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Diablo 4

Diablo 4 Necromancer Guide

Updated 10.08.2023 14 Mins to read Share
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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.

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.

Necromancer Attributes

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
Recommended Priority
+1 Armor

+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.

Necromancer Minions

Basic TypeSubtypeUnlock LevelStrengthUpgrade 1Upgrade 2Sacrifice Bonus
Skeletal WarriorsSkirmishers1Balanced+1 WarriorCopies master’s critical hits with half damage5% critical hit bonus
Defenders8Higher LifeNegate direct damage to self every 8 secondsIncreased percentage of Thorns received from master15% nonphysical damage resistance
Reapers15Heavy attack, slow but hard-hittingDecreased cooldown for heavy attacks against Immobilized, Slowed, Stunned, Vulnerable foes15% of creating corpses after killing foes10% extra Shadow damage
Skeletal MagesShadow
15Medium Shadow damage
Stun chance on attacks
Extra Shadow bolt once per every 6 attacks
+15 maximum Essence
18Attack 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
22Heavy 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
25Tanks 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
28Drain 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
32High 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.

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.

Necromancers can be extremely satisfying to play, but leveling them is not for everyone. Their most interesting powers have to be unlocked over hours of gameplay. Putting together a specific build can require even longer bouts of farming. Rather than grind, consider leaving this chore to professionals. CakeBoost’s Diablo 4 boost services cover powerleveling, collecting necessary power-ups like Altars of Lilith, and farming Glyphs or Legendaries. Alternatively, buying our Necromancer build boost leaves the entire process to our expert boosters. They will make all the right choices and acquire every necessary piece to make the desired build live up to its full potential. The dark power of necromancy can be yours quickly and without any effort!



Is Diablo 4’s Necromancer class any good?

Necromancer is a solid class with many unique combat options. Some players have been put off by the large number of nerfs and buffs it received since the D4 beta. Currently, most consider the class to be less overpowered than it was during the beta. Nevertheless, it remains entirely viable, arguably dominating open-world content. Its tenacity and access to minions makes it a popular choice for beginners, who could experiment while leaving combat to skeletons.

What stats should I prioritize for the Necromancer?

Intelligence is Necromancer main stat and should always be prioritized, since it determines the effectiveness of your spells. Willpower is second best, as Essence generation and Overpower bonuses are both highly relevant for this class. Dexterity may be useful for critical strike-focused builds. Strength may be safely ignored, since Necromancer Armor is far from being their main source of protection.

What build should I use for my Necromancer?

Necromancers have several powerful builds described in our guide. The Summoner build, focused on supporting one’s skeleton army, is iconic and versatile. However, the Bone Spear build is often seen as the most powerful in the current endgame meta. It dispenses with the minions to focus on ranged critical strikes.

How do I summon Skeletons or Golems?

Use the Summon Skeleton or Golem ability. Skeletons require corpses to summon. You can summon Skeletal Warriors from the beginning, but begin to summon Skeletal Mages once they are unlocked and you go over your maximum Skeletal Warriors amount. Summoning over your current Skeleton maximum (with Mages if unlocked) creates a short-lived Skeletal Priest who heals and buffs other minions. The Golem also needs to be unlocked, but does not require a corpse. If either summon skill is missing from the hotbar, go to the Skill Assignment screen (default key: S) and assign them from there.

How do I create Barrier as a Necromancer?

Unlike with other spellcasters, Necromancer Barrier (temporary shielding) is not generated through active skills. Instead, Necromancers must rely on Legendary items like Vigo’s Protecting Amulet (a guaranteed early drop).

How do I open the Book of the Dead?

Once it unlocks, this tab appears between Character and Abilities tabs. The default shortcut is Shift+C.

How many minions can my Necromancer have at any given moment?

14, not counting the Skeletal Priest. By default, one can have four Skeletal Warriors, three Skeleton Mages, and one Golem once all types have been unlocked. A Skirmisher upgrade in Book of the Dead adds another Skeletal Warrior to the maximum while active. Certain Legendaries may add up to three Warriors and two Mages.

How do I play through the Necromancer class quest?

Call of the Underworld will appear in the questlog once you hit level 25. Find the Shrine of Rathma in the western part of Sarkova Pass in Fractured Peaks. Speak to the spectre, then start fighting Bone Warriors near the shrine to collect Unbroken Bones. Then head south to the cave at Melnik’s Hill and claim the Jar of Souls. Fill the Jar by fighting more undead in the cave. Talking to the spectre again fulfills the final obejctive and unlocks the Necromancer Golem summon.

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