Remove Weapon Damage from Skeletons (Necro Pets) and buff the Pets

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I’m in for any buff to skelli and doggo survivability. One thing that I wanted is for skeleton to have similar mechanic with the act V Reanimated Horde from Diablo 2. Each time the skeleton killed they wait for 5 second to ressurect themselves again and the skill have a cooldown of 10-15 seconds independent from each skeleton.

On Grim Dawn I think it can work using the Korvaak/Kupa death mechanic. It go like this: Skeleton lives and happy > skeleton dead and spawn another same class skeleton > newly spawned skeleton have spawn animation that last 5 second(like korvaak) and unselectable until it start attacking > skeleton lives and then the skill cooldown started > skeleton is killed once again and if the cooldown is already up the process above repeats, if the skill is still on cooldown the skeleton is dead permanently and the summon skeleton skill needs to be recasted.


Okay, so I’ve done some preliminary Crucible runs with Lightning Skeletons. Even with 2,200% Lightning Damage (with the potential of adding another 1,500% on top of that), I’m only getting around 4 minutes to beat 150-160, and I’m getting relentlessly swarmed in 160-170, either from Aleksander + the heal bots in Wave 161 or the really tough Shar’Zul + Father Kymon + Alkamos combo in Wave 166. I don’t know how well @Maya’s Will-o-Wisp build does in Crucible, but compared to non pet-builds getting < 6 minute runs easy, Skeleton builds are just not viable in comparison.

Screw it, just give Skeletons a straight flat damage bump. Whether it’s in the base skill or from Will of the Crypt, they’re just not performing for how many skill points you need to make them work.


I intend to have a go at it soonTM, will post link here along with the build thread depending on how it goes. This was my original attempt though: Woof - Pet Cabalist (but a lot has changed since then)

I should have specified, when I say AoE, I am also including and non single target attacks and not just pools and such.

Like, if you have 10 pets and they can only die 1 by 1, it gives them safety in numbers.
But if they can all disappear in a second, while also taking much longer to replenish, the quality of quantity is no longer there or atleast not near anywhere as effective as it has to be to compete with other options.

I am honestly a bit puzzled with the RR nerf. It feels much worse than it should be given the the RR lost is 5% from a mastery. And I am not even talking about Superbosses, but in general.

Healer mobs however are what has become a pain for me rather than the likes of Ravager and Callagadra.

Agreed and personally, it feels more restricting when building around it. Perhaps I should test them ingame more rather than fiddling just in GT, but is kind of hard to make a build that looks like something I would want to make ingame.

Aye, I can accept that they are to be fragile and replaceable, but provided it is just as easy to get them back up as it is to lose them. So more summoned at the same time could work.

I was going to cross my fingers and hope for the best, but…

That is sad to hear, but definitely something I can understand.

That said, none of my builds perform well in Cruci atm time wise. All of them are heavily tuned towards SR and superbosses, so Crucible performance had always been more about Resilience rather than fast clears.

Someone like @Plasmodermic or @sigatrev will need to chime in on how fast Pets can clear Cruci atm. Since 5:04 (Plasmo’s Ghol Ritualist) was the record in


But imagine if they also had wings and the ability to shoot lightning…


I believe someone once told me that it was balanced around the rather high Vitality RR provided by Devouring Swarm. Having only a T3 devotion provide -%RR is also odd (Rattosh).

Personally, I would love to see it more homogenized similar to other resistances and RR, but… yeah…

Interesting proposal and would be pretty cool to see how it would work out, but given the stage of development in GD, I don’t think we will get something so different from what already is :frowning:

I believe that Crate’s stance on this is that there will never be non cosmetic minor DLCs sold like that, which I kind of respect, but in turn would mean that it will be either a free update, or not at all (since a major DLC is not planned atm).

No videos, but SR 75-76 should be pretty doable if you pull 1 by 1, even with the RR nerf.
Before all these little changes, I even managed to take down Crate with it (a hell alot of luck involved with me piloting like my life depended on it + many previous failed attempts).

Imo, the only real thing about totems is that you need to avoid getting swarmed and helps if you have a displacement rune or something on your medal to get out of it if you end up getting surrounded. Kind of wish they would pop up a few at a time rather than all at once, but I am ok with them the way they are atm.

Would certainly be interesting to see, but imo, the CD would need to be much shorter than that considering that Transmuted blightfiends can be Spawned at 3Sec CD and even though you can only have 4 of them at once, they bring much more to the table and with a much better performance.

I heard you like walls, I so made another wall to add to your collection of walls



For those who want to see Skeletons performance in video form, here’s me beating 150-170 with Lightning Skeletons:

For comparative sakes, Beastcaller’s Druid & Elementalist complete Crucible around the 12 minute mark, while this build did around 13-14 minutes. Skeletons could definitely use a damage buff as Necromancers don’t have Elemental RR the way that Occultists and Shamans do, and having the double RR definitely trumps the additional pets Skeletons bring to the build.

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By the mercy of the three, what a blockbuster. :open_mouth::+1:

Seems like aggro’ing harder enemies and splitting the action of enemy attacks on a map like “Cruci of Sands” is a must or skellies would be crushed with one false movement. Remembering my own tries with skelly Cabalist and Ritualist i can only salute to this incredible performance. My runs often endend with the frustration of losing all skellies and running around like a madman summoning already broken bones, lol. An average player couldn’t stand a chance. Even very good pilots need immense attention and the know-how to pull that off.

That “Overseer’s” prefix is pretty much a necessary i assume?

Whats your ingame DA?
Cant think of the shown 2,6k have been enough for this performance to happen. Although the frenzied Devotion from the relic caps the phys res from 50% to 80% when procced.

Surprised seeing Wendigos Mark being used, but it makes so much sense. Its fully converted, has 0 CD and makes Skellies leach some life.

How many tries did you need? Success rate in %? (even assuming is okay)
I would guess its in no way possible to pull it up consistently.

Mhh… Dont want to bombard crate with any immature suggestions, but come on, skellies really need some kind of bump. Especially to not be dependend on Hourglass if shit hits the fan. And looking at this well thought out build, skellies still end up more as an decoration and not as an fearsome undead army. Would guess ravens deal like 70% of the damage done.

Wet dreams:

  • CD of skellies being reduced :grava_yes:

  • a Deathknight set till patch 2.0 wich enables a hybrid play with sturdy hard hitting full converted physical skeletons (The Guardian of Death Gates) :pray:

  • Seeing a modifier targeted at Defiler to enable exploding skeletons :damage_fire: (if possible to transfer the hellhound one to skellies engine wise)

Hope :crate: hears our call and has resources to provide some kind of solution. :kissing_heart::zantai:

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Careful what you wish for! If I understand correctly what’s written in the Carnival guide, Physical is horrendeous for pets since each instance of flat Physical damage is reduced separatly by enemies’s armor.

At that point, I think this potential Deathknight set (why Soldier though, for themes I guess?) would be better of giving Vitality or Cold RR.

As for hybrid playstyles, that’s just not how the game is designed, the closest being using melee or ranged spam attacks to enable pet buffs, but most of your damage will come from the pets anyway. I saw maybe one hybrid Ligthning Shaman build that was doing half damage from self and half damage from pets, but imho it begins to be complicated if you have to ensure you’re tanky enough to stay melee on top of having sturdy and damaging pets.


Converted physical damage bypasses armor absorption. So any vitality or elemental damage would turn into good offensive power thats not being reduced.

Yep. Its kinda an aesthetic thing based on my early experiences with the Guardian of Death Gates weapon. No matter how i tried to make sth to conquer crucible, it just hasnt worked out. MC was fine. Maybe my own expectations were set a bit too high though.

One of my favourite builds is this Trozan/Bysmiel hybrid. And it is a true one.

Its has on the pet side:
x / y with sheperd’s call
810 / 1000% pet dmg (plus hidden ele%)
52% pet OA
45 / 73 crit dmg
wich basically makes the pets worthwhile to have around.

Player side:
around 1650% cold/light trozan shards
good sustain with Sigils, Giants Blood, Mirror, Prismatic Diamond and Aether Crystalls :wink:
14k life
~ 3,0k OA and 2,8k DA

CDR makes resumming dog and bird an easy task, wich doesnt happen in MC most of the time since resists are fine. Build completed all dungeons, Morgoneth is really painful. Reached cruci ~160 (could be able to complete 170 once for the hype, but not a farmer in any sense)

Thats the best i could come up with a hybrid build.
Its extremely hard to play in terms of all those possible manouvers with pets and spaming the skills correctly with holding a good position to stand your ground.

Seeing how pet items have also damage increase for the player and some of them being intended to enable such play i cant accept the opinion of hybrid playstyle is not a design choice at all. Looking at weapons such as Dracarris and Bane of the Winter King, wich are vanilla items after all, gets me thinking there was a notion where such ideas found grip by the devs.

With the evolving game and add-ons being created that notion got little thought of how it would be able to be implemented so those builds could at least catch to, like, semy performing builds. One has to mention its a difficult task to enable hybrids without pushing pure pet builds to overperform. So its only chance is by the means of dedicated hybrid items pure pet builds cant abuse. :thinking:

In MC its no problem. The difficulty level is fine to get a hybrid going pretty well.

I think a few dedicated items wich fill some holes would bring the needed change to make it possible to experiment more with hybrids. So they could also serve as an viable Cruci or SR build. But maybe thats too much to wish for like you mentioned. :sleeping:

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Mmmmh, yeah, maybe I was a bit peremptory by saying it was not designed with pet Hybrid in mind, most likely it’s not the direction the players have managed to push build performance. It’s just that you overall need to reach certain stat thresholds for a build to perform, and since pets have their own stats, hybrid builds need a LOT of stats. I feel the problem is that you need both you and the pets to survive, so you can’t really compromise on defense, and you end up having mediocre offense both for the pets and the master. But maybe it is worth trying a little harder, mmmmh.


Yep! Thats the difficulty such builds face no matter how you turn it. It was a lot of fun taking the challenge and playing such one.

Seems we got a bit off-topic, but i think its fine in terms of pet discussion. Thank you for your replies. :slight_smile:


I salute you for trying and making it successful in MC. Sorry for the derailing, Maya and other petmasters, let’s go back to those poor skelies.


Actually, feel free :stuck_out_tongue:

For all my obsession with Pets, a major flaw that I have is that I am too set in my ways regarding how I make my builds. And even with my meme builds, I rarely deviate from that style unless I am tailor making something for someone at their request.

As such, there are times when certain things elude my attention as I fail to even consider the possibility.

So, it is kind of a delight when someone comes in with something unexpected like @Nola’s Hybrid.
Speaking of which, I would love to see its performance in SR as Crucible atm is not exactly Pet Friendly based on my recent experiences. So it might have better luck there.

For example, my meme builds can’t complete Crucible either. But they still manage SR 75-76 in SC (with difficulty and deaths, but still…)

And discussion related to this if needed, can always be moved to The Carnival - A Guide to Pets where it might be more relevant :yum:

For the helmet MI, the important affix is the “Caged Souls” to give pets Bleeding resistance. I took Overseer’s prefix for the Physical resistance and armor absorption. For all my builds, I give myself a personal goal of having 2,000 Armor with 100% Absorption, I feel the difference between having it and not having it when fighting Iron Maiden and other big Physical hitters.

DA in-game is just under 2,700 DA using Physique crafts for the weapon and off-hand. I thought it’d be a big weak-spot as well, but I’ve seen other Crucible players win with 2,500 DA or even lower than that.

This is the first time I’ve used the Wendigo Mark devotion, but the constellation has really good stats, and I always love no-cooldown devotions attached to Skeletons. It’s roughly 85% conversion since Bysmiel’s medal converts Vitality to Elemental, but yeah, I think it was a great decision to use it.

Hourglass was an obvious choice for me, mainly because I wanted to try the newly buffed Call of the Grave and I much prefer skills with greater uptime than having an ability that’s only active <50% of the time. Faster BoD heals, better uptime on Bysmiel’s amulet buff; it’s not just for getting Skeletons when they’re down.

Reliability, I had to pin down exactly what order to kill enemies with before I started seeing success. My Beastcaller pets could kill Karroz at Wave 167 before the onslaught of enemies come; this build doesn’t have the burst DPS for that, so I had to compromise and whittle the trash before facing it. My pet builds in general have a much easier time with Theodin Marcell + Krieg than the combo of Korvaak & Dravis “have a TASTE!” Urobrook. This build has an easier time with Reaper, but now Valdaran & its 92% Lightning Resistance is awful, and Kaisan is always a gamble as to whether I can beat him or not. It really is an uphill battle when it comes to Skeletons & Crucible.


So, I know it has been attempted before, but I’ve theorycrafted a Diviner Spellbinder hybrid. Concept is Aether pets that are kinda disposable, and Devastation in the mix. Goal is all Rogue-like, all Nemesis, Bourbon and Lokarr, SR 50, and Cruci 150. I used 5 MI items, I allowed myself to plan for precise affix/suffix combinations, unless a specific rare affix/suffix is needed (like on the pants and on the medal), then I skipped the other “fix” altogether. Here’s the plan, I’ll tell you how it went after trying it :


65-66 is already pretty heavy. With 12/1/1 Trozan shards and 12/1 Sigils supported by only 1800% damage, its just not able to cleer fast enough. The help of the two semy good Ravens dont get it cut to push the damage to an enjoyable pace. Even some hero mobs take quite some time. Here some pics:

Searched for the screenshot button and we died at the same time lol thx Fabius :grimacing:

First bossroom in 65 was ez with pulling one hero at a time (???/Bloodlord/Duskreaper/Maiden). Kaisan got me a bit mad on 66chunk3 with 2 “un-necessary” deaths (timer run out). Fabius was around the corner and he triggered me from afar with his presence on the minimap, considering our unlucky encounter at the double death fotoshooting. So i could not perform that well against Kaisan.

At that moment i felt confident with pulling one at a time and Grava would be managable… i thought…

Fighting Grava wich was pain enough alone, i somehow pulled that scorpy duskreaper too…

This was right before calling it a day and capturing a last shot :laughing:

Think its better in the crucible with buffs and banners wich make a huge difference. Havent tried bigger crucimaps since the aggro changes, wich should make more sense to that build. Kinda still stuck on those “Crucible of the Dead”-autopicks without thinking of changing it up.

In summary 65-66 is its beatable cap if lucky with bossrooms. :face_with_monocle:

@thepowerofmediocrity Thanks for the insight with your setup. It makes so much sense how you describe it. Your piloting is also a blessing to watch. That Elementalist’s Briarthorns triggering fissure, so tasty to think of. Considering style points, top flavor for sure. :hugs:

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That looks like a ton of fun, need to try it also. Running around with a skeleton army, spirits and casting devastation. The synergy is there, what a great build. :grinning::+1:

Actually, this is much better than I would have initially given it credit for. Any chance of getting a dedicated build thread for it @Nola?

I know atleast a few people who would love to see something being done with the Hybrid Playstyle instead of me just repeatedly telling them it is not viable :sweat_smile:

Will take some time to level a fresh one and providing a detailed level guide. Problem is, its pretty much not a good starter build to farm the endgame setup. Its better to level as a “pure” pet build rather than hybrid (beginning at ultimate). And even so, going full on pets is miles stronger than hybrid at endgame. So its in an awkward position considering it as an build to start with.

Mhh… maybe its best to build it as a pet build and then provide the hybrid setup for the challenge of beating cruci/sr65 with it. Farming in MC is fine though. Depends on the player what he is looking for. A good cookie-cutter or a unique challenging build. Enjoyment with the game seems to be priority for wich un-orthodox builds are interesting mostly for experienced veterans.

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