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Sever Necromancer Endgame Guide

Last Updated: May 16th 2024

Season 4 - LootC-Tier

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The Sever Necromancer Endgame Guide is the coolest looking Necro build in Diablo 4! Sever sends a scythe wielding reaper screaming across the battle-field to eviscerate your enemies up to 4 times. Coupled with the amazing damage output and consistent Crowd Control (CC) of Darkness skills, this Shadow wielding power-house absolutely annihilates. With Season 4's changes, you also get to command an Undead army of Skeletons to supplement your damage and utility as well!

Sever Necro has multiple ways of applying Vulnerable to benefit from a massive damage boost with ease. While Shadowblight on paper looks like a Damage over Time (DOT) ability, it's procced damage can actually Critically Strike! We're highly incentivized to max this damage scaler.

This build is also great for early progressions since it doesn't require any Unique items and many of its best Legendary Aspects are found in the Codex of Power. Finding stronger Aspects from random drops only pushes the build even further!

High Critical Strike Damage eventually outscales your DoT abilities, so you transition to a much more focused build as you acquie Best in Slot (BIS) gear. But during your early progression, the Sever Necromancer gets to dabble in many damage types, allowing for a smooth progression curve and playstyle.

Sever Necromancer Endgame Setup

This build guide assumes you have a Level 50 Character and finished the Campaign. Level up with our Sever Necromancer Leveling Guide. If you are looking for a different Necromancer play style, check out all of our Necromancer Guides.

DifficultyLow
SpeedfarmingAverage
The PitAverage
BossingAverage
Defenseaverage

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 Tree & Gameplay

  • Sever deals damage to the target it hits and to all enemies within a small radius. It then returns to the Necromancer, dealing a smaller amount of damage again.
  • Blighted Copse Explosion turns its explosion into an area of Shadow Damage over time. Stacking continuous DoTs helps to butter up monsters while your Essence replenishes.
  • Corpse Tendrils Slows, Stuns, applies Vulnerable and pulls every monster (except Bosses) into a single space so that all of your AoE damage becomes more effective.
  • Bone Storm grants 20% Critical Strike Chance to help Sever and Shadowblight crit, 15% Damage Reduction and powerful interactions with Defensive Aspects.
  • Decrepify Slows, reduces incoming damage, Stuns and reduces your Cooldowns via Lucky Hit mechanics. Initiating combat with this Curse causes your Skeletons to aggroe as well. Use this to your advantage.
  • Blood Mist is your source of Unstoppable, as well as an amazing survivability tool since it grants Immune for its duration.
  • Raise Skeleton is required to summon your Undead horde from the Corpses of your slain foes. Activating this Skill with all of your Skeletons alive, buffs their damage output and heals them.
Sever Necromancer Endgame Skill Tree
  • Shadowblight procs an instantaneous damage source that can Critically Strike. This adds so much damage to your kit and allows you to stack more damage stats on your gear for better output.
  • Hewed Flesh gives you an avenue for generating enough Corpses to sate all of your Corpse consumption needs. Stacking a ton of Lucky Hit Chance Bonus makes this passive efficient enough to not stall out on optimal gear.Hewed Flesh gives you an avenue for generating enough Corpses to sate all of your Corpse consumption needs. Stacking a ton of Lucky Hit Chance Bonus makes this passive efficient enough to not stall out on optimal gear. This generates extra survivability from Necrotic Carapace, via Fortified status.
  • Gloom and Terror help to add on damage, while Reaper's Pursuit speeds us up and Crippling Darkness helps to stagger bosses and CC enemies in a fight.
Sever Necromancer Skill Showcase

Necromancer Specialization - Book of the Dead

The Sever Necromancer benefits from having an active army of Skeletons at your disposal. Skeletal Warriors - Defenders easily stay alive even in the highest tiered content, with little to no investment. Skeletal Mages - Shadow bring much needed DPS to the build while stacking Blighted quickly to gain you access to a massive multiplier. Sacrificing Golems - Iron adds another powerful damage multiplier.

Book of the Dead

Learn more details and how to unlock this class specialization in our full Book of the Dead Guide.

Resource & Cooldown Management

Managing your Resources and Cooldowns is crucial to the success of this build.

Resource Aspect of the Umbral

Each unique Crowd Control effect that you inflict upon enemies triggers this aspect and generates Essence. Corpse Tendrils, Decrepify and Crippling Darkness all apply CC when used or activated. You can layer these abilities as well.

  • Corpse Tendrils initially Slows, then it Pulls and Stuns. This is 3 instances of CC on every target. BUT after the Pull, the Slow is removed from the target, so you're able to re-Slow with Decrepify for another free CC proc.

Resource Aspect of Exposed Flesh

This Aspect gives Essence on Lucky Hit for any enemy you hit that is Vulnerable. This makes the vast majority of your Essence gain automatic, but you sometimes need other sources to top you off from time to time. Make sure you're properly grouping enemies with Corpse Tendrils so every instance of Sever has as chance to hit the target.

Grim Harvest

Whenever you consume a corpse via Corpse Explosion, Raise Skeleton or Aspect of Explosive Mist you generate Essence with this passive. You get to recoup resources while applying DPS. It's a great two for one!

Abhorrent Decrepify

With your multiple sources of overlapping Damage Over Time (DoT) effects, Decrepify quickly lowers all active Cooldowns by one second and rewards aggressive gameplay. Get close to a group of CC'ed enemies so your Sever hits as many targets on the initial damage, both travel damages and the return damage.

Paragon Board

Carefully check your Paragon Boards to ensure correct board rotation. Glyphs go from a radius of 3 to 4 when they reach level 15!

← Scroll to Level →

Level the Paragon Board by scrolling. Each step optimizes progression.

Glyphs

We need to level up our Glyphs to increase their power and activate their Additional Bonus with surrounding nodes. Glyphs have a radius of 3 by default, this increases to 4 at Glyph level 15. Complete Nightmare Dungeons to obtain Glyph experience.

Note that there are some Glyph position swaps and a few adjustments to surrounding Paragon nodes once they reach level 15. See the last two steps in the Paragon progression above for details. The setup displayed by default is the final version of the build.

Glyph Leveling Priorities

Level 15

  1. Amplify
  2. Control
  3. Darkness
  4. Essence
  5. Territorial
  6. Abyssal
  7. Mage

Level 21

  1. Control
  2. Essence
  3. Darkness
  4. Territorial
  5. Amplify
  6. Abyssal
  7. Mage

Also check out our dedicated in-depth guides to learn more about Paragon Boards and Glyphs.

Endgame Progression & Variants

When you start diving into the Endgame Sever Necromancer build, 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.

Progression Goals

Some of your Skill Tree choices depend on what Legendary Aspects and Unique items are available to you. These are listed in priority order:

  1. Unlock the following Aspects from Dungeons:
  2. Find the following Legendary Aspects either as a random drop or by gambling with Obols:
    • Exposed Flesh - Gamble Ring
    • Shielding Storm - Gamble Pants
    • Ultimate Shadow - Gamble Focus
    • Hardened Bones - Gamble Pants
    • Occult Dominion - Gamble Boots
    • Slaughter - Gamble Boots
  3. Acquire the following Unique items either as a random drop or by farming specific Boss drops.
    Note: You cannot gamble Unique items with obols!
    • Lidless Wall adds a new way to drastically increase your Speedfarming potential! Grants increased survivability from Barrier Generation and Damage Reduction, and provides a significant boost to your Shadow Damage output and Critical Strike Chance.
    • Greaves of the Empty Tomb offer a valuable option for stacking even more Lucky Hit Chance. They also offer a unique Damage Reduction stat that can't normally be found on boots.
    • 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 a lot of the build's primary gameplay loop to increase efficiency and Essence management.
  4. If you're lucky enough to obtain the following Uber Uniques, they're useful for the build.
    • Harlequin Crest increases all of your active Skill Ranks, including Sever, making it a very powerful option for damage output.
    • Ring of Starless Skies in combination with Ring of the Sacrilegious Soul gives you infinite Essence. Replaces Exposed Flesh/Umbral.
    • Doombringer is an incredible option for Tankiness and overall survivability that requires you to sacrifice damage output.

Learn more details and how to farm Legendary Aspects and Uniques in our General Farming Guide.

Progression Steps

Follow the build's gearing progression from level 50 to 100, including the changes that need to be made as you obtain Legendary Aspects and Uniques. The Infinimist Necromancer is not recommended as a Leveling build. See our Sever or Blight leveling guides for a smoother transition through the first few World Tiers.

Starter
Leveling
to 100
Endgame
& The Pit
Speedfarming

Once you have completed the leveling process to 50, only the Codex of Power Aspects are guaranteed. With this setup, the Sever Necromancer can farm the Legendary Aspects and Unique items you need for the next progression point.

Gear

  • Your Essence management and damage multiplier uptime is hard to manage to start. Rely on your Skeletal Mages for their amazing utility to keep your Damage per Second (DPS) as high as possible.
  • Iron Maiden helps to generate Essence on demand, use it on every new monster pack and every 10 seconds in combat with a Boss.
  • While Blighted is your largest damage multiplier in the endgame, early on, putting Damned on your Amulet gives a massive damage multiplier on demand. Simply Curse the target and enjoy your bonus damage.
Starter Sever Necromancer Gear

Skills

  • Since Corpse Explosion is still a primary damage source, fully invest 5 Skill Ranks to get the most bang for your buck.
  • The points you normally invest in an Ultimate Skill and Blood Mist instead empower your Skeletal Masteries.
Starter Sever Necromancer Skill Tree

In this setup, your Sever Necromancer has access to all Legendary Aspects, allowing you to pilot a much stronger version of this build. Additional Legendary Aspects are used to fill slots that may be replaced with Unique items later on.

Gear

  • Progressing to this Gear and Skill setup still relies on Essence management Aspects, but regains all of the engame tools like Bone Storm and Blood Mist.
  • Shielding Storm adds on much needed survivability and helps to proc Shadowblight at higher rates.
  • Skeletal Warriors - Reapers generating Corpses gives you access to more targets for Corpse Tendrils.
  • As Essence management becomes easier or a non-issue, you can swap in temporary multipliers (Edgemaster’s) for greater DPS.
  • Make sure to use Raise Skeleton often to top off your Essence and keep your Skellies healthy!
Leveling to 100 Sever Necromancer Gear

Skills

  • Regain the points invested in Corpse Explosion to acquire Bone Storm and Blood Mist.
  • The points from Skeletal Warrior Mastery should not be necessary anymore. If your Warriors are dying or becoming a hassle to keep alive, swap over to Skeletal Warriors - Defenders with the 99% Damage Reduction in your Book of the Dead.
Leveling to 100 Sever Necromancer Skill Tree

In this setup, the Sever Necromancer has access to all Unique items and Legendary Aspects. This allows you to pilot this build at its peak efficiency. Let's take a look at the changes you need to make to implement them. This setup is also used for Speed farming which is efficient in, Helltide zones, Tree of Whispers, regular Dungeons, and lower tier Nightmare Dungeons.

Gear

  • Ring of the Sacrilegious Soul really does wonders for this build. It automates your Corpse Tendrils casts in combat so you can keep spamming Sever. This also has the benefit of pulling in new enemies that have aggroed and maintaining CC on your current targets to maximize DPS.
  • Cooldown Reduction and chance to spawn multiple Sever projectiles make up for the build's lack of overlapping AoE damage instance (Needed for Blighted uptime) and Bone Storm uptime, since Lucky Hit is not this build's strong suit.
  • Harlequin Crest requires you to move Occult Dominion to your boots, or simply replaces Hardened Bones.
  • Ring of Starless Skies requires you to move Blighted to your Gloves, but allows you to use the 3 Skill points from Blight into more useful Skills of your choice.
Endgame & The Pit Sever Necromancer Gear

Skills

  • Your Skills do not change from the "Leveling to 100" variant.
Endgame & The Pit Sever Necromancer Skill Tree

The Speedfarming setup for the Sever Necromancer assumes you're able to swap survivability for higher damage output, to increase the rate of farming lower difficulty content. Low tier Pit Runs for materials, Helltide for Boss summoning materials and all openworld content to name a few.

Gear

  • There's only two changes to your setup. Replace Royal Ruby with Royal Topaz in your armor for higher damage scaling from your Intelligence multiplier.
  • Replace Empowering Reaper with Osseous Gale for better uptime on Corpse Consumption damage multipliers and Bone Storm.
Speedfarming Sever Necromancer Gear

Skills

  • Invest the three Skill points from Blight into Reaper's Pursuit and Death's Approach.
Endgame & The Pit Sever Necromancer Skill Tree

Hardcore Adjustments

Hardcore requires you to build into more defenses. Here are some tips to successful in this game mode:

  • The Sever Necromancer is arguably the squishy-est Darkness Necromancer build in the game. Make sure to prioritize defensive stats and gear options whenever possible.
  • Focus more on your Chest & Pants while gearing up. Make sure to have only defensive stats on these two slots as they provide a ton of survivability.
  • Always reach Armor and Resistance cap and prioritzie Maximum Life instead of damage nodes on your Paragon Boards.
  • Take Blood Mist cooldown Reduction on more Tempers to always have the Skill available as an escape option.
  • Use Golems - Blood Sacrifice for even more Maximum Life, if needed.
  • Swap to a Shield with Juggernaut's to make space for more Intelligence and Maximum Life Affixes on your gear. Intelligence increases your Elemental Resistances up to the cap of 70%. Shields also have a unique Damage Reduction stat in the form of Block and can have the Damage Reduction affix roll.

Build Scaling & Stat Priorities

Learn about the important build scaling mechanics and stat weights.

Damage
Defense
  • Critical Strike Chance: Stacking xx% Critical Strike Chance gains us a 1.5 multiplier as well as activating multipliers from the Book of the Dead and Aspect of Grasping Veins. Remember that the base 22% damage proc of Shadowblight can Crit. So while our Sever loves Crit chance, so does this proc.
  • Vulnerable: While you don't prioritize Vulnerable Damage it's still powerful to benefit from the 20% multiplier.
  • Crowd Controls: Since all of your damage occurs in an area, pixel pulls and grouping of monsters becomes a direct damage scaler. This also allows you 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 you generate Essence, by reducing the animation length of your skills. It decreases the length of time before Tendrils is on the field and how quickly you can spam cast Sever. It's a high value stat.
  • Don't Get Hit: Make use of your range advantage and CC enemies from afar before re-engaging. By stutter stepping on the edge of your range, you can avoid most projectiles that come your way.
  • Maximum Life: Life has become more important than ever with the reduction in options for Damage Reduction. In the overall equation of "Effective Life", scaling Life itself is the easiest option to avoid one-shots.
  • Armor: The armor cap of 9,230 reduces incoming Physical Damage. Always make sure to reach this cap even if it means sacrificng a bit of Damage or Maximum Life.
  • Unstoppable/Immune: Blood Mist provides both of these effects. Cooldown Reduction helps to "scale" this defensive mechanic by making it available more often.
  • Damage Reduction from Shadow Damage over Time-Affected Enemies: This is the longest named defensive stat in the game, but it's incredibly valuable as another source of Damage Reduction you can always rely on. Plain Damage Reduction and Damage Reduction from Close Enemies are also valuable.
  • Resistances: Prioritize reaching the 70% cap in World Tier 4 at a minimum for most content. Use Max Resistance effects from Elixirs and gear to reach 85% when farming certain bosses and endgame content.

Our Damage Explained article explains how to scale your Offense.
Learn all you need to know to scale Defense with our Defense Explained Article.

Stat Priorities

To enable your build to perform optimally, you need to reach certain Stat "Breakpoints". Some examples are reaching 100% to Critically Strike, or 20 Resource per second. Since there are many values of these stats on different pieces of gear, read the checklist below and refer to the recommended Tempered Affixes and Masterwork Crits . Desirable Greater Affixes will always be the top three recommended Affixes.

Damage Scaling

  • 100% Critical Strike Chance
  • >50% Attack Speed
  • >50% Chance for Sever Projectiles to Cast Twice
  • > +8 Ranks to Skeletal Mage Mastery (NOT on Gloves)
  • > 500% Damage to Close/Enemies Affected by Curse Skills

Defense and Utility

  • >25,000 Maximum Life
  • Armor Capped: 9,230
  • Resistance Capped: 70%
  • 100% Corpse Tendrils Size
  • 100% Decrepify Size
  • >15 Essence per Second
  • 100% Bonus Movement Speed
  • Helm: Hardened Bones
    1. Essence Per Second
    2. Armor
    3. Maximum Life
    4. Intelligence
  • ⚒️Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Decrepify/Corpse Tendrils Size
  • Chest: Shielding Storm
    1. Armor
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Essence Per Second
    4. Intelligence
  • ⚒️Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Decrepify/Corpse Tendrils Size
  • Gloves: Empowering Reaper
    1. +x Ranks to Sever
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Attack Speed
    4. Intelligence
    5. Critical Strike Damage
    6. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Damage to Close/Enemies Affected by Curse Skills
  • ⚒️Decrepify/Corpse Tendrils Size
  • Pants: Occult Dominion
    1. Armor
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Intelligence
    4. +x Ranks to Skeletal Mage Mastery
    5. All Resistance
  • ⚒️Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Crowd Control Duration
  • Boots: Slaughter
    1. Movement Speed
    2. Essence Per Second
    3. +x Ranks to Skeletal Mage Mastery
    4. Intelligence
    5. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Movement Speed
  • ⚒️Crowd Control Duration
  • Amulet: Grasping Veins
    1. +x to Gloom
    2. Attack Speed
    3. Critical Strike Chance
    4. Cooldown Reduction
  • ⚒️Ultimate Cooldown Reduction
  • ⚒️Damage to Close/Enemies Affected by Curse Skills
  • Ring 1: Ring of the Sacrilegious Soul
  • Temporary Use: Umbral
    1. Critical Strike Chance
    2. Attack Speed
    3. Lucky Hit: Up to a +xx% Chance to Make Enemies Vulnerable
    4. Maximum Life
    5. Intelligence
  • ⚒️Ultimate Cooldown Reduction
  • ⚒️Damage to Close/Enemies Affected by Curse Skills
  • Ring 2: Blighted
    1. Critical Strike Chance
    1. Attack Speed
    2. Lucky Hit: Up to a +xx% Chance to Make Enemies Vulnerable
    3. Maximum Life
    4. Intelligence
  • ⚒️Ultimate Cooldown Reduction
  • ⚒️Damage to Close/Enemies Affected by Curse Skills
  • Main Hand: Damned (Sword)
    1. Intelligence
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Critical Strike Damage
    4. Essence on Kill
  • ⚒️+xx% Chance for Sever Projectiles to Cast Twice
  • ⚒️Damage to Close/Enemies Affected by Curse Skills
  • Off Hand: Ultimate Shadow (Focus)
    1. Cooldown Reduction
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Resource Cost Reduction
    4. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️+xx% Chance for Sever Projectiles to Cast Twice
  • ⚒️Damage to Close/Enemies Affected by Curse Skills

Put in the following Gems into your gear:

  • Helmet / Body Armor / Pants: Royal Ruby
  • Weapon / Off-Hand: Royal Sapphire
  • Jewelry: Royal Diamond OR Royal Skull (Which ever is needed to hit either Cap)

This build benefits the most from the following consumables:

  • Elixirs: UPDATE TO SEASON 4 ELIXIRES
  • Incenses: Song of the Mountain, Reddamine Buzz & Chorus of War

FAQ & Mechanics

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.

Abhorrent Decrepify

Corpse Explosion

Video Guide

Important Note: The Maxroll Guide is always the updated setup for this build. Videos cannot be updated.

Summary

The Sever Necromancer melds the worlds of AoE Damage over time, high Crowd Control and single target damage spikes. It's a DoT build that loves Critical Strike Chance and Damage. Able to stack Vulnerable often, the Sever Necromancer also enjoys some of the strongest damage scalers in the game.

  • Sever has four total damage instances, helping to apply a lot of Shadow Damage procs and Lucky Hit chances.
  • As one of the few Necro builds that actually gains Movement Speed from their skills, the play style is fast and engaging.
  • When all else fails, spamming Corpse Explosion eventually kills most things in the game.
  • Practice makes perfect! Don't be afraid to run slightly easier content of Nightmare Dungeons to get the flow of the gameplay loop.
  • In Bocca al Lupo!

Credits

Written by MacroBioBoi

Reviewed by Chronikz

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