What is the best Diablo 4 Necromancer build? If you’ve been wondering is yourself, you’re not alone, but we’ve got your answer below. If you’re familiar with the Diablo series, you’ll know the Necromancer to be an incredibly powerful class archetype, and that’s no different in Diablo 4. To get you ready for D4, we’ve taken a look at the Necromancer’s skills so you can jump straight in with the most powerful build available.
In order to make the best Necromancer build, we’ve worked out which of the many weapons and armor available in Diablo 4 complement the Necromancer skills with the best synergy. While there have been some nerfs to the Necromancer’s skills since the beta, they have been taken into account here to provide you with the best Necromancer build now that the Diablo 4 release date is here.
What is the best Diablo 4 Necromancer build?
The best Diablo 4 Necromancer build is Shadow Army – here’s how to make it:
- Abilities: Acolyte’s Reap, Supernatural Blight, Blighted Corpse Explosion, and Enhanced Corpse Tendrils.
- Passive abilities: Hewed Flesh, Grim Harvest, Fueled by Death, Death’s Embrace.
- Aspect: Blood Getter’s Aspect.
The Necromancer uses its magic to summon creatures from beyond the grave to overwhelm enemies. The best Necromancer build capitalizes on the class’s ability to control dead bodies, using explosive corpses to deal damage across the battle area.
The Diablo 4 Necromancer underwent some changes during the game’s beta periods. Those of you who played the Server Slam, for example, may remember that the class’ skeletons were nerfed compared to the first beta. At the time, we found that the Necromancer’s summons held their own against standard mobs, but issues started to appear when facing off against the single-target bosses. Thankfully, the team quickly deployed a hotfix that remedied the survivability concerns, and the Necromancer is now a force to be reckoned with in the full launch.
Diablo 4 Necromancer Shadow Army skills
We’ll now detail each type of Necromancer skill and which ones to pick.
While you could go with Decompose as an alternative basic skill, the Reap skill is better suited for dealing with large mobs. It won’t form new usable corpses as often, but the boosted attack speed for every enemy hit by Reap will ensure you plow your way through enormous hordes with relative ease.
Necromancer Shadow Army Core skills
Blight is an excellent spell for causing damage over time. It deals a small amount of damage on hit, but any enemies walking through the defiled area it leaves behind will suffer substantially more damage while it lasts, which is roughly six seconds. Enhanced Blight will slow them down by 25%, ensuring they take as much damage as possible. Supernatural Blight increases that damage by 10%, which is more consistent than a chance to immobilize them within the area instead. We also take Hewed Flesh, as it has a set percentage chance to create a corpse at the target’s location upon a critical hit, doubling that chance on bosses. Since you want to replenish your army as often as possible, this is a super helpful buff.
Necromancer Shadow Army Macabre skills
In the Macabre skill tree, you want to take Corpse Explosion as you’ll be detonating excess corpses to deal a massive amount of shadow-based damage over time and over a large radius (hence why we need Enhanced and Blighted Corpse Explosion). Grim Harvest keeps your Essence high, which is good as you need it to cast spells, and Fueled by Death increases your base damage for a few seconds when you exhume one of the corpses.
Necromancer Shadow Army Corruption skills
For Corruption, we’re just going to take Death’s Embrace rather than any actual skill. Death’s Embrace syncs up well with the Reap basic skill in that enemies close to you will take more damage from your attacks and deal less to you with their own.
Necromancer Shadow Army Summoning skills
The Summoning tree is where you want to spend significant points past level 20. For the beta though, we are limited to Corpse Tendrils, which brings enemies close to our usable corpses, stunning them for several seconds. Not only does this mean they can take more damage to Blight effects in the area, but as this doesn’t exhume the corpse, you can use Corpse Explosion afterwards to eradicate them. Enhanced Corpse Tendrils also apply the Slow status ailment before pulling them.
Going forward, other passives you should get for the Summoning tree include Necrotic Carapace, as this bolsters your base life total whenever a corpse forms because of your skills or minions. We also recommend taking a level in the following passives: Reaper’s Pursuit, Gloom, Terror, and Crippling Darkness. All of these passives affect your darkness skills and also stack on top of each other. The bonuses you get include: giving them a 15% stun chance, increasing your movement speed, increasing damage taken by shadow damage from you and your minions, and inflicting bonus damage to foes afflicted by slow, stun, or who are immobilized.
Necromancer Shadow Army Ultimate skills
Your Ultimate skill should be Army of the Dead. This summons volatile skeletons to fight for you over the next few seconds, which all then explode to deal 30% of their base damage. Prime Army of the Dead leaves behind a usable corpse, while Supreme Army of the Dead also summons some Skeleton Warriors and Skeleton Mages. Other decent passives include Inspiring Leader which grants your minions increased attack speed so long as you stay above 80% health, and Hellbent Commander, which buffs minion damage so long as you’re close to them, great when combined with Reap and Death’s Embrace. Bonded in Essence is also an excellent passive choice here, as your Skeletal Priests can heal your skeletons for a percentage of their maximum life every 15 seconds, while Death’s Defense ensures they can’t lose more than 50% of their max life from a single hit.
Diablo 4 Necromancer capstone
Finally, since we’re speccing into Shadow damage, we want to take full advantage of the Shadowblight capstone. Any Shadow damage you inflict also infects enemies with Shadowblight for two seconds, which in turn gives you and your minions additional bonus damage. For every 20th time this happens, they take further bonus damage, which is hugely advantageous for bringing down bosses.
Diablo 4 Necromancer minions
As for your minions, you should spec into the following:
- Skeletal Warriors: Skeletal Reapers with Upgrade 2
- Skeletal Mages: Shadow Mages with Upgrade 2
While Skeletal Reapers are slower, the second upgrade allows them to carve usable corpses from an enemy, which you can then use to your advantage. Shadow Mages go well with the rest of the build, and the second upgrade allows them to fire additional shadow bolts at enemies. The golem is the best of the Necromancer’s Minions, but is not unlocked until level 25. When you can recruit a golem, you want it to distract the enemy by taunting them, so your other allies can quickly overwhelm them. Upgrade 1 for the golem makes it shed a usable corpse every time it takes 20% of its total life in damage.
Best Diablo 4 Necromancer gear
Here is the best Diablo 4 Necromancer gear:
- Weapon: Black River (Unique)
- Amulet: Legendary equipment (see below)
- Boots: Legendary equipment (see below)
- Chest: Legendary equipment (see below)
- Gloves: Howl from Below (Unique)
- Helm: Legendary equipment (see below)
- Ring slot 1: Ring of Mendeln (Unique)
- Ring slot 2: Legendary equipment (see below)
Black River is a single-handed scythe that causes a chain reaction between corpses whenever you use the Corpse Explosion attack, so you can conserve your energy. Howl from Below changes Corpse Explosion to become volatile skeletons that deal damage to enemies for a short time before exploding, which couples well with Black River. Finally, Ring of Mendeln gives you a Lucky Hit bonus depending on the number of minions you have, which, when it triggers, can empower all your minions, causing the next attack from each one to explode for physical damage.
Diablo 4 Necromancer buffs
For any slot with Legendary equipment, try to find gear with good stats and at least one of these terms in the item’s name. They will all buff something about your skills, making them more potent:
- Blighted – you deal increased damage for X seconds after the Shadowblight key passive damages enemies X number of times.
- Blood Getter’s – increases the maximum number of Skeletal Warriors you can summon.
- Cadaverous – consuming a Corpse increases the damage of your next Core skill by X%, up to X%.
- Hulking – your Golem has a chance to reduce its active cooldown by X seconds and a chance to spawn a corpse each time it damages an enemy with its normal attack.
- Unyielding Commander’s – while Army of the Dead is active, your minions gain attack speed and take reduced damage.
- Vicious – increases the maximum number of Skeletal Mages you can summon.
- … of Decay – each time the Shadowblight passive deals damage to enemies, it increases the next Shadowblight’s damage within X seconds. This stacks up to X times.
- … of the Embalmer – consuming a Corpse has a X% chance to spawn a Blood Orb.
- … of the Frenzied Dead – each time a minion damages an enemy, they gain attack speed for several seconds, up to X%.
- … of Grasping Veins – gain increased Critical Strike Chance for X seconds when you cast Corpse Tendrils. In addition, you deal X bonus Critical Strike Damage to enemies damaged by Corpse Tendrils.
- … of Hardened Bones – while you have X or more minions, your minions gain increased damage reduction.
- … of Reanimation – your Skeletons gain increased damage while alive, up to X% after X seconds.
- … of the Void – Blight’s defiled area, when spawned, pulls in enemies around the affected area.
And that’s the best Diablo 4 Necromancer build. If you want to see what the other Diablo 4 classes offer, we have builds for the Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer, and Druid, so you can prepare yourself for whichever class you feel suits you best. We also have what the devs think are the best Diablo 4 builds – you’ll want to take notes.