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Diablo 4: Best Necromancer Builds

Necromancers are the summoner archetype of Diablo 4, who have the unique ability to summon skeletal minions from the corpses of slain foes. While this is the main gimmick of the class, there are a lot of builds that give the Necromancer a surprisingly diverse range of play style options. In fact, a pure summoning build is one of the more underpowered builds for the Necromancer in Diablo 4.

Luckily, there are a few options that serve as the best builds for Necromancer in Diablo 4 and take advantage of all of the strongest skills Necromancers have access to.

Best Diablo 4 Necromancer Builds

Let’s dive right into our guide to the best builds for Necromancer in Diablo 4 including the ideal skills, passives, gear, and strategy that brings them all together. These are not ranked in any particular order.

Bone Spear Necromancer

Bone Spear Necromancer
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

This build takes advantage of one of the Necromancer’s best Core Skills, Bone Spear. Although this skill has been nerfed since launch, it remains one of the best options for Diablo 4 Necromancers due to its powerful, piercing capabilities.

Skills

  • Bone Splinters – The Basic Skill for this build that fires three bone splinters that deal 8% base damage each and grant one Essence for each subsequent enemy hit by the same cast of the skill. This can be useful for replenishing Essence before casting Bone Spear.
  • Bone Spear – The Core Skill for this build and its focal point. Bone Spear fires a large spear of bone that deals 85% base damage and pierces enemies in a line. This skill can quickly shred through enemies with multiple casts.
  • Corpse Explosion – The first of two Corpse Skills on this build, Corpse Explosion is a staple of most Necromancer builds. It allows the Necromancer to utilize the corpses they create by causing them to explode for 50% base damage to nearby enemies.
  • Corpse Tendrils – The other Corpse Skill on this build, Corpse Tendrils similarly utilizes the corpses created by the Necromancer. However, unlike Corpse Explosion, it does not consume the corpse and instead pulls enemies in, Stunning them for three seconds and dealing 20% damage.
  • Blood Mist – The sole Macabre Skill on this build, Blood Mist plays a crucial role in keeping the Necromancer alive. This skill allows the Necromancer to disperse into a mist of blood, becoming Immune for three seconds. Although it reduces movement speed by 20%, the skill periodically deals 1.75% damage to enemies and heals the Necromancer by 0.5% of their max health.

Passives

  • Unliving Energy
  • Imperfectly Balances
  • Hewed Flesh
  • Grim Harvest
  • Fueled by Death
  • Skeletal Warrior Mastery
  • Death’s Embrace
  • Death’s Reach
  • Reaper’s Pursuit
  • Necrotic Carapace
  • Serration
  • Compound Fracture
  • Evulsion
  • Inspiring Leader
  • Ossified Essence (Key Passive)

Gear

Ideally, Necromancers will want to have a Two-Handed Sword as their weapon for this build with affixes like Critical Strike Damage with Bone Skills and Core Skill Damage to maximize Bone Spear’s damage output. Since casting Bone Spear requires Essence, armor with the +Maximum Essence affix can be very helpful.

Anything that adds Ranks of Bone Spear or Blood Mist is also a great option. Finally, the +Intelligence affix on any piece of gear is almost universally useful for the Necromancer, so it’s a solid option as well.

Strategy & Rotation

The primary strategy for this build involves unleashing powerful Bone Spears while managing Essence and health with Corpse Explosion and Blood Mist.

The Grim Harvest passive means you can regenerate 2 Essence per every corpse consumed by Corpse Explosion, helping to refill it quickly to cast Bone Spear over and over. Corpse Tendrils should mainly be used to help crowd control groups of enemies.

One important factor to consider is the Necromancers minions. While they aren’t a focal point of this build, summoning Skeletal Warriors can help keep enemies off of you. However, it’s ideal to sacrifice Skeletal Mages and your Golem for the buffs they offer your skills.

Blight/Sever Necromancer

Blight/Sever Necromancer - Best Diablo 4 Necromancer Builds
Image: Blizzard via HGG / Drew Swanson

The Necromancer’s Darkness Skills boast some of the class’ greatest crowd control potential. Rather than focusing on minion use, this build sacrifices the Necromancer’s skeletal thralls to enhance the class’ damage potential, so they can drown enemies in Shadow damage.

Skills

  • Reap – The Basic Skill for this build sweeps an ethereal scythe in front of the Necromancer, generating four Essences and dealing 12% base damage per hit. Hitting an enemy also increases damage reduction by 15% for two seconds.
  • Blight – One of two Core Skills that are integral to this build. Blight launches a concentrated projectile of blight that deals 30% base damage and leaves a pool of blight that deals 80% base damage over six seconds to enemies caught in it.
  • Sever – The other Core Skill for this build that works in tandem with Blight. Sever launches a specter forward that slashes with its scythe and deals 63% base damage, before returning to the Necromancer and attacking again for 21% base damage.
  • Corpse Explosion – Corpse Explosion is again found on this build. It allows the Necromancer to utilize the corpses they create by causing them to explode for 50% base damage to nearby enemies.
  • Blood Mist – Blood Mist is the other staple Macabre Skill on this build. It allows the Necromancer to disperse into a mist of blood, becoming Immune for three seconds. Although it reduces movement speed by 20%, the skill periodically deals 1.75% damage to enemies and heals the Necromancer by 0.5% of their max health.
  • Decrepify – The sole Curse Skill on this build. Decrepify is useful for support. It creates a cursed area where enemies caught within are Slowed by 40% and deal 20% less damage for 10 seconds.

Passives

  • Hewed Flesh
  • Grim Harvest
  • Fueled by Death
  • Death’s Embrace
  • Amplify Damage
  • Reaper’s Pursuit
  • Gloom
  • Crippling Darkness
  • Terror
  • Stand Alone
  • Memento Mori
  • Shadowblight (Key Passive)

Gear

The weapon of choice for this Necromancer build is a Two-Handed Scythe to take advantage of Reap and Sever. Ideal affixes for this weapon are Damage to Affected by Shadow Damage Over Time Enemies since you will be constantly damaging enemies with Blight. Core Skill Damage is another solid affix as well to buff both Blight and Sever.

Armor affixes that increase movement speed such as Movement Speed for X Seconds After Killing an Elite are useful for this build to help with the Necromancer’s slow base movement speed and lack of minion support. Otherwise, any gear with Essence Cost Reduction, Intelligence, or Ranks of Sever are solid choices.

Strategy & Rotation

With this build, you will want to sacrifice all of your minions: Reaper Skeletal Warriors gives increased Shadow Damage over time, Cold Skeletal Mages give increased damage to Vulnerable enemies, and Blood Golem gives increased health.

The main combat loop for this build involves using Blight to deal Shadow damage to enemies over time, before finishing them off with Sever. Corpse Explosion and Reap are crucial to replenishing the Essence these Core Skills expend.

Additionally, upgrading Corpse Explosion to Blighted Corpse Explosion allows you to create even more pools of blight with each corpse you consume. Blood Mist is once again used to give the Necromancer a breather and recover some lost health. Decrepify rounds out this build to help slow groups of enemies without the need for minions to draw their attention.

Blood Lance Necromancer

Blood Lance Necromancer
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Necromancers in Diablo 4 are great at keeping themselves alive using their Blood Skills. This build focuses on doing just that while utilizing the awesome power of the Blood Lance skill.

Skills

  • Hemorrhage – The Basic Skill for this build, Hemorrhage deals 27% base damage to an enemy and has a 20% chance to spawn a Blood Orb. Blood Orbs are a mechanic unique to Necromancers, and upgrading Hemorrhage to Enhanced Hemorrhage deals even more damage after a Blood Orb is picked up and restores more Essence.
  • Blood Lance – The Core Skill of this build, Blood Lance is the focal point of this build. The skill fires a lance of blood that lingers in an enemy for three seconds, dealing 80% damage to them and all other lanced enemies.
  • Blood Mist Blood Mist appears once again on this build. It allows the Necromancer to disperse into a mist of blood, becoming Immune for three seconds. Although it reduces movement speed by 20%, the skill periodically deals 1.75% damage to enemies and heals the Necromancer by 0.5% of their max health.
  • Decrepify – Once again, the sole Curse Skill on this build, Decrepify is useful for support. It creates a cursed area where enemies caught within are Slowed by 40% and deal 20% less damage for 10 seconds.
  • Corpse Tendrils – Corpse Tendrils appears again on this build to utilize the corpses created by the Necromancer, without Corpse Explosion as a companion skill. It does not consume the corpse and instead pulls enemies in, Stunning them for three seconds and dealing 20% damage.
  • Bone Storm – The Ultimate Skill for this build. Bone Storm creates a swirling storm of bones around the Necromancer that deals 180% base damage to enemies caught within it for ten seconds. Upgrading to Prime Bone Storm also increases damage reduction by 15% while active.

Passives

  • Unliving Energy
  • Imperfectly Balanced
  • Hewed Flesh
  • Death’s Embrace
  • Amplify Damage
  • Gruesome Mending
  • Coalesced Blood
  • Drain Vitality
  • Tides of Blood
  • Stand Alone
  • Memento Mori
  • Inspiring Leader
  • Rathma’s Vigor (Key Passive)

Gear

Given the tanky nature of this build, players will ideally want a one-handed weapon like a wand or One-Handed Scythe, along with a Shield in their off hand for added defense.

This build relies on Overpower Damage, so affixes that increase this damage type are ideal for the Necromancer’s main weapon. Resource Generation and Essence Cost Reduction are optimal for the Shield.

The goal of this build is to be as tanky as possible, so any piece of gear with an affix that increases Maximum Life or Damage Reduction is going to go a long way.

Strategy & Rotation

Sacrificing minions for the buffs they offer is the best play with this build, but luckily this build can survive without them due to its focus on being a tank. Blood Lance is going to be the star of this build, and players will want to fire as many as possible into enemies.

Then, they can use other skills like Hemorrhage or Bone Storm to quickly finish off any remaining in the group. Blood Mist is on this build once again for survivability, and Corpse Tendrils will help corral enemies and make them easier to hit with Blood Lance and Bone Storm.

Bone Spirit Necromancer

Bone Spirit Necromancer - Best Diablo 4 Necromancer Builds
Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Bone Spirit is a high-risk/high-reward skill for the Necromancer in Diablo 4, but it can be one of the most satisfying builds if played correctly. This build revolves around consuming your max Essence to deal tons of damage with Bone Spirit while mitigating the Essence lost with gear affixes.

Skills

  • Reap – The Basic Skill for this build as well that sweeps an ethereal scythe in front of the Necromancer, generating four Essences and dealing 12% base damage per hit. Hitting an enemy also increases damage reduction by 15% for two seconds.
  • Blood Mist Blood Mist once again proves to be a staple of most Necromancer builds. It allows the Necromancer to disperse into a mist of blood, becoming Immune for three seconds. Although it reduces movement speed by 20%, the skill periodically deals 1.75% damage to enemies and heals the Necromancer by 0.5% of their max health.
  • Corpse Explosion – Corpse Explosion is also found again on this build. It allows the Necromancer to utilize the corpses they create by causing them to explode for 50% base damage to nearby enemies.
  • Corpse Tendrils Corpse Tendrils pairs with Corpse Explosion again on the build and similarly utilizes the corpses created by the Necromancer. However, unlike Corpse Explosion, it does not consume the corpse and instead pulls enemies in, Stunning them for three seconds and dealing 20% damage.
  • Bone Spirit – Bone Spirit is going to be the focal point of this build. This skill summons a spirit of bone that seeks out enemies and explodes once it reaches one, dealing 112% base damage to the target and each surrounding enemy. While it uses up all remaining Essence, it deals an extra 3% damage per point of Essence consumed.
  • Bone Storm – Bone Storm appears again as the Ultimate Skill for this build. It creates a swirling storm of bones around the Necromancer that deals 180% base damage to enemies caught within it for ten seconds. Upgrading to Prime Bone Storm also increases damage reduction by 15% while active.

Passives

  • Unliving Energy
  • Hewed Flesh
  • Grim Harvest 
  • Fueled by Death
  • Death’s Embrace
  • Reaper’s Pursuit
  • Crippling Darkness
  • Serration
  • Compound Fracture
  • Evulsion
  • Rapid Ossification
  • Stand Alone
  • Memento Mori
  • Inspiring Leader
  • Ossified Essence (Key Passive)

Gear

The weapon of choice for this build is either a Two-Handed Sword or Scythe with the Critical Strike Damage with Bone Skills affix. This affix allows the Necromancer to deal increased damage with both of this build’s key skills, Bone Spirit and Bone Storm.

For armor, Essence Cost Reduction is a necessary affix since you will want as much remaining Essence as possible for maximum damage when casting Bone Spirit.

If possible, the unique piece of chest armor for the Necromancer, Blood Artisan’s Cuirass, is fantastic on this build since it spawns a free Bone Spirit every time you pick up 5-10 Blood Orbs. This is a fantastic way to get extra Bone Spirit damage out, but it can be difficult to obtain since uniques are the rarest pieces of gear in Diablo 4.

Strategy & Rotation

This build takes careful preparation to play, but can deal immense amounts of damage if played correctly.

Bone Spirit is the highest damage-dealer here, but it can only be cast in limited bursts. To make the most of each cast, use Corpse Tendrils to pull enemies together. Follow this up with Bone Storm and Bone Spirit to deal massive damage to groups of enemies.

Reap, Corpse Explosion, and Blood Mist are good standby skills to use in between these damage bursts. They can also be good for replenishing resources like Essence and Health before diving back in for more.

Minions should be sacrificed with this build, with Skirmishers, Cold Mages, and the Iron Golem being the optimal choices. The Iron Golem is particularly important since sacrificing it gives a huge boost to critical strike damage.

Join the High Ground!

Hopefully this guide to the best Necromancer builds in Diablo 4 has given you some inspiration for your next character. Let us know which Necromancer build is your favorite in the comments down below. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss any of our upcoming Diablo 4 guides.

Happy gaming!

 

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