Diablo 4 Necromancer Guide
Diablo IV Necromancers possess many macabre abilities that enable multiple distinctive playstyles. Those dark heroes’ surprising toughness and small horde of undead followers make them relatively easy for beginners to learn. However, the full extent of their dark powers remains difficult to master. Read this guide to discover what makes the Necromancer class stand out and how it may be customized to match individual preferences.
Diablo 4 Necromancer Class Overview
Necromancers have many unique and powerful options for shaping the battlefield, including minions, corpse explosions, and Blood Orb benefits. They possess a versatile array of powers for attack, defense, and crowd control. In the right hands, this lets them dominate most parts of the game, with or without allies. However, the Necromancer gameplay becomes increasingly tricky to manage for maximum efficiency as its develops. Players must keep track of many resources and lenghty cooldowns. Lacking necessary resources in situations such as bossfights can make them somewhat vulnerable unless they use the right build and tactics. Their mobility is somewhat limited as well.
The effects of attributes in Diablo 4 vary somewhat across classes. Their effects for Necromancers are below, along with recommendations on attributes to prioritize.
|General Effect per point
|Necromancer Effect per point
|+0.05% all Resistances
|+0.1% Skill Damage
|+0.1% Healing Received
+0.25% Overpower Damage
|+0.1% Resource Generation
|+0.025% Dodge Chance
|+0.02% Critical Strike Chance
Unique Necromancer Features
Many, but not all powerful Necromancer abilities require Essence. This form of energy regenerates automatically;
- Corpses are necessary to call forth the undead and use certain other abilities like Corpse Explosion. They are normally created by the Necromancer killing foes and are marked by a distinctive red glow;
- Some abilities generate Blood Orbs. By default, those pick-ups restore health. Other benefits such as Essence may be unlocked as well;
- Necromancers dismount by jumping off their horse and launching a cone-shaped Bone attack at enemies in front;
- Undead minions may be summoned from the start. They cost corpses, but not Essence, and get 30% their master’s stats by default. The Book of the Dead, unlocked at level 5, enables undead customization. More varieties of undead appear during the leveling progression, including the Golem unlocked via the Necromancer class quest at level 25. Necromancers have three basic types of summonable undead: melee Skeletal Warriors, ranged Skeletal Mages, and the singular Golem. Each has three subtypes with different strengths. The player must choose one subtype for every type and then decide between two upgrades or the sacrifice option for each subtype. Sacrifice makes it impossible to summon the basic undead type. In exchange, it buffs the Necromancer. Players may change those decisions whenever they wish and without any cost.
|Copies master’s critical hits with half damage
|5% critical hit bonus
|Negate direct damage to self every 8 seconds
|Increased percentage of Thorns received from master
|15% nonphysical damage resistance
|Heavy attack, slow but hard-hitting
|Decreased cooldown for heavy attacks against Immobilized, Slowed, Stunned, Vulnerable foes
|15% of creating corpses after killing foes
|10% extra Shadow damage
|Medium Shadow damage
|Stun chance on attacks
|Extra Shadow bolt once per every 6 attacks
|+15 maximum Essence
|Attack with slowing/freezing Effect
|Master gets Essence for every Mage primary attack hit
|Foes Frozen or damaged while Frozen by Mage attack become Vulnerable
|+15% damage against Vulnerable foes
|Heavy damage, but also damages the minion
|Lowered Life loss from their own attacks, bonus damage after surviving for 5 seconds
|Mages who die from their own attacks turn into corpses and Fortify their master
|+30% Overpower damage
|Tanks that taunt enemies
|Corpse produced whenever Golem takes up to 20% of its Life as damage
|Extra Thorns received from master and 10% more Life
|+10% attack speed
|Drain enemy Life to buff and heal themselves
|Absorb 15% damage meant for master
|25% damage reduction and 50% increased damage when at 80% or higher Life
|+10% maximum Life
|High damage, stunning slam attack
|Shockwave per every five attacks, damaging the primary target and foes behind it
|Slam attack makes foes vulnerable
|+30% critical strike damage
Necromancer Skill Tree
Necromancer skills may be divided into several categories:
- Basics are relatively weak, but generate Essence and sometimes other resources;
- Cores are varied strong attacks that cost Essence, but have no cooldowns;
- Macabres are expensive gamechanging offensive or defensive options. More advanced spells of similar type appear later in the progression;
- Curses inflict powerful area debuffs;
- Ultimates consist of three mutually-exclusive choices: mass summoning an army of exploding skeletons, hurting and knocking enemies with a tidal wave, or creating a hurricane that keeps hitting foes around the Necromancer and their Golem;
- Passive skills granting permanent bonuses, usually increasing certain stats or effects under specific circumstances. They culminate in four mutually-exclusive Capstones that grant more dramatic if highly situational bonuses.
While best Necromancer skills to pick generally depend on your build, three are considered practically mandatory:
- Blood Mist is the best defensive option, granting temporary immunity to all harm and letting the user sap enemy health to heal;
- Corpse Explosion, an area-of-effect explosion centered on the corpse, represents a cheap and effective offensive option whenever conveniently placed corpses may be found;
- Corpse Tendrils drag, stun and hurt foes without consuming the corpses used, giving the hero a similarly cheap and effective crowd-control option.
Necromancer Paragon Boards
- Necromancer Starter: The initial Paragon Board for this class focuses on increasing offensive potential and survivability;
- Blood Begets Blood: Chiefly Healing and Blood Orb bonuses;
- Bloodbath: Chiefly Fortify and Overpowering effects, plus other survivability bonuses;
- Bone Graft: Various Bone skill improvements, especially for critical hits;
- Cult Leader: Assorted combat bonuses for all undead minions;
- Flesh-Eater: Various generic benefits covering both attacks and survival, with a Legendary node giving an offensive bonus for eating corpses;
- Hulking Monstrosity: Superior combat bonuses for the Golem;
- Scent of Death: Assorted offensive and defensive bonuses, plus a Legendary node giving defensive bonuses with at least two nearby corpses and offensive bonuses with zero nearby corpses;
- Wither: Bonuses to Shadow resistance and attacks, especially damage over time.
Best Necromancer Glyphs usually depend on the build, but some are considered fairly universal:
- Territorial helps the hero survive and slaughter attackers who close the distance, which happens pretty often with this tough, low-mobility class;
- Imbiber presents another obvious tank synergy. It buffs potion healing with its additional bonus, on top of doing greater damage when above 80% hit points;
- Gravekeeper increases offensive power for each nearby corpse when the additional bonus is unlocked. Most Necromancers are likely to benefit from it regularly;
- Exploit increases damage done to Vulnerable targets and can add a general offensive buff for hitting them. Vulnerable effects are exploited by many builds, making this Glyph extremely versatile;
- Control helps the spellcaster and minions slaughter the victims of assorted debuffs and crowd-control measures, which are the mainstay of Necromancer gameplay.
Best Necromancer Legendaries
The best Necromancer Legendary aspects likewise depend on the build, but some are worth noting for nearly any Necromancer:
- Protecting: A non-exclusive Aspect that is especially valuable for Necromancers, since it is the easiest way for them to develop a Barrier. Vigo’s Protecting Amulet, a guaranteed story drop, has this Aspect;
- Blood Getter’s and Viscous: Provide more Skeletal Warriors and Mages, respectively. Must-have for any minion builds;
- Unyielding Commander’s: All undead subordinates attack faster while drastically reducing the effectiveness of enemy attacks;
- Cadaverous: Heightened effectiveness of the next Core ability deployed after eating a corpse. Universally useful since Necromancers have many strong Cores.
Best Necromancer Builds in Diablo 4
Necromancers enjoy a great wealth of gameplay customization options. While most builds are connected to a handful of concepts, they still offer plenty of room for variation. Individual playstyles, latest patch changes, and random gear drops may all influence the details of a build. Rather than prescribe a fixed leveling path, we will explain how each of those popular concepts functions to give you a starting point.
Necromancer Summoner Build
The first question a Necromancer player must answer when creating their build is whether they wish to rely on minions or personal fighting power. Summoner builds, also known as Necromancer minion builds or pet builds, assume the first answer. Typically, the hero lets the undead fight on the frontlines while supporting them from behind. Minion bonuses from passive skills, Glyphs, and Legendaries are the most obvious means of support. However, the spellcaster can also assist with crowd-control, debuffs, and even offensive capabilities. Some build options buff the Necromancer’s own capabilities based on summoned minions, which presents obvious synergies.
Many minion builds recommend Bone Splinters as the Basic attack skill, since it can make targets Vulnerable, exposing them to minion attacks. Sever is an effective Core that benefits from a minion-related buff. Corpse Tendrils work great as crowd control, softening foes up for the minions. Curses serve this goal as well. The Cult Leader board is a must-have. Actual minion types allow some experimentation, especially since the meta is likely to shift. Apart from powering up minions as much as possible, the Necromancer can eventually pursue offensive magical abilities that work well with their army. Gradual Shadow damage and Cold freezing effects are both viable possibilities.
Necromancer Blood Build
Among personal power builds, Blood has always been a prominent option. Blood magic forms its own branch of the Necromancer’s powerset. It harms enemies while bolstering the spellcaster’s health and providing resources. The Hemorrhage Basic is an essential tool for that, since it provides both Essence and Blood Orbs. Blood Lance and Blood Surge Cores can both be upgraded to deploy Overpowering damage, but the latter’s healing upgrade and area-of-effect nature generally make it more useful. The ideal Blood Necromancer is almost always Healthy and juggles plenty of resources to take apart their foes. As with other personal power variants, the Necromancer could Sacrifice minions and pick up relevant bonuses instead. However, skeletons may be useful here too, just in a less important role.
Necromancer Corpse Explosion Build
Corpse Explosion is useful for nearly every build, but this variant places it at the center. The basic premise is simple: maximize the appearance of corpses (for instance, with skills like Reap) and blow them up whenever convenient. Additional effects such as Shadow are needed to enhance it, however. With the Blighted upgrade, Corpse Explosion can become a Darkness power inflicting Shadow damage over time and benefitting from elemental buffs or synergies. Blight is an essential skill if following the Shadow Corpse Explosion route, since it can afflict an entire area with hazards and, given upgrades, debuffs. Assuming the player can keep up with all the different abilities, this variant should have a relatively easy time controlling the battlefield.
Necromancer Bone Spear Build
The Bone Spear build has been developed around the Core skill of the same name. The ability impales its victims in a line with a spear that breaks against collision objects, hitting foes with bony shrapnel. Careful aim is needed to maximize harm, while keeping to a distance mitigates hostile retaliation. Augmenting critical hit effects makes both part of this attack potentially even deadlier. This build is decent for area-of-effect damage, but truly excels at targetted sniping of individual opponents or small groups. Bone Splinters is the best Basic, since it is quick and benefits from all Bone bonuses. Likewise, Bone Storm is the best Ultimate, giving the ranged hero room to breathe when faced with many foes.
Necromancer Leveling Tips
Leveling your Necromancer is a challenging activity in its own right. Below, we offer some advice:
- Before their builds become fully functional, Necromancers are rather uneven in how they deal with game activities. Overworld farming, questing, and PvP are all easier than bossfights. Thorough preparations may be needed before taking on dungeons. Playing on World Tier 1 is likely to enable much quicker progress through all content, which should be enough to compensate for lower XP gains;
- While respecs normally cost large amounts of Gold, adjusting the Book of the Dead is free, allowing more experimentation with various bonuses. Even non-minion builds can benefit from having undead allies at lower levels, before they have everything necessary to thrive on their own;
- Reach and start upgrading your build’s Cores at earliest opportunity. They are vital to any build. Take time to improve Corpse Explosion as well, since it is universally useful;
- Make sure you have solid resource-generating skill, whether Basic or otherwise. That applies for generating both Essence and corpses;
- Codex of Power Aspects may be inferior to randomly rolled ones, but they can be obtained reliably. Seek out the ones necessary for your build at earliest opportunity. But also, be prepared to improvise with random Legendaries. Thankfully, Necromancers have comparatively little dependence on specific Aspects, so there is room for experimentation there as well;
- Avoid imprinting Aspects on weapons while leveling. Weapons are most often replaced, so it is likely to be an expensvie waste. Accessories or armor pieces work better.
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