LIVE

Necromancer Leveling Guide

Necromancer Leveling

Introduction

The Necromancer Leveling Guide provides you with all the necessary information to get your favorite Character started!
Not every Skill is suitable to be used during early leveling for three reasons:

  • Only a number of Skills work well without any previously farmed gear.
  • A lot of builds lack damage during the leveling phase. It can become a big struggle or even straight up impossible to progress, starting with an end game build.
  • Some builds have a hard time transitioning into hell due to Immunities.

We provide you with step by step Skill trees and easily accessible items that help you in your play through. Additionally, you get tips and insights on how to deal with Immunities and the more difficult fights.

Gear used in this guide
Bone Spear
Corpse Explosion
Bone Armor
Teeth

At the end of this guide you'll have a Level 75 Necromancer that used 1 out of the 3 respecs the game provides. You can use these to transition into your build of choice.
If you like the build at the end of this guide, check out the Bone Spear Necromancer Guide, which continues it to the end game.


Progression

The Necromancer Leveling Guide utilizes Teeth and Bone Spear in Normal. Corpse Explosion is added to the mix later on.

Act 1 N<br>(Up to Level 13)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Skill Point Allocation

Level 2-5: Teeth
Den of Evil: Teeth
Level 6: Clay Golem
Level 7-10: Teeth
Level 11: Amplify Damage*
Level 12: Iron Maiden*
Level 13: Teeth

*Put these Skill Points into Teeth if you get a Wand.

Attribute Allocation

Level 2-3: All into Energy
Level 4-11 All into Vitality
Level 12-13: All into Strength


Playstyle & Progression

  • Clear out the Den of Evil and pick up items to sell, like Rings, Amulets, Charms, etc. Use Raise Skeleton from your starter Wand. Start casting Teeth at Level 2. This Skill will stick with you for a while. Teeth doesn't shotgun, so it only hits a single target with one of its projectiles!
  • Important: Pick up every Chipped Gem you come across and put them into your Stash. You need them to re-roll Magic Wands later.
  • Get to Akara and sell everything you got from the Den of Evil. If you have 3.500+ Gold, check her for a +x to Teeth Wand. +2 is about 3.500 Gold, +3 costs 5.500+ Gold. Buy some Life, lots of Mana and Stamina Potions from Akara. Add both the Tome of Town Portal, and the Tome of Identify if possible. Get them later if not.
  • From this point onwards, Elite Groups are your primary focus when it comes to killing monsters. Don't waste your time with individual monsters. They grant far less Experience!
  • Start using strangling gas potion at level 6 to add AoE Poison Damage to Elite Groups. Summon Clay Golems close to dangerous enemies to act as a meat shield.
  • Fight your way to the Black Marsh. Find the Waypoint and start farming The Countess inside the Forgotten Tower for the below listed Runes. Put the Runes into your Stash for storage.
    Check Charsi for the 2 Socketed Body Armor, and 2x 2 Socketed Helmets at the start of each run.
  • Equip a Gemmed Helmet to improve your Mana management.
  • After acquiring all Runes, make your way to the Catacombs Level 4, where you face the first Act boss, Andariel - Maiden of Anguish.
  • To fight Act bosses in Normal difficulty, curse them with Iron Maiden. Then continuously summon a clay golem next to them, whenever they get hit. This will return massive amounts of Physical Damage via the Thorns effect.

Gear Checklist

ItemWhereNote
WandShop at Akara
or drop from monsters
Shop for a +2 or +3 to Teeth as soon as possible. +2 costs about 3.400 Gold, +3 is around 5.500 Gold.
Optional:
Wand
Shop at Akara
Requires Level 7 to shop
Shop for a +1 to Iron Maiden Wand. This saves you 2 Skill Points throughout Normal difficulty.
Preserved HeadDrop from monstersPick up all Necromancer Shields you come across and check them for useful Skills:
+x to Teeth
+x to Iron Maiden
+x to Corpse Explosion
+x to Bone Spear
(later)
Ring of the Apprentice
Amulet of the Apprentice
Drop from monstersPick up every Ring and Amulet and check them for +10% Faster Cast Rate.
You can reach the 75% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint with all 3 item slots filled up.
2x 2 Socketed HelmetsShop at Charsi
or drop from monsters
The first Helmet is used to put Ral Runes. The second one is used for the Runeword Lore later on.
Make sure that one of them is NOT a Magic Item for the latter.
2 Socketed Body ArmorShop at Charsi
or drop from monsters
This Body Armor is used for the Runeword Stealth later on.
Make sure that it is NOT a Magic Item.
Chipped GemsDrop from monsters
Pick all of them up!
They are used to re-roll Wands in Act 2 for Gold.
Mandatory:
1 Tal Rune
1 Eth Rune
Farm at The CountessThese Runes are used later for:
- Stealth
Optional:
1-2 Ral Rune
1-2 Tir Rune
Farm at The CountessIf acquired, these Runes are used for:
- Gemmed Cap
and/or
- Gemmed Cap

Act 2 - 5 N<br>(Up to Level 26)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Skill Point Allocation

Level 14: Bone Armor
Radament: Bone Wall
Level 15-16: Bone Wall
Level 17: Corpse Explosion
Level 18-20: Bone Spear
Izual: Corpse Explosion
Level 21-26: Corpse Explosion

Attribute Allocation

Level 14-16: All into Vitality
Level 17-21: 22 into Strength, 3 into Vitality
Level 22-26: All into Vitality


Playstyle & Progression

  • Enter Lut Gholein and pick up a Belt from Farah.
  • Kill Radament and make your progress through Act 2. Only use Teeth to kill regular monsters and add Clay Golem and Iron Maiden against bosses.
  • After picking up the Horadric Cube, use it to re-roll Magic Wands. Go back to Act 1 and buy them for 750 or less Gold. Put 1 Magic Wands and 3 Chipped Gems into the cube and hit "Transmute". Don't re-roll it multiple times unless it doesn't receive any +x to Skills! Keep a Chipped Diamond - It might become useful later.
  • Create and equip your Stealth at Level 17.
  • If you can, get to Act 3 before you hit Level 18. Sell any Magic Wands there to receive as much Gold as possible.
  • Shop for a Bone Wand +2-3 to Bone Spear before you hit Level 18. !!!IT MUST BE A Bone Wand!!! You only need to check those with a red background. Make sure it has either 0 or 2 Sockets as it'll be the base for your white later.
  • Make your way through Act 3. At Level 19 you can put on a Gemmed Cap if you want to feel safer against Fire Damage. This comes at the cost of Quality of Life if you had a Gemmed Cap before.
  • Your target for the end of Act 3 is at least Level 19.8.
  • Continue to pick up Necromancer Shields. Finding +x to bone spear can increase your damage drastically. They can also be used as a base for rhyme to replace ancient's pledge later.
  • When you reach Level 20, go back to Act 3 and shop for a Staff of Teleportation at Ormus. Use a Waypoint you pick up along the way and re-enter Kurast Docks through a Town Portal to reset his inventory. You only need to check Staves with a red background because the Level required for it is 24, meaning you can't equip it right now.
  • Continue your progress all the way to Baal. Kill Izual for the extra Skill Points before killing Diablo. Finish Quest 1 and 2 in Act 5 for the Socket reward and the Runes required for Ancient's Pledge. Create the Runeword as soon as you have them and put it into your stash. Use the Socket reward on the Bone Wand to add 2 Sockets.
  • Open up The Secret Cow Level and pick up items to sell for Gold while Leveling up to 25. Equip the Staff of Teleportation in your secondary Weapon Swap when you hit Level 24. Then kill the Waves in the Throne of Destruction to reach Level 26 before entering Nightmare difficulty.

Gear Checklist

ItemWhereNote
BeltShop at FarahMore Potion slots = more Good.
Kite ShieldShop at FarahUsed to create Ancient's Pledge.
Bone WandShop at Drognan
Before Level 18.
Used to create White later.
NecromancerDrop from monstersUsed to create Rhyme if found. It needs 0 or 2 Sockets to work as a base.
StealthStash / InventoryCreate Stealth from the previously farmed Runes.
Gemmed HelmetStash / InventoryAdd previously farmed Ral Runes to one of the Helmets.
Staff of TeleportationShop from OrmusShop this Staff between Levels 20 and 23. This reduces the amount of Staves you need to check down to those with a red background.
Act 1 NM - Act 5 H<br>(Respec + Level 75)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Respec

Poison and Bone

Corpse Explosion - 10 Skill Point
Bone Spear - 9 Skill Point
Bone Prison - 3 Skill Points
Optional: Clay Golem

Max out in Order

Bone Spear
Bone Prison
Bone Wall
Teeth
Amplify Damage (1 Skill Point from Hell Ancients Level-Up)

Attribute Allocation

Allocate enough Strength to wear all of your gear. Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality.
Level 27-75: All into Vitality


Playstyle & Progression

  • After the respec, use bone spear to create initial corpses for corpse explosion. Cast bone prison against dangerous targets or to lure in more enemies towards your explosions.
  • Start the Nightmare difficulty by shopping for Ocher Heavy Boots of Haste, a Russet Belt of the Colossus and Ocher Heavy Boots of Haste (or similar).
  • Complete Quest 1 for the Skill Point and continue to the Black Marsh Waypoint.
  • Start farming The Countess for the Runes mentioned from the checklist below. Create the Lore Cap and White Bone Wand as soon as you find the Runes.
    Tip: 3 Hel Runes and a chipped diamond can be combined into an io rune with the horadric cube. That Rune can be quite elusive.
  • Trap Act bosses with bone prison and kill them off with bone spear.
  • Wave 2 in the Throne of Destruction is the only obstacle for this build as the Unravelers are Immune to Magic. Cast bone wall around the area in which the waves spawn, then apply amplify damage to the wave. Kill some of the Skeleton Mages with Bone Spear and blow the rest up with corpse explosion. Make sure the Unravelers are cursed!

Gear Checklist

ItemWhereNote
Russet Belt of the ColossusShop at Charsi or Gheed
in Nightmare
Shop for a Belt with Resistances.
Lightning and Fire are your priority.
Life can be a nice bonus.
Ocher Heavy Boots of HasteShop at Charsi or Gheed
in Nightmare
Shop for Boots with +x% Faster Run/Walk.
Resistances are a nice bonus.
Lightning and Fire are your priority.
Garnet Heavy GlovesShop at Charsi or Gheed
in Nightmare
Shop for a Belt with Resistances.
Lightning and Fire are your priority.
Lore CapStash / InventoryCreate and equip as soon as the Runes are acquired.
White Bone WandStash / InventoryCreate and equip as soon as the Runes are acquired.
Mandatory:
1x Dol Rune
1x Io Rune
1x Ort Rune
1x Sol Rune
Farm at The Countess
in Nightmare
These Runes are used for:
- White Bone Wand
- Lore

Essentials

Hardcore

All of our Leveling Guides are viable for Hardcore.
Changes to consider:

  • Over Level before you enter Nightmare / Hell. Suggested Target Levels are ~38-40 for Nightmare and 65+ for Hell.
  • Stay on Ancient's Pledge to keep your Resistances as high as possible. This coupled with Bone Armor gives you protection from every damage source except Magic Damage.
  • Make sure to have your Cold, Fire, and Lightning Resistances capped at 75% when you enter Nightmare and Hell. The easy way to check this is to enter the difficulty you want to play and open your Character screen.
    • We recommend farming Flayer Jungle or The Secret Cow Level in Nightmare for Charms. They make it easy to cap your Resistances.

Gear Options

With a shared stash now available and the fact that this might not be your first Character we want to give you some gear options that can improve your leveling experience a lot!

  • Skin of the Vipermagi is the best Body Armor you can equip on any caster for leveling.
  • Magefist gives you 20% Faster Cast Rate and +1 to Fire Skills which increases Corpse Explosion Skill Level.
  • A rare Amulet with +x to Necromancer Skills or +x to Poison and Bone Skills is very powerful. Unique options for the Amulet are The Eye of Etlich and later a Maras Kaleidoscope.
  • Hsarus' Iron Heel and Sander's Riprap are strong options for the Boots slot. Both provide you with Faster Run/Walk and are very common drops.
  • The Stone of Jordan provides you with +1 to All Skills, which scales our damage up significantly. It's a rather expensive option, but if you have one, put it on!
  • Splendor can be a really nice option if you can get high Resistances without the help of Ancient's Pledge.
  • Homunculus is a very powerful Necromancer Shield. With +2 to All Skills and Resistances this is an easy choice if available!

Farming Spots at Level 75+

The areas below are efficient farming locations that make use of the build’s strengths. Other farming spots might not be as effective due to immunities or bad layouts.

Act 1

AreaRewards
The CountessRunes
Key of Terror
The PitAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
AndarielUniques
Sets
Jewelry
The Secret Cow LevelRunes
Runeword Bases
Charms / Gems / Jewels

Act 2

AreaRewards
Arcane Sanctuary
(Specters/Super Chests)
Runes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Jewelry
SummonerKey of Hate

Act 3

AreaRewards
TravincalGearing
Runes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Gold
MephistoUniques
Sets

Act 4

AreaRewards
Chaos SanctuaryAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
DiabloUniques
Sets
Leveling

Act 5

AreaRewards
Eldritch the RectifierGearing
Gold
Leveling
Shenk the OverseerGearing
Gold
Leveling
PindleskinGearing
Gold
Leveling
Worldstone Keep / Throne of DestructionAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Baal / WavesUniques
Sets
Max Area Level
Leveling

Video


Summary

  • Use Teeth and Strangling Gas Potions against large monster groups until Level 18.
  • After respecing use Bone Spear to kill off 1-2 monsters and then blow up their friends with Corpse Explosion.
  • Farm The Countess in Normal and Nightmare for the key Runewords. Be careful with the item bases you buy from the vendors. Runewords do NOT work in Magic Items!
  • Shop for a Bone Wand with +x to Bone Spear and 0 or 2 Sockets before Level 18.
  • Buy a Gnarled Staff of Teleportation before Level 24.
  • Magic Immunes monsters can be killed by Corpse Explosion as long as there are other monsters around to kill with Bone Spear. The corpses of the Skeleton Mages on Baal wave 2 can be used to kill the Unravelers.

We hope the Necromancer Leveling Guide helps you to get to your endgame build of choice. The combination of Bone Spear and Corpse Explosion can be very satisfying to play with!

Good luck!


Credits

Written by Teo1904
Reviewed by MacroBioBoi


Changelog

Sep 19th 2022
Fixed Formatting issues

Mar 10th 2022
Overhauled and Updated to Patch 2.4