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Minion Necromancer Leveling Build Guide

Last Updated: May 23rd 2024

Season 4 - LootS-Tier

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The Minion Necromancer is the most laidback approach to leveling in the current state of the game. Your Army of the Dead will pamper you like royalty, defending you from danger and carry you through the early game with ease!

This Necromancer build is a pure summoner which relies almost exclusively on the damage of its Minions, fulfilling the ultimate undead army commander fantasy.

Your undead army will consist of Skeletal Warriors - Reapers, Skeletal Mages - Shadow and Golems - Blood that each bring their own special set of skills to the battlefield.

Minion Necromancer Leveling Gear

This build guide takes you through the Campaign and Early Game up to Level 50. Check out Endgame Guides in our Necromancer Guides section!

Pros
  • Fantastic Single Target Damage
  • Great CC Options
  • Strong Undead Army
  • Low APM
Cons
  • Minion AI
  • Low APM

Season 4 - Loot Reborn

In Season 4, the Season Theme revolves around helping out the Iron Wolves. Compared to past themes, this one does not offer any borrowed power as the entire game has been redesigned with new itemization and crafting options, increasing player power substantially across the board. Instead, you can gather reputation similar to the Vampire Bounty Board from Season 2 to unlock rewards that supercharge your leveling journey to 100 with extra items, crafting materials and eventually even a Resplendent Spark to craft an uber unique.

We recommend to follow the seasonal questline until you unlock the reputation system, check which rewards suit you most and then follow your regular leveling path. To learn more, check out our full Season 4 guide for more information.

Skill Showcase

Raise Skeleton

Raise Skeleton must be on your Skill Bar to summon your Skeletal army. You can summon Skeletons by targeting and consuming a Corpse. This summons your Warriors and your Mages. Once all of your Skeletons are summoned, consuming a Corpse with this Skill raises a Skeletal Priest that heals all of your summons and giving them a damage buff for a small amount of time. In many scenarios, we can consume Corpses this way to gain the benefits of certain Passives in our Skill Tree.

Minion Necromancer Leveling Guide Skill Usage Demo

Skill Tree & Gameplay

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden helps with your Essence generation by granting 5 Essence for each Enemy cursed which currently is not affected by Iron Maiden.

Corpse Tendrils

Corpse Tendrils may be the best source of Crowd Control (CC) in Diablo 4. It Slows, Stuns, applies Vulnerable or generates Blood Orbs and pulls every monster (except Bosses) into a single space so that all of your AoE damage becomes infinitely more effective. With a few of your modifiers and Passives, these statuses become great sources of damage scaling as well. NOTE: Corpse Tendrils does not consume Corpses.

Blood Surge

Blood Surge functions as your main source of damage very early on and deals less and less damage as your Minions gain more power through Aspects and eventually take over.

Army of the Dead

Make sure you keep Army of the Dead on Cooldown throughout fights to increase your damage via Unyielding Commander's tremendously.

Minion Necromancer Leveling Skill Tree
Use the slider on the bottom to see the Skill progression

Key Passive

Unlocking the Kalan's Edict Key Passive massively increases your Minion's Attack Speed and therefore boosts your overall damage.

Check out our Renown Guide to unlock all your additional rewards efficiently. 

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 Minion Necromancer chooses to utilize Skeletal Warriors - Reapers for more cooldown reduction, Skeletal Mages - Shadow for additional damage and Golems - Blood as your main source of Minion damage.

Minion Necromancer Leveling Book of the Dead

Unlocking the Book of the Dead

You're able to summon Skeletons as early as level one, with the ability to customize your Skeletal Skirmishers starting at level 5, when the Book Menu unlocks. From there, you unlock more types of Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages and eventually Golems as you gain levels. The Golem requires you to complete a Quest, which is detailed in this resource post. You must put the Raise Skeleton and Golem skills on your skill bar to summon them.

Learn more details in our full Book of the Dead Guide.

Gear Progression & Stat Priorities

Ultimately, the best weapon for leveling a Minion Necromancer is a Two-Handed Sword with as much damage as possible. Always go for higher DPS (Item Level) over the rest of a weapon's stats during leveling.

If you have multiple weapons with the same DPS prioritize the one with these stats:

  1. Maximum Life
  2. Intelligence
  3. Damage
  4. Critical Strike Damage
  5. Vulnerable Damage

Hint: Press SHIFT over an item to compare it to what you're wearing!

Armor + Weapon

Here are the important stats to look for:

  • Helm:
    1. Cooldown Reduction
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Intelligence
    4. Resistance to All Elements
  • Chest:
    1. Ranks to Golem Mastery
    2. Armor
    3. Maximum Life
    4. Intelligence
    5. Resistance to All Elements
  • Gloves:
    1. Critical Strike Chance
    2. Attack Speed
    3. Intelligence
    4. Critical Strike Damage
    5. Vulnerable Damage
    6. Maximum Life
  • Pants:
    1. Armor
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Intelligence
    4. Resistance to All Elements
  • Boots:
    1. Movement Speed
    1. Maximum Life
    2. Intelligence
    3. Resistance to All Elements
  • Weapon:
    1. Maximum Life
    2. Intelligence
    3. Damage
    4. Critical Strike Damage
    5. Vulnerable Damage

Jewelry

Pay close attention to the rolls as higher leveled pieces aren't always better:

  • Amulet:
    1. Ranks to Golem Mastery
    2. Skeletal Mage Mastery
    3. Ranks to Hellbent Commander
    4. Critical Strike Chance
    5. Cooldown Reduction
    6. % Intelligence
    7. Maximum Life
  • Ring 1:
    1. Critical Strike Chance
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Intelligence
    4. Critical Strike Damage
    5. Vulnerable Damage
  • Ring 2:
    1. Critical Strike Chance
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Intelligence
    4. Critical Strike Damage
    5. Vulnerable Damage

Read more about itemization in our Damage Explained, Defense Explained, and Stats Explained articles.

Legendary Aspects

The Codex of Power is a collection of Legendary Aspects you can imprint onto Rare or Legendary items at the Occultist. They unlock after completing specific Dungeons located around Sanctuary. For leveling, there are a few Aspects that can significantly help you if you have the funds to imprint them:

Top Codex Legendary Aspects

Learn everything about the Codex of Power.

Helpful Legendary Aspects

Here are all helpful Legendary Aspects for the Minion Necromancer that can either be found in the Codex of Power, Extracted from an item drop or gambled for at the Purveyor of Curiosities.

  • Juggernaut's - Gamble Pants.
  • Hardened Bones - Gamble Pants.
  • Occult Dominion - Gamble Boots.
  • Blood Getter's - Gamble Boots.
  • Slaughter - Gamble Boots.

How To Level

In Diablo 4 you level by completing the Campaign, collecting Grim Favors for the Tree of Whispers, completing Helltide activities, grinding Dungeons, or interacting with the Seasonal mechanics. While there are many ways to level up in Diablo 4, not all of them are made equal.

Campaign Leveling

  • For your first character in Diablo 4, completing the Campaign provides the best gameplay experience and gives you access to key unlocks like your Mount.
    • If you don't have your Mount, you MUST progress the Campaign until you complete the quest Donan's Favor at the start of Act 4.
    • After obtaining your Mount you can skip the remainder of the campaign at any time.
    • The Campaign is the slowest way to level, but it's worth experiencing the Campaign and Diablo 4's storyline at least once.
    • To play Seasonal Content you need to have completed or skipped the Campaign.

Seasonal / Alt Leveling

  • Complete the Seasonal questline, progress your Seasonal Journey to unlock Legendary Aspects and work on your Seasonal powers.
  • If your account is below Rank 5 Renown in each zone, focus on completing your Renown.
    • This only needs to be done once per realm (Softcore / Hardcore).
  • Complete the Dungeons needed for any Legendary Aspects from your Codex of Power.
  • From level 1-50 you should focus on getting experience in Helltides by combining Helltide activities with Grim Favors for the Tree of Whispers or complete Gathering Legion Events.
  • After level 50 you need to balance leveling up, Glyph Experience and participating in Endgame activities like Helltide, Tree of Whispers and Bosses. The fastest experience possible after reaching World Tier 3 is completing Nightmare dungeons with monsters exactly 10 levels above your current level. Check out our Nightmare Dungeon Tier List for the best Nightmare Dungeon layouts!
  • Around level 30-45 you should move to World Tier 3.
  • Around level 50-65 you should move to World Tier 4.
  • Alternatively: Get boosted by a friend to World Tier 4 then leech experience/loot and Glyph exp (post 50), in Nightmare dungeons.
  • Find the most efficient way of leveling your character in detail in our Speed Leveling Guide.

Leveling Tips and Tricks

Let's look at some tips and tricks to remember when leveling up!

  • Level Up Your Potion. You need to farm materials to upgrade your character's potion.
    • Make sure you collect all materials as you explore Sanctuary, especially Gallowvine which is used in many Elixir recipes!
  • Compare your Items... Literally. Press Shift over an item in your inventory to compare it to what you're wearing.
    • This makes it easy to determine what is and isn't an upgrade.
  • Don't Imprint Your Best Aspect Onto Your Weapon. The most critical piece of gear while leveling up is your weapon, which gets replaced constantly.
    • It is a better idea to put your best Offensive Aspect on your Amulet, which can be used for a long time.
  • Sacred is just better. Between level 30 and 50 you're able to beat the Capstone Dungeon and enter World Tier 3, you gain access to powerful Sacred items which have higher item power and better stats. Getting a Sacred weapon significantly improves your farming speed.
    • The same happens with World Tier 4 and Ancestral gear.

Video Guide

Disclaimer: Always follow the Maxroll Guide for the most up to date build setups.

Summary

  • Minions are super strong after the changes in Season 4!
  • Keep your Army of the Dead on Cooldown throughout the fight.
  • Focus on staying safe whilst trying to buff your Minion's damage even further with Hellbent Commander.
  • Happy blasting 🚀!

Credits

Maintained by Chronikz.

Originally written by Macrobioboi.
Reviewed by Macrobioboi.

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