respawn.

If you follow a guide, pay attention to what stats roll on each gear. There are some rules for traditional dps buils like this one, for example crit change/crit damage on rings & amulets, poison on bracers & amulets, gloves with as many offensive stats as possible and so on. Also high multipliers are very important. In your case bracers and main weapon.

Lastly, the higher the level of you legendary gems the better. Prioritize lvling up your bane of the trapped and zei’s stone. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Any idea when Necro price comes down to $9.99 again???