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Rathma Skeletal Mages Necromancer Skills and Runes

Last updated on Jul 17, 2017 at 19:16 by Deadset

Table of Contents

General Information

Below, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Rathma Skeletal Mages Necromancer in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6 and Season 11.

The other pages of our Rathma Skeletal Mages Necromancer guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Bone Spikes Icon Bone Spikes Sudden Impact Sudden Impact Right Mouse Button Skeletal Mage Icon Skeletal Mage Singularity Singularity 1 Devour Icon Devour Cannibalize Cannibalize 2 Land of the Dead Icon Land of the Dead Frozen Lands Frozen Lands 3 Command Skeletons Icon Command Skeletons Freezing Grasp Freezing Grasp 4 Decrepify Icon Decrepify Dizzying Curse Dizzying Curse
Passive Skills

1. Rotation

The basic rotation of this build involves rapidly building up Essence through Bone Spikes Bone Spikes and Devour Devour, and then emptying the entire reserve with a summon of Skeletal Mage Skeletal Mage Singularity Singularity. While your resources will constantly shift between full and empty, never neglect to cast a life-saving Decrepify Decrepify on an upcoming pack of enemies, or to sic your melee minions on a target with Command Skeletons Command Skeletons — this will eat up some Essence, but will be vital for your success. Finally, activate Land of the Dead Land of the Dead whenever it is up for a major fight — this dominant cooldown will all but guarantee your success.

2. Skills, Runes and Passives

The primary damage dealer and focal point of Rathma set builds are the Skeletal Mage Skeletal Mages. Their relatively short 6 second base duration will be nearly doubled with a combination of Extended Servitude Extended Servitude and Circle of Nailuj's Evol Circle of Nailuj's Evol, and their base damage — multiplied by the Circle of Nailuj's Evol Circle of Nailuj's Evol extra summon, Rathma 6-piece and the Jesseth 2-piece. The rune of choice is Singularity Singularity, whose unique property consumes your entire resource reserve for 3% extra damage per Essence spent. This results in 930% extra damage per full resource dump on a reasonably equipped character — a staggering damage difference to the other Skeletal Mage Skeletal Mage runes.

You will have a secondary damage dealer in the build in the face of Command Skeletons Command Skeletons, but it will not be focused on through gear and its impact on overall DPS will diminish as you increase difficulties. They fulfill an important role as procs of the Jesseth set (Jesseth Skullscythe Jesseth Skullscythe and Jesseth Skullshield Jesseth Skullshield), so do not neglect to set them on a target every fresh fight. You will add some crowd control on top through the Freezing Grasp Freezing Grasp rune, providing you with regular procs of the worn Krysbin's Sentence Krysbin's Sentence.

In order to maintain this massive resource demand, you will devote three active skill choices to Essence upkeep.

Your basic source of Essence will be a generator, and while theoretically all of them will do the job, we recommend Bone Spikes Bone Spikes. It is safer with its longer range vs. Grim Scythe Grim Scythe's melee, and is a single cast vs. Siphon Blood Siphon Blood's channeling. Add to that its highest base generation augmented even further by Reilena's Shadowhook Reilena's Shadowhook, and it becomes a no-brainer. You have a significant freedom in your choice of runes; our default recommendation is the short stun of Sudden Impact Sudden Impact for another proc of Krysbin's Sentence Krysbin's Sentence.

The second source of Essence comes from consuming Corpses — a unique Necromancer resource that is generated largely through combat. You will be using Devour Devour with the Cannibalize Cannibalize rune to double dip on bonuses — Health and Essence restoration. Note that due to the skill's lack of casting animation, you are free to spam as much as you need. While you can keep the rune on Devouring Aura Devouring Aura for convenience, that is best left for the lazier, speed farming variation.

The final source of Essence generation depends on Devour Devour, but empowers it greatly. Land of the Dead Land of the Dead supplies you with an infinite amount of Corpses throughout its short duration, allowing you to replenish Health and Essence almost instantaneously. During its uptime, you will be able to get the maximum number of Skeletal Mage Skeletal Mages, all at their maximum power — for a great boost of damage. Note Land of the Dead Land of the Dead's massive cooldown and try to save it for key fights like Elites and the Rift Guardian. The rune Frozen Lands Frozen Lands will ensure the powerful Krysbin's Sentence Krysbin's Sentence proc on all enemies on the screen for even better damage output.

A utility pick should round out your skill selection, either to keep you safe or to provide extra damage to the build. While you can stay on an offense curse like Frailty Frailty Scent of Blood Scent of Blood for as long as you are comfortable, it is highly recommended to swap to the defensive powerhouse Decrepify Decrepify as soon as you start pushing against your gear limits. Empowered by the stunning utility of the Dizzying Curse Dizzying Curse rune and Dayntee's Binding Dayntee's Binding belt, this curse will soften incoming blows even more effectively than the set-induced damage reduction. There is a viable alteration of the build that uses Simulacrum Simulacrum Reservoir Reservoir in this slot, and drops Dayntee's Binding Dayntee's Binding for The Witching Hour The Witching Hour. This variant will result in higher damage output, but with less consistency and makes the build significantly glassier — be prepared to fish for favorable rift layouts and monster composition if you try to take advantage of it.

This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.

As previously mentioned, this is a Skeletal Mage Skeletal Mage-centric build and everything that augments or extends their power is priority; thus Extended Servitude Extended Servitude takes a firm slot in your passive selection for the 1.5 sec. Mage duration increase.

Following a similar logic, to empower the Singularity Singularity rune you will be taking the flat Essence increase of Overwhelming Essence Overwhelming Essence.

To play to the strengths of your equipped Reaper's Wraps Reaper's Wraps and the constant spam of Devour Devour, Life from Death Life from Death will provide you with a consistent supply of Health Globes. This will greatly improve both the rate and the average power of your Singularity Singularity summons.

You have a degree of freedom in your fourth passive slot. By default, we recommend Spreading Malediction Spreading Malediction; it offers an additive damage bonus against enemies affected by your curse — a boon that scales excellently with density and is trivial to keep up. Other options include Swift Harvesting Swift Harvesting (for the Simulacrum Simulacrum variant), or the Necromancer cheat death — Final Service Final Service.

About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube and streams on Twitch, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

3. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 17 Jul. 2017: Guide updated with improved skill and gearing recommendations.
  • 07 Jul. 2017: Skill recommendations updated.
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