Last Updated on Samuel Franklinby
Diablo 2 Best Golem For Necromancer Guide
The best golem in Diablo 2 (and Diablo 2: Resurrected) will serve your Necromancer well across your solo and multiplayer games in the demon dominated Diablo universe. With the available Necromancer golems offering different functions it can be difficult for the first time Necromancer to figure out which one they should be using, when they should be summoning it and where to invest their limited skill points in creating their Necromancer build.
With thousands of hours invested into Diablo 2 and hundreds of those on the Necromancer who is also my favourite solo class in the Diablo 2 franchise thanks to his protective summons, bone skills, curses, poisons and raw spirit damage depending on the build. With this experience in mind I’m well equipped to guide you through selecting the best golem for your Necromancer playthrough and detailing some niche uses of the non meta options that I’ve experimented with over the years.
Below I’ll break down what exactly each golem does, possible use cases and ultimately land on which golem is the ideal ally alongside your Diablo 2 mercenary and other summons to conquer Baal and the minions of Hell throughout the Diablo 2 story and any subsequent gameplay you desire.
General Golem Gameplay Tips
Choosing the best golem for the Necromancer is made more important by the fact that the Necromancer is only capable of having one golem summoned at a time. While some in the Diablo 2 community have tried for a golem only playthrough, golems are intended to be a supporting ally through utility and not the primary source of your damage. While some Diablo 2 mods have sought to remove or change this limitation those playing the standard experience will only ever be able to command one golem at a time.
In terms of AI the golems function in a similar way to Diablo 2 mercenaries which means they will follow players (occasionally getting stuck) and attack enemies within a short range near them. If your golem does get lost or stuck Necromancers can quickly recast their golem spell to summon another in a convenient location or use teleport obtained through items to move your summon to your new location automatically.
Generally additional points in your golem skills are not considered worth it due to the low boost they offer. These additional points increase mana cost, damage, hit points and the unique element of each golem. Similarly Golem Mastery which increases life, speed and provides a slight boost to attack rating rarely gets more than a single point invested. Summon Resist is also in this category with points quickly giving diminishing returns to your golem resistances which means that players often rely on + skill items to boost all of these skills.
The first available golem for players is available at level 6 with a speciality in slowing enemies and a solid amount of hit points to support that. These two attributes alone make Clay Golem highly popular and generally considered to be the best Diablo 2 golem for an all rounder build.
Not only does the durability make for a great tank but the slow enemy percentage improves the survivability of your Necromancer and other summons and is particularly favoured for bosses when combined with the Decrepify curse.
Once a highly popular option when paired with Iron Maiden this was changed in Diablo 2 patch 1.10 that pushed the Blood Golem from the best to the worst option overnight. Available from level 18 onwards the Blood Golem links itself to your Necromancer and prior to 1.13 this meant you would actually share in the damage taken (but could not be killed from this).
In the current version of Diablo 2 (and Diablo 2: Resurrected) though the Blood Golem serves solely as a healing utility unit with damage converted into life for both the golem and the Necromancer. In practice though the low damage of golems means it simply proves not useful and you are giving up better utility from another golem.
A popular golem choice the Iron Golem comes into play at level 24 and has one of the most unique mechanics within Diablo 2. Requiring an item to summon the Iron Golem gains all properties from the item while consuming the item in the process. This includes Ethereal items which results in a translucent Iron Golem and a possible avenue for making use of strong Ethereal items during a normal playthrough that you wouldn’t use otherwise. Given the loss of item the Iron Golem persists across games although does not survive the player’s own death. This fact combined with the AI of golems I don’t recommend using Iron Golem until you are high level and have a reliable method of giving your Necromancer Teleport as it is a risky investment if they get stuck which can sometimes result in them disappearing.
The real strength of the Iron Golem is with various levels of runewords that offer auras providing significant utility or defensive power that can in turn benefit all your other summons. Insight is one such popular choice for those wondering what item to use on their Iron Golem given the mana regeneration for Corpse Explosion or bone skills while freeing up your Act 2 mercenary for an alternative weapon that might offer more damage.
Other options for those that don’t mind the significant rune investment can include Beast, Faith or Pride. Items with high crushing blow can also be used to create an Iron Golem that deals reasonable damage.
If you do go down the Iron Golem path I recommend you invest and even max out Golem Mastery to prevent losing your investment and can even be layered with more points in Blood Golem for the life per level synergy.
The last golem players unlock at level 30 specialises in the fire element and takes a significant amount of mana to summon. This gives your Fire Golem the Holy Fire aura for additional damage, makes him explode on death (or unsummon) and means that fire damage will heal your golem. Fire Golem is also unique in that he has specific health values depending on the difficulty unlike the other golems that gain health with additional skill point investment.
While not the most useful golem available to the Necromancer the Fire Golem can prove to be a decent ally in Normal and Nightmare with his aura that attracts enemies towards him rather than your other minions. Another niche use is in a poison Necromancer build where you’ll have many enemies left with low health which the Holy Fire aura can finish those that aren’t fire immune efficiently.
Ultimately given these niche uses and the additional skill point required to unlock the Fire Golem in your Necromancer skill tree this is rarely worth the skill point.
What Is The Best Golem In Diablo 2?
As you can see from the above analysis the best golem in Diablo 2 is either the Clay or Iron Golem. Clay Golem is an ideal default choice for the majority of the game given his tanking abilities for just a single hard skill point and slowing power. On the other hand if you have some Diablo 2 account wealth to build a powerful runeword item the Iron Golem can be a significant ally with utility or damage but you’ll want to look after the golem closely as a result.