Does Raise Skeletons need a buff?

Skeletons are really strong, until they are not. Against high damage, they just crack and since they have CD isn’t convinent to redeploy them. In Crucible (if I remember correctly) pets lose buffs, if they die and it’s not easy to keep all of them alive, even with precise micro management. I mean, lots of debuffs, ground damage and occasional shotgun attacks.

SR, I am not confident in piloting my usual Skeleton builds in 85. You have to pay attention to lots of small details, personally don’t think I can do it reliably. SR 75-76 is more realistic expectations. It’s worth mentioning my Skeletons are tailored for high damage, one can use more defensive map, but not sure how helpful would be for Skeletons Cabalist. It’s not like the Conjurer, where you can go for more tankiness.

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Agreed. And the unconverted vitality damage makes their leveling damage sub-par.

Its a mixture of inherent fragility, alongside the difficulty of getting key (elemental, acid, aether-chaos) resists on gear for them in a leveling environment that makes them fragile.

Combine all that with a slow startup animation where they can be damaged, and you get the absurdity of running screaming across the korvaak arena on normal while the pets die as quickly as they are summoned without dealing notable damage. Thankfully that doesnt happen all that much anymore.

Also no real way of healing them. Regen was removed from call of the grave, deathwatcher pendant modifier only affects the player.


highly disagree
skeleton dmg output is fine during levelling; you can level as aether pets and it’s “fine”, aether just sucks at endgame by comparison
unconverted dmg during levelling doesn’t really matter much because MC has basically 0 defences to deal with partial dmg types from pets, be it acid, vit, fire, aether whatever silly mix we can throw in with or without MIs

it’s this, and only this, heck your resistance point i don’t even really fully agree with because it is technically doable to cover (except pierce res)
Pets have 70% armour absorb and can’t get more, so phys dmg always goes through no matter what. Ontop of that skeletons armour rating is naturally low, “makes sense”, combined with low(est?) phys res and phys dmg is quickly the main reason why skeletons crumble like paper - and pet armour bonus increases is meaningless because of their low base armour rating

doesn’t really matter, stacking pet regen amounts to a less trickle than pet lifesteal does, because there is so very little of it even outside Call of the Grave could combine.

personally i’m fine with skeletons being considered “disposable” glass cannon (fodder) pets, but they still need some slight staying power
be it higher native base resist to make resist coverage easier/higher totalled, inherent leech (unlikely with v1.2 changes? :grin:), tweaks to armour rating or phys res?
or easier resummon QoL that doesnt’ lock you into 2 specific items, while still not really being enough for some high dmg or burst encounters, this option would potentially end up being “tolerable” tho also the least favourable imo

also thought of giant’s blood being AoE and/or Dryad being aoe, tho i could see issues arising from both, by just ending up making the regular pets way stronger from that.

More testing for comparison purposes:

  • The Fire Skeletons I posted about before performed a 6:20 Crucible, and a 14:45 SR 75-76
  • Pets Pyromancer, which has Primal Instinct instead of Skeletons, performed 6:05 in Crucible and a blistering (for me, shut up) 10:22 SR 75-76
  • Fire Beastcaller’s Conjurer, where I was trying to match nofika4u’s build near exactly, performs a 5:21 Crucible in my hands and a 10:37 SR75-76. That’s regarding the fact that this build can somehow survive Fevered Rage in Crucible and is not for the feint of heart.

There’s a lot about Skeletons I can test next, likely will be Chaos Skeletons to see how it fares compared to standard Chaos Conjurers, since Witching Hour is perfectly designed for Skeleton builds, it should have the advantage, but that’s why I’m testing this stuff out, to see how it fares in the same hands compared to glassifying the build for extreme outliers in Crucible times.

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Lost Souls cabalist is a pretty good all round build but still behind the best non-pet builds imo. It’s speedy in CR and fast for a pet build in SR 75-76. Can push SR 90 with very careful piloting. Ghol and Bysmiel with skeletons works fine as well but both the summoner and skeletons are missing some tankiness for safe SR 75.
I personally prefer skeletons to Conjurer builds since they solve aoe issues most pet builds struggle a bit with, but beastcaller for example can be built much safer for high SR and better vs super bosses.

I think the biggest issue with skeleton tankiness is still pet resists even though it got some buffs lately. Its a struggle to cap aether/chaos/ele/bleed/pierce without Taskmaster of the Wild MIs and you usually wont have much res overcaps, making pulling multiple bosses in SR an issue since they can’t handle debuffs. Skeletons could really use some base bleed res. I also think Bysmiel’s Command devo duration could be increased so we get full flat RR uptime. Maybe some pet ADctH could be added/increased to help sustain.

Builds for reference
Lost Souls


You want more testing? I’ve got more testing!

Testing Chaos Skeletons vs Chaos Conjurer:
Witching Hour Cabalist - 6:45 Crucible, 13:28 SR 75-76
Chaos Pets Conjurer (modeled from Skelemental’s Chaos + Fire Conjurer) - 6:55 Crucible, 14:07 SR 75-76

Vitality Skeletons vs Vitality Conjurer:
Guardian of Death’s Gate Cabalist (taken from AlkamosHater’s Cabalist with slight devotion changes) - 5:49 Crucible, 11:35 SR 75-76
Vitality Pets Conjurer (Skelemental’s Deep SR Character but with Mogdrogen devotion route cause gotta go fast) - 7:00 Crucible, 11:57 SR 75-76

Mind you, these are just my Crucible times and they can go faster with better hands, but at what cost to survivability and intense piloting to squeeze out every last bit of DPS? The Conjurer definitely feels safer even without using Wendigo Totem because of the double Briarthorn + sheer number of item granted pets the Skeleton players don’t have access to, but comparatively speaking, it looks like Skeletons are in a good spot.

I must be too used to meme concepts like Skeleton Death Knight + Defiler and haven’t had the opportunity to see what an optimized Skeleton build would look like until I did the testing. The above post is correct about Skeletons needing Base Bleeding resist, but other than that, there’s not much I see recommending without going into the mind of an elite Crucible player and seeing how to make things faster.

But also, to the deepest bowels of Chthon with Calla for making me go through that with Skeletons.

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That’s some nice testing.

You did mention that you had tested an elemental Spellbinder pets. Yet looking at this build above, the build I had doodled had a lot of similar investments. Obviously the elephant is that an extra 80 RR is huge. But swap in Reap for the dog and birds …and the dev path looks pretty similar

I guess what I’m waffling on about is: Can I convince you to take a crack at this concept?: test and make it better…

I was thinking that even if the skellies were somewhat fragile, the DoT could be leveraged while the other pets are still at work. - Although the resist are overall not bad, even if I was intentionally building them somewhat fragile.

In any case…this thread is a good discussion.

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With enough life, resist, and healing skeletons can manage to stay up (I mean, constant resummoning, but never at zero skeletons) vs. Calla, but… it’s not the most efficient, this took 20 minutes. :frowning:

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I think what could really help skeletons while maintaining their “squishy, disposable theme” would be increasing their summoning animation speed in some way. Not sure if that’d be possible via endgame items only.

Finally managed to kill Cally in around 11 minutes -

Build used - Cabalist, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator

I am pretty sure less than 10 mins is possible, but too lazy to min-max :3


Cabalist, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator | 9:20 minutes kill :blush:


It can apparently melt SR 75 (for a pet build), but it sucks vs Crate (I couldn’t kill it with this build)


aaaannddd… done - less than 8 mins Cally kill with Skeletons :3

Finally got Crate as well - (took nearly 2 minutes though)


how fast is calla kill if we remove reap spirit from the equation ?


Good question :yum:
I am not sure where to put those points though :thinking: . If you have a particular setup in mind, I can test it :+1:

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relatively basic approach to the redistribution selection: moar damadz:sweat_smile:
unsure where the last 4pts would be best spent

no idea if that’s best, like would more health ie bonds getting maxed be better? more healing or 2% more phys res by maxing BoD and aspect? etc, get birb out with maxed mend flesh for passive healing?
likewise with the last 4pts after my "moar damadz"notion, no idea what would actually be “best” :person_shrugging:


I decided to put the last 4 points in Omen - Cabalist, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator

We now have a faster Cally kill at around 7 minutes


so a build gets better, by ditching 21pts reap spirit wraiths (fully converted),
-did this thread suddenly become “Sundered Wraiths need a buff” too/instead?:grin:



im literally gonna use that grim tools to copy the same exact devotions + exact same skill distribution to level SSF and i will not change my mind even if anyone tells me there is no vit/phys to chaos conversion items and that its a bad idea

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there’s phys to chaos conversion, 45% of it


Superbosses have had bonus damage reduction/damage against pets since forever. In light of what other builds can do now, the damage reduction is probably unwarranted now.

I can see giving skeletons a modest bump to their health and Will of the Crypt (note, skeletons can actually have more armor than a Hellhound with it).