The Bone Spirit Necromancer has the strongest burst damage potential, in a single attack! Able to output over 1 Billion damage without BIS (Best in Slot) gear! Bone Spirit has the largest Skill damage multiplier native to any Skill in Diablo 4. When you prioritize reaching 100% Critical Strike Chance, the damage from a single Bone Spirit can one-shot most enemies in the game!
Since Bone Spirit deals its damage in a small radius around it on impact, the entire build is leveraged to pull everything together for one big KA-BOOM! Corpse Tendrils applying Vulnerable, Stunning and pulling everything to one location makes picking off entire groups of enemies, a breeze!
If you assemble Exodia in the form of Blood Artisan's Cuirass, you can even cast additional Bone Spirits completely for free. While the initial bonus damage isn't as high, it benefits from every buff and Rank we have for the skill itself. This is great for Speed Farming in the overworld and zomming through Nightmare Dungeons! Carrying a small swap of items for Bosses, allows for a hybrid approach to gameplay. Use the Speed Farming setup for most content, and swap to finish a Dungeon or general Boss encounter.
This build guide assumes you have a Level 50 Character and finished the Campaign. Level up with our Blood Surge Necromancer Leveling Guide. If you are looking for a different Necromancer play style, check out all of our Necromancer Guides.
Massive Damage ✔
Unique Play Style ✔
Great Survivability ✔
Fast Boss Kill Speed ✔
❌ Gear Dependent
❌ Repetitive Gameplay
❌ Slow Density Kill Speed
❌ Relies On Many Cooldowns
Season 2 - Season of Blood
Diablo 4 Season 2 introduces a new questline to hunt down the Shadow Vampire forces of Lord Zir across Sanctuary. With Lilith's blood still residing within our bodies, the infliction put upon us is harnessed throughout our leveling, granting access to new Vampiric Powers. Completing the seasonal questline, partaking in the seasonal Blood Harvest event and collecting Potent Blood are the main ways of obtaining and empowering these abilities. Check out the full Season 2 Guide from Chewingnom to learn more!
How it works
- There are 22 Vampiric Powers, separated into 2 different types:
- 15 Minor Vampiric Powers - Require 1 to 3 Pacts to be activated.
- 7 Major Vampiric Powers - Require 6 Pacts to be activated.
- There are 3 different types of Pacts:
- Ferocity Pact have a Crown icon.
- Divinity Pacts have a Chalice icon.
- Eternity Pacts have a Skull icon.
- Pacts can roll only on Armor pieces (Helm, Chest Armor, Gloves, Pants, Boots).
- You can apply a total of 20 pacts across your gear pieces.
- You can use Cleansing Acid - All to remove all Pacts from a piece of Armor and place new Standalone Pacts to meet your Powers requirements to activate. Cleansing Acid can be altered at the Alchemists to target 1 of the 3 Pacts only.
- Once you have equipped the right Pact Armor pieces, you can activate Vampiric Powers in the Sanguine Circle through the character screen. Powers require varying amounts of different types of Pacts, pay attention.
- You can use Potent Blood acquired from Blood Seekers to upgrade your Vampiric Powers from Level 1 to Level 3.
With this in mind, let's look at the top 5 best Vampiric Powers and how they impact this build:
Best-in-Slot Vampiric Powers
- Anticipation - Helps to keep Bone Storm up more often.
- Prey on the Weak - Increases Vulnerable damage and applies that status when an enemy has a Vampiric Curse.
- Domination - Additional multiplier once you successfully CC a target.
- Sanguine Brace - When you have 50% Fortify, gain bonus Critical Strike Chance.
- Metamorphosis - Grants Unstoppable when you Evade, deals damage and applies Vampiric Curse to enermies in your path.
Alternative Vampiric Powers
- Feed the Coven - Used on the Starter version of the build when still relying on Minions for Essence managment.
- Resilience - Great survivability tool when Damage isn't needed.
- Hemomancy - Best speedfarming damage source for open world content.
- Reap allows us to generate Corpses on demand and increase our Damage reduction when needed.
- Decrepify applies a powerful CC effect that also causes Lucky Hit procs to reduce Cooldowns on our Skills.
- Blood Mist is the cornerstone of the build. This gives us full Immunity, makes Corpses and increases our movement speed.
- Corpse Tendrils is an amazing CC tool and our Vulnerable applicator.
- Bone Storm: Damage, Survivability and Critical Strike Chance. Just an amazing skill on any build.
- And when everything lines up: Bone Spirit to wipe every enemy off the screen!
- Ossified Essence is very straight forward. The more Essence you have when you cast Bone Spirit, the more damage it does!
- Memento Mori is important for increasing some of the biggest damage scalers you have available to you, which are your Skeletal Sacrifices.
- Serration should have 3 Skill Points if you need the additional Critical Strike Chance to reach 100% consistently. Once you no longer need them, you can remove points to put elsewhere.
Book of the Dead
There are 3 different Minion types you can choose to summon or sacrifice, located in the Book of the Dead. The Bone Spirit Necromancer chooses to sacrifice Skirmishers for the Critical Strike Chance bonus, Bone Mages for the Vulnerable Damage multiplier and Iron Golem for the Critical Damage multiplier.
Learn more details and how to unlock this class specialization in our full Book of the Dead Guide.
Level the Paragon Board by scrolling. Each step optimizes progression.
We need to level up our Glyphs to activate their Additional Bonus with surrounding nodes. For some Glyphs, we max our bonuses by allocating every relevant node in range, while on others we take the minimum required for the Additional Bonus only. Because Glyphs at level 15 increase their radius, we need to prioritize leveling them by completing Nightmare Dungeons. After that, we prioritize leveling our strongest glyphs to level 21.
Glyph Leveling Priorities
Bone Spirit Necromancer has an incredibly simple gameplan. Group everything up, then blow it all to smithereens. If a monster has the audacity to survive a single Bone Spirit blast, things can get a little scary. So managing your buffs and cooldowns can make or break your chances of success.
- Initiate with Decrepify to start, so you don't miss any CD reduction procs. This also greatly reduces incoming damage and makes kiting monsters easier.
- Once a Corpse is formed with Reap, cast Corpse Tendrils on it and use Evade to make space between you and any threats while the Tendrils pull mobs into range.
- Cast Bone Spirit directly into the center of the pack. The area of effect is relatively small in comparison to most other skills, but with the pixel pull from Tendrils, you should be able to hit everything at once.
- Make sure to target a monster that is within the same range as high-value or high-threat targets. Focus any Damage Resistance Aura monsters, Elites or enemies that apply powerful Crowd Control effects. Neutralizing threats in scenarios where the pack isn't cleared out from the initial cast.
- Corpse Tendrils doesn't need to be off cooldown to cast your nuke. When monsters naturally group up, or the Elite survives the first blast, quickly pick them off with another Bone Spirit and move on.
- You don't always have to be at maximum Essence when you fire off Bone Spirit, but you lose a lot of damage multipliers and Critical Strike Chance if you're at very low amounts of resource. Use the Crowd Control applications from Decrepify and Corpse Tendrils to fill up when you're setting up the next pack.
- To maximize 1-shot potential on Bosses and tankier Elite monsters, make sure Bone Storm has fully maxed out Compound Fracture and Bone Graft before you cast Bone Spirit.
- When CC'ed or in a dangerous situation, use Blood Mist to get out of harms way and reposition yourself to gain an advantage. It's often safest to go into Blood Mist while waiting for Corpse Tendrils to finish pulling enemies together.
One of the most important parts of your endgame journey is acquiring enough Essence to destroy your enemies. Having a grasp of the essentials of how your Essence works is key to your progression. There are many ways of generating resources, but below are some of the most important and relevant ones for the Necromancer.
Reap is a fantastic tool for quickly generating Essence against large packs of enemies, since it triggers on every target inside its cleave. It performs much worse against single targets and should only be used as a last resort in those circumstances.
Resource Aspect of the Umbral
Each Crowd Control effect that you inflict upon enemies triggers this aspect. This means that you can stack multiple Crowd Control Effects in order to get incredible Essence generation. You need to find a 4 Resource version of it from a drop. Try to gamble rings at the Purveyor of Curiosities to get this item. Important effects that can trigger the Resource Aspect of the Umbral include:
- Corpse Tendrils Slow, Stun, Pull
- Decrepify Slow
Aspect of Torment
This Aspect helps to dramatically increase your passive Essence regen every time you cast Bone Spirit and Critically Strike. In addition to the skill's base Dreadful Bone Spirit modifier that adds another Essence regen rate, you quickly regain a large portion of the spent Essence. Both of these sources rely on the player reaching 100% Critical Strike Chance as soon as possible.
Endgame Gear & Skill Progression
When you start diving into the Endgame, you don't have all the tools available to achieve the final build versions. Let us guide you through different progression points to give you a smooth transition from our Leveling Guides to the final build version.
Many of your Skill choices depend on what Legendary Aspects and Unique items are available to you. While we can guarantee that everyone has access to the same Codex of Power Aspects, the progression might be different for everyone!
- Unlock the following Aspects in your Codex of Power:
- Aspect of Grasping Veins in Corrupted Grotto (Kehjistan)
- Aspect of Torment in Black Asylum (Fractured Peaks)
- Aspect of the Umbral in Champion's Demise (Dry Steppes)
- Aspect of Might in Dark Ravine (Dry Steppes)
- Wind Striker Mobility Aspect in Shivta Ruins (Kehjistan)
- Find the following Legendary Aspects by farming in Dungeons, Nightmare Dungeons, Helltides, through the Tree of Whispers, or gambling with Obols:
- Offensive Aspect of Serration
- Aspect of Shielding Storm
- Find the following Unique items by farming in Dungeons, Nightmare Dungeons, Helltides. Note: You cannot gamble Unique items with obols!
- Deathless Visage offers the highest damage helmet option before acquiring an Uber Unique. Only use this if your survivability is maxed out without a good defensive Helmet.
- Blood Artisan's Cuirass offers a very potent build alternative to spam Bone Spirit more consistently by sacrificing the damage required to normally one-shot Bosses. Required to Speed Farm on the Bone Spirit Necromancer.
- Lidless Wall allows for Speed Farming in high Nightmare Dungeons, as well as Open World content. The consistent uptime of Barrier, Critical Strike Chance and Damage Reduction helps for survivability and damage output.
- Ring of the Sacrilegious Soul brings back a powerful Malignant Heart power from Season 1. The auto-casting skills needed to be equipped on your Skill Bar to function. This automates Resource management and maintaining relevant CC effects.
- Tibault's Will adds an additional damage multiplier for "free" since you are Unstoppable once you enter Blood Mist. Great for Speed Farming and Bossing. Also helps with Resource management.
- Blood Moon Breeches is specifcally used only in the Spirit Bomb Variant.
- Fists of Fate is specifcally used only in the Spirit Bomb Variant.
- Banished Lord's Talisman is specifcally used only in the Spirit Bomb Variant.
- If you're lucky enough to find the Uber Uniques randomly or from Duriel, try incorporating them in the following ways:
- Harlequin Crest is easily the BIS helmet for Bone Spirit Necromancer. Replaces Aspect of Might.
- The Grandfather is an incredibly strong damage multiplier for the build that also adds on a good amount of survivability. Requires your build to have very high Critical Strike Chance without Aspect of Grasping Veins on a Two-Handed Weapon.
- Melted Heart of Selig offers an interesting alternative if you don't have a BIS Amulet currently. This is not typically recommended on the build.
Learn more details and how to farm Legendary Aspects and Uniques in our General Farming Guide.
Once you have completed the leveling guide, only the Codex of Power Aspects are guaranteed. With this setup you the Bone Spirit Necromancer can farm the Legendary Aspects and Unique items you need for the next progression point.
Coming from World Tier 2, you can already have a good array of Legendary Aspects imprinted on key gear pieces to help smooth out gameplay and set you up for success.
- Once you find Movement Speed on Boots and/or your Amulet make sure to upgrade there gear pieces 3-4 times to increase this bonus as much as possible.
- Similarly, keeping your weapon upgrade 3-4 helps to mitigate any damage plateauing while progressing.
- Normally you shouldn't imprint an important Aspect on your weapon since it's replaced often, but Aspect of Grasping Veins is in the codex of power and the base bonus it gives is strong enough to keep imprinting. If you find yourself running out of materials, you can always move it to the Amulet instead.
During early game progression, especially with lower strength Aspects and Affixes on your gear, this build relies heavily on the support of your Skeletal Minions. Not only do they help to generate corpses and Essence passively, but Raise Skeleton counts as "consuming a Corpse" for the purposes of Grim Harvest to generate Essence quickly. We move some of our points into supporting the Skeleton's base survivability and to capitalize on Corpse consumption.
Book of the Dead
Relying on your Skeletal Minions helps to alleviate the clunkiness in the early game that the Bone Spirit Necromancer can run into.
Feed the Coven helps to maintain Essence while slightly increasing you damage output. Sanguine Brace offers more survivability via Fortify as well as much needed Critical Strike Chance. Hemomancy rewards the player for prioritizing Maximum Life to increase its AoE damage output, for free.
Build Scaling & Stat Priorities
The answer to many questions can be found in the following section.
Learn all you need to know about how to scale the Blood Lance Necromancer in the endgame.
- Essence: This build relies heavily on fast Essence generation as well as Maximum Essence to scale Bone Spirit's damage. We should always be close to full Resource when it comes back off cooldown.
- Critical Strike Chance: Bone Skills in general have high Chance to Critically Strike and the Skill Tree empowers this further with Serration. Stacking xx% Critical Strike Damage allows for massive damage dumps when successful. Prioritizing 100% Chance to Critically Strike is priority number one.
- Vulnerable: We get Vulnerable procs from the Corpse Tendrils. While we don't target Vulnerable Damage specifically, it is not a bad Affix to have on your gear.
- Crowd Controls: Since all of our damage occurs in an area, pixel pulls and grouping of monsters becomes a direct damage scaler. This also allows us to benefit from every "Damage to CC'ed Enemies" affix in the game when Corpse Tendrils or Crippling Darkness procs.
- Attack Speed: Increased Attack Speed increases the rate we generate Essence, by reducing the animation length on our generators. It decreases the length of time before Tendrils is on the field and how quickly Bone Spirit spawns from our Necro. While less important on this build, its efficiency gain adds up over time.
Stat Priorities & Gear Options
There are many stats and status effects that generate on gear, but many are not important for your build. Some stats may block others from rolling or only appear on certain gear slots. See below for a general breakdown as well as a per slot priority list in the list.
Put in the following Gems into your gear:
- Helmet / Body Armor / Pants: Royal Ruby
- Weapon / Off-Hand: Royal Emerald
- Jewelry: 1 of each Gem Royal Ruby, Royal Topaz, Royal Emerald.
This build benefits a lot from the following Consumables:
- Crafted Elixirs: Heady Precision Elixir
- Dropped Elixirs: Elixir of Resourcefulness
- Type I Incense: Sage's Whisper
- Type II Incense: Soothing Spices to cap Resistances
- Type III Incense: Chorus of War
Refer to the table below to see the best rolls for every slot ranked in order of importance:
|Offensive Aspect of Grasping Veins||Maximum Item Power (925)|
2. All Stats
3. Damage to Close
4. Critical Strike Damage
5. Critical Strike Damage with Bone
6. Vulnerable Damage
|Helm||Defensive Aspect of Disobedience||1. Maximum Essence|
2. Maximum Life
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. % Total Armor
6. All Stats
7. xx Resistance (Needed To Cap Res)
|Chest||Defensive Aspect of Shielding Storm||1. Damage Reduction against Close Enemies|
2. Damage Reduction
3. Maximum Life
4. % Total Armor
|Gloves||Edgemaster’s Aspect||1. Critical Strike Chance|
2. Critical Strike Damage with Bone Skills
3. Attack Speed
4. Lucky Hit Restore Primary Resource
6. All Stats
|Pants||Aspect of Might||Implicit: Potion Restores Grants Barrier|
1. Maximum Life
2. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
3. Damage Reduction
4. % Total Armor
5. +xx Ranks to Blood Mist
|Boots||Wind Striker Aspect|
|Implicit: Bonus Evade Charges|
1. Movement Speed
2. +xx Ranks to Bone Spirit
3. +xx Ranks to Corpse Tendrils
5. All Stats
6. xx Resistance (Needed To Cap Res)
|Amulet||Offensive Aspect of Serration||1. Movement Speed|
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. +xx Ranks to Macabre Skills
4. +xx Ranks to Evulsion
5. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
6. % Total Armor
|Ring 1||Resource Aspect of the Umbral||1. Critical Strike Chance|
2. Maximum Essence
3. Maximum Life
4. Damage to Close Enemies
5. Critical Strike Damage
|Ring 2||Aspect of Torment||1. Critical Strike Chance|
2. Maximum Essence
3. Maximum Life
4. Damage to Close Enemies
5. Critical Strike Damage
Hardcore requires you to build into more defenses. Here are some tips to successfully navigate this build through potentially dangerous situations:
- This build already prioritizes survivability above other stats on the majority of your gear. Make sure to ignore Damage affixes on your Amulet and Essence management on your Shield for more Damage Reduction options.
- In the Paragon Boards, select additional Armor Nodes in Rare clusters whenever possible.
- Only farm Nightmare Dungeon content that's a few Levels above your Character until you're comfortable farming higher difficulty content.
- Use a Dagger or 1-Handed Sword and a Shield with multiple Damage Reduction affixes and Maximum Life. Prioritize the normal stats on a weapon, and Aspect placement.
Check out our dedicated in-depth guide to learn more survival tricks in Hardcore.
Level 100 Endgame Variants
You can optimize your build further for certain endgame activities, such as Speedfarming, Nightmare Dungeon Pushing, etc. Let's take a look at the changes you need to make to achieve the best results in them.
Blood Artisan's Cuirass
The Blood Artisan's Cuirass allows us to proc Bone Spirit for free, whenever we collect a total of 5 Blood Orbs (with a perfect roll). So instead of manually casting the Skill, we focus on generating Blood Orbs to benefit from additional benefits. We also use Lidless Wall to for more survivability and buff duration uptime.
- Hemorrhage is a great tool for generating Blood Orbs and more quickly regain Essence against Bosses and tanky single targets.
- Swap to Aspect of Potent Blood to quickly regain Essence whenever you manually cast Bone Spirit for more damage.
- Swap to Aspect of the Embalmer to help with Orb generation.
- Ring of the Sacrilegious Soul automates corpse consumption and helps to proc more Corpse Tendrils for Orb generation.
- Lidless Wall manages your survivability so you can focus on optimal Skill rotations and damage output.
You need ways of consuming Corpses to keep the Blood Orb engine running, so we add Corpse Explosion back onto the Skillbar by dropping Decrepify.
- Cast Corpse Explosion in between moving through packs of enemies, and CC'ing with Corpse Tendrils.
- Corpse Tendrils is swapped to the Blighted Modifier to make even more Blood Orbs. We gain Vulnerable status with Metamorphosis and Prey on the Weak from the Vampire Powers in Season 2.
Drop the Essence Glyph in exchange for picking up Flesh-eater Node, to maintain a high multiplier that synergizes with Corpse consumption. Swap Sacrificial for Blood-drinker to gain access to more Fortify.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Once a guide is released, many players have questions on why and how we are approaching certain choices. In this section you can find the answers to the questions that have been asked the most.
Why no Aspect of Exposed Flesh?
It turns out that Bone Spirit is a terrible Lucky Hit machine, and we can't rely Bone Storm to pick up the slack well enough to rely on Exposed Flesh. Not only that, but it only rolls the chance once per cast, regardless of how many targets it hits.
Is Bone Spirit Dead after Patch 1.2?
One of the strengths of the Bone Spirit Necromancer is how much of the build's damage is built into the Skill itself and the Passives in our Skill Tree. While reducing the benefit of Critical Strike Damage and Vulnerable Damage, the ability to have 100% Crit Chance and Vulnerable uptime allows us to benefit from these affixes on our gear and in the paragon board. Not to mention the fact that Bone Spirit does millions of damage on impact. If you only barely 1-shot the monster, it still dies in the same amount of time to overkilling it.
Learn all you need to know about how to scale this build in the endgame.
Blood Artisan's Cuirass
Hungry for more Guides?
The Bone Spirit Necromancer is the true height of performance from the class. The tons of Crowd Control, survivability and MASSIVE nuke damage make for explosive finale fights against enemies! You cast Bone Spirit and they go boom. It's wonderfully satisfying every time it happens!
- Blood Artisan's Cuirass is a great option for Speed-farming and can help to increase your clear speed. A common mistake new players make is assuming that it's good enough for the +xx Ranks to Bone Spirit. You need to retool your approach to farming and skill rotation to get the most out of this Unique.
- The playstyle is very "all-in". We know we need to Crit to win and when that doesn't happen, you may struggle. Prioritize the affixes you need to reach 100% Critical Strike Chance above all else.
- Practice makes perfect! Don't be afraid to run slightly easier content of Nightmare Dungeons to get the flow of the gameplay loop.
I wish you the best on your journey through Sanctuary in Diablo 4. In bocca al lupo!
Written by MacroBioBoi
Reviewed by Echohack