Diablo 4 Necromancer class guide – skills and summons explained

Wielding blood, bone, and darkness, the Diablo 4 Necromancer class is a powerful spellcaster with an endless horde of shambling undead at their disposal

Diablo 4 Necromancer Class: Diablo 4's Necromancer as featured in the cinematic trailer, holding a skull carved with runes from a rope while surrounded by skeleton warriors and mages.

Want to know more about the Diablo 4 Necromancer class? Of course you do! The fifth and final class of Diablo 4 has finally been revealed, and we’re delighted to see the Diablo II fan-favourite join the campfire once again in Blizzard’s long-standing action RPG series.

As in previous games, the Diablo 4 Necromancer class is primarily a summoner that specialises in raising a skeletal militia and hulking golems to overpower every enemy in their path. Blizzard has confirmed that this iteration of the Necromancer will be the most customisable in the series, and we’ve compiled everything we know so far for you to decide if this ghoulish spellcaster is right for you.

Resources

Diablo 4 Necromancers consume two types of resources:

  • Essence
  • Corpses

Essence is a Necromancer’s primary resource. While it will slowly restore itself over time, using Basic Skills can generate Essence at a much faster rate, allowing you to cast more often.

Meanwhile, the corpses of your fallen foes can be used to summon minions and trigger other skills, including one of the Diablo Necromancer’s most iconic abilities: Corpse Explosion. Additional skills, such as Decompose, allow you to generate additional corpses as needed, so you’ll never find yourself short of a body to raise.

Weapons

No weapon can be more fitting for a Necromancer than the reaper’s scythe, and Diablo 4’s Necromancer is the only class in the game that can use them. That said, you’re by no means forced to keep hold of it for your entire playthrough, and there are plenty of alternatives to equip if you’re not feeling the reaping.

Here are all the weapons and gear the Diablo 4 Necromancer can use:

  • Scythes
  • Swords
  • Daggers
  • Wands
  • Focuses
  • Shields

Curses

Curses are an essential part of any Necromancer’s arsenal, and they’re making a welcome return in Diablo 4. While we can’t yet confirm whether the curses revealed so far will function exactly the same as they did in previous games, we can give a quick explanation of what we expect from these powerful debuffs:

  • Decrepify: Reduces the enemy’s movement speed and damage dealt.
  • Iron Maiden: Causes melee damage to instead be reflected back at the attacker.

Skills

Here’s a list of all the known Diablo 4 Necromancer skills, separated by skill type:

Bone

Bone Spirit: Consumes all Essence to conjure a spirit of bone that seeks out the nearest enemy, exploding on contact and dealing area-of-effect (AoE) damage. This damage increases depending on the amount of Essence spent, so maximising the amount you have before casting Bone Spirit is a must.

Bone Prison: Slam your weapon into the ground and call forth a wall of Bone to completely surround a target enemy or area. As the name suggests, enemies cannot break through the Bone Prison while it’s active, making it a great tool for trapping big groups of enemies or blocking off corridors.

Bone Spear: While this iconic Necromancer skill hasn’t been officially revealed quite yet, gameplay footage from the Xbox and Bethesda conference included a Necromancer casting a projectile that bears a close resemblance to this spell in previous games. This projectile deals damage as it passes through enemies; upon bouncing off a wall, it splits into three smaller projectiles that deal additional damage.

Diablo 4 Necromancer Class: Diablo 4's Necromancer stands on a rocky shore, using their Bone Spear ability on a group of skeletons and shattering their bones.

Darkness

Decompose: Channels dark magic onto enemies, dealing damage and generating Essence simultaneously. Decompose also periodically spawns corpses, allowing you to summon a wave of skeletons and turn the tide of battle at short notice.

Blight: Casts a ball of energy in any direction that explodes upon impact (or when it expires), dealing immediate AoE damage and then further damage-over-time to any enemy that stands in that area for a short period. This skill pairs well with Bone Prison, or indeed any crowd control effect that keeps enemies contained long enough to maximise the damage you can inflict upon them with this skill.

Blood

Blood Surge: A close-range AoE attack that draws blood from surrounding enemies in order to create a blood nova. The damage dealt by this attack is wholly dependent upon how much blood is drawn by the Necromancer, so be sure to position yourself in the middle of a group to maximise its power.

Blood Mist: If you’re becoming overwhelmed, this defensive skill grants temporary immunity from damage by transforming the Necromancer into a mist of blood. As an added bonus, it also drains Life from any enemy you pass through, making it indispensable for clutch moments.

Book of the Dead

Spell-slinging is all well and good, but the true power of a Necromancer lies in their unique power to raise an army of the dead to do their bidding. The Diablo 4 Necromancer has access to the Book of the Dead, a menu that allows for more customisation and control over your undead troops than ever before. There are a variety of minion types to summon and upgrade, as well as an additional ability to sacrifice your summons to make your Necromancer stronger. Sacrificing allows for more class flexibility, so if you haven’t enjoyed the Necromancer’s overreliance on summons in the past, the Diablo 4 Necromancer provides an opportunity for a more independent playstyle.

Here’s a look at all the summonable minions available via the Book of the Dead, and the bonuses you can gain from upgrading and sacrificing them:

Skeletal Warriors

There are three types of Skeletal Warriors the Diablo 4 Necromancer can summon:

  • Skirmishers
  • Defenders
  • Reapers

Skirmishers: A standard warrior with increased damage but reduced Life.

Defenders: “Durable shield-bearers with 15% increased Life.”

  • Upgrade 1: Every 10 seconds your Skeletal Defenders negate the next instance of Direct Damage they would take
  • Upgrade 2: Increase the amount of Thorns that Defender Warriors inherit from you from 30% to 50%
  • Sacrifice: You gain 15% non-Physical Resistance, but you can no longer raise Skeletal Warriors

Reapers: Equipped with a front-facing AoE spell and a powerful wind-up attack, Reapers trade high damage for low attack speed.

Skeletal Mages

The Diablo 4 Necromancer can summon three types of Skeletal Mages:

  • Shadow
  • Cold
  • Bone

Shadow: No information yet.

Cold: “Chills and Freezes enemies.”

  • Upgrade 1: Each time your Cold Mages damage enemies with their primary attack, you gain 2 Essence
  • Upgrade 2: Enemies who are Frozen by or damaged while Frozen by your Cold Mages’ primary attack are made Vulnerable for 3 seconds
  • Sacrifice: You deal x15% increased damage to Vulnerable enemies, but you can no longer raise Skeletal Mages

Bone: “Uses its own bones as projectiles, dealing heavy damage for a Life cost.”

  • Upgrade 1: Reduce the Life cost of your Bone Mages’ attacks from 15% to 10%. After being alive for 5 seconds, Bone Mages deal 40% increased damage
  • Upgrade 2: Each time a Bone Mage dies from its own attack, they leave behind a Corpse and Fortify you for 2,188
  • Sacrifice: Your Overpower damage is increased by 30%, but you can no longer raise Skeletal Mages

Diablo 4 Necromancer Class: The Diablo 4 Necromancer standing in the middle of a corpse-strewn battlefield, summoning three skeletal Shadow Mages.

Golems

Here are the three types of Golems that the Diablo 4 Necromancer can summon:

  • Bone
  • Blood
  • Iron

Bone: “Taunts enemies in a wide area.”

  • Upgrade 1: Each time your Bone Golem takes up to 20% of its maximum Life as damage, it sheds a Corpse
  • Upgrade 2: Your Bone Golem gains 10% maximum Life and the amount of Thorns they inherit from you is increased from 30% to 50%
  • Sacrifice: You gain 10% increased Attack Speed, but you lose the ability to summon a Golem

Blood: “Drains Life from nearby enemies.”

  • Upgrade 1: Your Blood Golem absorbs 15% of damage you would take
  • Upgrade 2: While healthy, your Blood Golem gains 25% Damage Reduction and x25% increased damage
  • Sacrifice: Your maximum Life is increased by 10%, but you lose the ability to summon a Golem

Iron: “Slams the ground and Stuns enemies.”

  • Upgrade 1: Every 5th Iron Golem attack causes a shockwave, dealing 16.00% (3,288-4,019) damage to the primary enemy and to enemies behind them
  • Upgrade 2: Your Iron Golem’s slam attack also makes enemies Vulnerable for 3 seconds
  • Sacrifice: You deal x30% increased Critical Strike Damage, but you lose the ability to summon a Golem

That’s everything we have for the Diablo 4 Necromancer for the time being. Be sure to pop back closer to the Diablo 4 release date for even more information. In the meantime, take a look at our overview of the Diablo 4 Necromancer gameplay footage shown off at the Xbox and Bethesda conference, or alternatively, what we know so far about the 150 handcrafted and procedurally generated Diablo 4 dungeons you can expect to find once you finally reach Sanctuary.

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