MN Playing with landmines in a graveyard (Necro Pets/Thorns Theorycrafting Build)

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  • Bone Spikes Sudden Impact
  • Skeletal Mage Skeleton Archer
  • Command Skeletons Frenzy
  • Revive Oblation
  • Army of the Dead Unconventional Warfare
  • Frailty Aura of Frailty
  • Extended Servitude
  • Aberrant Animator
  • Eternal Torment
  • Spreading Malediction


More Details
  • Legendary Gems

    • Bane of the Trapped
    • Boyarsky's Chip
    • Enforcer

Kanai's Cube

  • Hack
  • Heart of Iron
  • Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac

This build is designed all around the interaction of the Spear of Jairo has with mass cursing targets with Aura of Frailty and then applying your thorns with your minions via Aberrant Animator. Since pets are imperative to this build we're looking at Rathma's set to maximize our usage of army of the dead, and we pump out skeletal mages to boost the damage of our minions (I'm pretty sure that it doesn't boost our minions thorn damage but I could be wrong, which would make give this build even more credit, I'm still working on testing/gearing).

It should go without saying that in any thorns based build you absolutely want as much thorns damage on every item as you can get. You'll notice on the linked d3planner build, I don't focus on crit at all as thorns damage doesn't crit, as such you'll want to slot a topaz in your weapon. Because of the synergy of Heart of Iron, I've slotted Amethysts in all armor slots for the extra vitality to pump into our thorns damage at 300%. For you're helm you'll want a diamond to help with the cdr of army of the dead.

Paragon Priorities


Movement Speed
Primary Stat
Maximum Resource


Attack Speed
Cooldown Reduction
Critical Hit Chance
Critical Hit Damage


Resist All
Life Regeneration


Area Damage
Resource Cost Reduction
Life on Hit
Gold Find

Since we're currently non-seasonal, I assume that most players have at least 800 paragon points which maxes out Offense, Defense, and Utility automatically. Under Core your priorities are bringing movement speed to 25% (in conjunction with a 12% rolled on your boots, you'll need 26 points here for an additional 13%), followed by vitality.

Note, that I'm still testing this build so this may change as necessary.

Build Guide

The idea is to run into a group of mobs which will apply the Frailty Curse due to Aura of Frailty to any target within 15 yards, due to Eternal Torment, that application will last forever (it appears the curse drops off when moving more than 1 screen away). Your Spear of Jairo increases the thorns damage for each cursed mob by 15%, so if you have say 30 mobs cursed, that's 450%, which if you have thorns damage on all your gear, have a boyarksy's chip, and a topaz in your weapon really adds up.

Given that, because of Abberant Animator, your minions have double of your thorns damage, so if I'm doing my math right, you could potentially get them to about 2.5 million thorns. Which, if the formula interaction is similar to how an Invoker Crusader plays, is before other modifiers such as elemental damage (which thorns are physical), enforcer, bane of the trapped (which I have to test if it applies to minion damage, but I think it does), and spreading malediction (which because of that Aura of Frailty, everything should be cursed)

Mine you this build has a lot to test still, but I feel has the potential to be a strong contender for the new way to play thorns based builds moving forward due to the massive amount of thorns output on the necro's pets. I'm open to discussion on this, and curious if anyone has tried something similar.

Here's the D3Planner build I made for this, and note that it is using Primal Ancients with lvl 70 Caldanns Depair's, so realistically your numbers will be lower than what you see with the build's.