For Loop Hero players, so you want to be a Skele-Lord? this is a definitive necro guide that includes deck, build and strategy, let’s check it out.
Let me know if you find the guide too basic/advanced, and as always comments and discussions are more than welcome!
“This is the ideal necro deck. You may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.”
- Road: Cemetery, Village, Grove, Ruins
- Roadside: Vampires, Battlefield, Blood Grove, Bookery*, Lantern
- Landscape: Forest, River, Suburbs
- Special: Oblivion, Beacon*
- Golden: Ancient Crypt if feeling lucky and plan on staying after the boss kill, otherwise Arsenal
*: cards you can probably do without but are helpful.
There’s room for one more card if you wish. I’d recommend Spider Cocoons to kickstart your early game, and you may add Swamps as well (you’d have to drop Groves). You can check out the ‘More on the Deck’ section for more info, but do read ‘Strategy’ to understand some of the logic behind these choices.
a.k.a., what will make or break your loop. Pic unrelated.
- Skeleton Level ≥ Loop Level
- Skeleton Quality: 35-50%
- Max Skeletons: 3-4
- Attack Speed ≥ 100%
Skeleton Level is the most important stat. You want to overshoot it as much as possible while not letting the other two skeleton stats drop below their minimum: you need mastery at 35-50% to get Big Skellies and at least 3 skellies for survivability (you should have 4+ for the boss). Later on you can trade Skeleton Quality for Skeleton Level if it’s a huge trade and you were lagging behind (ie., you’re on loop 10 and you trade 20% mastery for +2.00 skeleton level and your mastery falls to 35% total). Forests + River should give you all the Attack Speed you need.
Early game you may need some Regen HP per Sec because your Attack Speed won’t be high enough to summon Skeletons in time to avoid damage. All other stats (Evasion, Counter, etc.) don’t matter, but if you can try to prioritize Evasion. More Evasion never hurts.
“Build for this feel?”
- Field Practice (+0.25 Skeleton Level per loop) is THE best perk, period. The earlier you get it, the better
- Unseen Care (+0.5 Energy HP per summon) is also a good early pick and can get downright cheesy if you farm Wooden Soldiers
- Art of Control (+1 Max Skeletons) can be very useful in hitting stat milestones since it allows more flexibility when choosing items
- Lightning Fast (which on average translates to +30% skeleton damage) is also good but you may not have unlocked it yet
- Laying Down One’s Life (damage is evenly split) is quite good, particularly if you’re low on resurrection count
- Horde (3 buffed Skeletons early in loop) is good for increased survivability but dependent on your map layout: if there are any A Village? early in your loop the Wooden Warriors will rip your skellies to shreds before you can get even get any benefit out of them
- Residual Life (skellies heal you 3xLoop Level when they die) requires high attack speed, can be a crutch if you’re having trouble hitting the Skeleton Level milestone, but then again you should aim for this not to happen
The Bad & the Ugly:
- Edge of Impossible (20% chance to summon 2 extra skellies and go above limit) ca be dangerous, because if you’re at exactly 4 Max Skeletons (which is the sweet spot) you could get an Archer/Mage Skeleton, and if one of your normal skeletons dies (the ones that soak up damage) you will not be able to replace it since the Archer/Mage is occupying that slot. Beware
- Counterattack (15% chance Skeletons counterattack when you take damage) is an OK pick on very long runs when your Max Skeletons count gets very high and you have Horde to kickstart your summoning, but keep in mind it only triggers when you take HP damage, not Magic HP damage
- Preparation for a Ceremony (first two summons each day are “””buffed”””) simply sucks because the bonus is negligible and skeletons are disposable. I guess it pairs well with the skill below
- Ambitions of the Dead (skellies heal on kill and get buffed) only works well against multiple weaker creatures and you have very high Skeleton Level and/or Horde. Useless skill
- Omicron’s Technique (+1 resurrect) is overkill even if you went for the Arsenal instead of the Ancient Crypt. You shouldn’t be dying, and reviving with 15% HP often means you’ll instantly die again since your magic shield is down
The Loop never ends. Or actually it does, but whatever.
Road and Roadside cards:
- We want Groves for Ratwolves and/or Spider Cocoons for Spiders to quickly building up your card hand: they’re weak and numerous, and thus you can get lots of card drops to kick-start your early game and thus get to the boss earlier (the further down the loop, the stronger it gets). Drop Spider Cocoons in corners on a snaky part of the loop so they spread eavenly, but keeping in mind future Lantern placement
- We want Vampires for the loot. Drop them near empty roads so you face them only with slimes at first, then around spiders as your Attack Speed increases. Use Oblivion cards on Mansions and Spiders to fine-tune encounter difficulty
- Keep encounters manageable by dropping Lanterns as needed. Prioritize corners and encounters with lots of enemies (e.g., goblins, spiders). Ideally all roads should have one touching its tile, two if a troublesome area
- We want Cemeteries for the early loot. Adjacent road tiles should be empty of enemies. Later if they become troublesome you can Oblivion them
- We want Ruins for the great loot, since they almost always drop high rarity items (lots of stats) and this is usually very good for the Necro. The key to maximizing the benefit for this card is its placement: drop them only and only if a Bloody Grove is touching it, otherwise the worms escape and you don’t get the loot. Its adjacent road tiles should be empty (the road leading to it is priority). Plan ahead by keeping a Forest and Bloody Grove card handy. Do not drop them next to your campfire otherwise they will join the boss fight (!)
- We want Battlefields for the easy loot. Minimize overlap and encounters with other enemies. Later on you won’t need them.
- Bookeries are a mixed bag. If you add them to your deck, you should place them next to Vampire Mansions if encounters are manageable (ie., there’s a Lantern). Can be used to turn Forests into Thickets
- Drop down Villages in between encounters as insurance healing. They make oponents tougher but increase loot quality, and yield a lot of XP. If you weren’t careful with your Lantern placement or your stats aren’t good they’ll be more a double-edged sword though
- Turning Villages into Count’s Lands is situational: it depends on how good your stats. If you drop one (or two) Lanterns nearby definitely go for it
- Consider not dropping even-numbered villages (2nd, 4th, …) without an Oblivion card in your deck because Bandits will spawn, who have a 5% chance to steal a random item in your inventory
- Place down a couple Bloody Groves if the encounters are manageable to spawn Blood Golems: they drop amazing loot!
- Build a River and lay Forests and Thickets around it like crazy. This is key to every good necromancer build. Plan its path ahead of time so you maximize usable terrain. It doesn’t matter much if you lay a Forest or Thicket as long as it touches the River
- Suburbs and Towns are great once you unlock them since they allow getting skills faster. Lay them down on the opposite side of your River+Forest area
- Beware of A Village? spawning every 10 Forests/Thickets: initially they’re not much of a threat, but once your summoning speed is very high the Hero may start hitting the dummies themselves and getting countered for a lot of damage! Keep an eye out and Oblivion them if needed
- Drop a Forest (or Grove) near your camp, then add a Bloody Grove touching the camp. This will kill the boss(es) at 15% HP. You can take this one step further by dropping an Oblivion card on the Forest touching the grove so it becomes a Hungry Grove, killing enemies at 20% HP
- Always keep a couple backup Oblivion cards handy!
- Drop Beacons (if you brought them) on the inner part of the loop so that they touch lots of road tiles; that way you get the most benefit per boss meter tick increase. Initially place them touching empty roads so your character goes faster and doesn’t let enemy count grow out of control (there are no Meadows so regeneration doesn’t matter). Place them touching encounter tiles as your Max Skeletons and Attack Speed grows. One should be touching your Camp (it doesn’t affect the boss’ attack speed)
And finally, but most importantly:
- Aim on facing the boss as soon as you hit all stat milestones (Skeleton level> Loop Level, 30-50% Skeleton Quality, 4 Max Skellies, 100+% Attack Speed), because you get diminishing returns on your stat upgrades the further down the Loop Level you go. Loops 6-10 are usually the standard, but you can take it higher if needed, just don’t go overboard: remember that enemies scale faster per Loop Level after Chapter 1. Remember to use Oblivion cards to remove dangerous encounters down your final loop unless you feel confident or feel like you can maybe get better items out of them (ie., Ruins)
More on the Deck
- The Ancient Crypt is a good option if you plan on staying after defeating the boss. The passive bonuses Shields provide are great early in the game, but later down the road you’ll find you don’t need them, whereas the extra HP can build up to very big numbers in the late game when enemy scaling gets scary and you start getting hit.
- Swamps can be a good alternative as long as you pair them up with Vampire Mansions and Spider Cocoons, since Ch2+ Mosquitoes explode on death and deal a lot of area damage. They also damage your summons (and you), so it’s a mixed bag.
- Rocks and Mountains aren’t needed. Early Regen HP per Sec is a good crutch for sustainability, and later on you’ll be summoning strong Big Skellies really fast and they’ll shield you from damage. Furthermore they spawn Goblins and Harpies which have very fast Attack Speed. Not good.
- I don’t find Deserts and Dunes useful at all. They clutter your card hand, preventing you from getting the more useful cards (Forests and Suburbs), plus the -HP% effects your summons as well, and they don’t effect Archer enemies which you tend to fight a lot. Oases are even worse since they make Rivers lose their Doubling Effect of Adjacent Landscape Tiles bonus, meaning if you place Forests next to it you don’t get anything out of it. Assuming you place both a Forest (+1%) and a Thicket (+2%) next to a River on average, you get +6% attack speed vs. the enemies’, whereas with an Oasis you get +2% speed relative to theirs (-0.5% to yours, -1% to them).
- Wheat Fields suck. The Scarecrows attack in area and wreak havok on your skellies, and the extra healing HP isn’t necessary on the Necro.
- You don’t need Meadows. Your ~skellies~ and Magic HP mean you shouldn’t get hit as much.
- Outposts hate the Necro, and you should too. They pair excellently well with the Rogue though
- You only bring Chrono Crystals to pair up with Meadows, but this is not our case
- Temporal Beacons are only good if you can hit the Watchers hard and fast (Rogue, anyone?), but our Necro’s summons are s l o w .
- Loop Hero How to Unlock the Secret Boss
- Loop Hero Necromancer Guide for Infinite Loops
- Loop Hero Rogue Guide for Infinite Loops
- Loop Hero Necro Horde Attack Speed Build
- Loop Hero Broken Geography: Loop 21