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Sever Necromancer Leveling Guide

Last Updated: January 24th 2024

Season 3 - ConstructA-Tier

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The Sever Necromancer might be the coolest looking build in Diablo 4! You summon grim undead reapers that fly out, Sever foes in the area around them. They then dash back to the Necromancer's side and attack everything around you one last time before disappearing. With 3-4 of these flying around decimating your enemies, the constant sound of the swinging Scythe is music to any Necro's ears. Add on the cacophony of Blighted Corpse Explosion for big AoE damage!

The Sever Necro makes great use of your Undead Minions! Adding even more Damage, Corpse Generation, Essence Management and Crowd Control tools.

This build has a surprising amount of customization from Legendary Aspects! The Codex of Power has its normal share of power-boosting Aspects that easily slot onto the build, but also has interesting skill transforming options to add utility and extra AoE potential to your normal Sever rotation.

Sever Necromancer Leveling with Codex Powers

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

  • Fantastic AoE
  • Great CC Options
  • Fast Boss Kill Speed
  • Strong Minion Army
  • Low Mobility
  • Relies on Crowd Control
  • Lower Potential On Controller
  • Sometimes Struggles With Resources

Season 3 - Season of the Construct

In Season 3, you obtain the Seneschal Construct through the Season Questline, then collect Governing Stones or Tuning Stones to add attacks and augment them to support your build. Only certain Tuning Stones work with a particular Governing Stone. Look at the bottom of any Tuning Stone tooltip to see if it is compatible with your Construct's currently equipped Stones. Lastly, they can be leveled up by getting duplicates to max out their power. Check out our full Season 3 guide for more information.

  1. Tempest - This has the potential to be the next Barber Heart in Season 3!
    1. Registered Damage Support - With this Stone you potentially can stack crazy damage for AoE clearing.
    2. Arcing Support - Apply Tempest to multiple targets simultaneously.
    3. Tactical Support - Reduces the cooldown for even more damage stacking.
  2. Gyrate - The best middle ground for AoE damage application and decent single target Stone.
    1. Efficiency Support - Solid boost to Critical Strike Chance for Shadowblight and Sever.
    2. Initiative Support - Greatly increases the Companion's efficiency.
    3. Resource Support - Helps with Resource generation.
Sever Necromancer Seneschal Companion

Alternative Stones

  1. Slash may be the fastest activation Stone and more easily proc effects than Gyrate.
  2. Flash of Adrenaline in the endgame can be a larger increase to your efficiency.
  3. Gripping Support can help Tempest become an additional CC effect if it doesn't actually work the way we theorize it will.

If you are lucky enough to get either Evernight or Genesis from Uber Malphas, you want to swap them in on your Construct for their powerful effects.

Skill Showcase

Bone Splinters/Reap

Bone Splinters is our starter Generator due to its fast animation and ability to generate Resource quickly. It also has a decent chance to apply Vulnerable for our follow-up attacks to do even more damage. After level 22, we get access to Corpse Tendrils, which we need extra help to generate Corpses on demand from Reap to activate, enabling us to group enemies together to maximize our AoE damage.

Sever Necromancer Leveling Guide Skill Usage Demo

Skill Tree & Gameplay


First use Bone Splinters to recover Essence early on since it's the best Generator Skill. You respec to Reap for more utility and Corpse generation, later on. Grim Harvest and Skeletal Mages - Cold help to passively regain Essence mid-combat.


Cast Sever slightly past the pack of enemies to overlapping as many damage instance as possible. Remember that you can cast it into a pack of enemies that's far away to engage your Minions to begin attacking!

Corpse Skills

Corpse Tendrils becomes your opener for every fight. The Vulnerable status is applies increasing all of your damage, including your minion's! Recast it as soon as its off cooldown to keep everything in one spot, to maximize your overlapping DoT and Sever effects.

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

Key Passive and Ultimate

Unlocking the Shadowblight Key Passive massively increases your damage overall on this build, taking full advantage of all Shadow Damage sources. It has a few key features.

  • On every 10th application of any Shadow Damage to a target affected by Shadowblight, it deals 22% weapon damage for free. This damage can Critically Strike for even more damage.
  • Stacking Shadowblight procs as fast as possible also activates your biggest damage multiplier, Blighted Aspect. Remember Imprint this onto your new 2-Handed weapon whenever possible, to maximize its bonus.

This Leveling Build does not use an Ultimate Skill, because the utility and damage output from your Summons scales well into World Tier 3. After that, they tend to lose efficiency, and you replace them for Bone Storm and Blood Mist.

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

Book of the Dead

The Sever Explosion Necromancer starts off heavily reliant on Skeletons and Golem, for damage. Your Minions assist with supplemental damage, essential Crowd Control, Essnece Generation and Corpse production.

Sever 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 Golems - Bone 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 a leveling Sever Necromancer is a Two-Handed Sword for as much damage as possible. Always go for higher DPS 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:

  • Intelligence
  • All Stats
  • Core Skill Damage
  • Damage to Close
  • Vulnerable Damage

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


Armor typically grants us Defense and Utility stats, except the Gloves, which offer a multitude of Offensive options. Here are the important stats to look for:

  • Helm:
    • Intelligence
    • Total Armor
    • Maximum Life
    • Cooldown Reduction
  • Chest Armor:
    • Maximum Life
    • Total Armor
    • Damage Reduction from Close
    • Damage Reduction from Shadow Damage Over Time-Affected Enemies
    • Maximum Minion Life
  • Gloves:
    • Sever Ranks
    • Attack Speed
    • Lucky Hit Chance
    • Lucky Hit: Restore Primary Resource
  • Pants:
    • Corpse Explosion Ranks
    • Maximum Life
    • Total Armor
    • Damage Reduction from Close
    • Maximum Minion Life
  • Boots:
    • Movement Speed
    • Corpse Tendrils Ranks
    • Essence Cost Reduction
    • Intelligence/All Stats


Jewelry provides powerful Offensive and Defensive stats that help us on our leveling journey. Pay close attention to the rolls as higher leveled pieces aren't always better:

  • Amulet:
    • Movement Speed
    • Gloom Ranks
    • Cooldown Reduction
    • Essence Cost Reduction
  • Rings:
    • Critical Strike Chance
    • Lucky Hit Chance
    • Damage to Close Enemies
    • Maximum Life
    • Shadow 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 are particularly impactful on this build and should be obtained as soon as possible:

Top Codex Legendary Aspects

Learn everything about the Codex of Power here.

Helpful Legendary Aspects

Here are all helpful Legendary Aspects for the Blight Corpse Explosion Necromancer that can either be found in the Codex of Power or Extracted from an item drop. Note that all Legendary Aspects can be found from item drops, and that these can roll better and often significantly better than ones sourced from the Codex of Power.

  • Exposed Flesh
    • Gambling Rings
    • Replace Requiem. This Aspect is key to a fully functional Sever Necromancer build.
  • Decay
    • Gambling Focuses
    • Replace Edgemaster’s
  • Umbral
    • Gambling Rings
    • Continue to upgrade your aspect as you get higher rolls. Try to always keep a few rolls of 3-4 in your Stash.

How To Level

You level in Diablo 4 by completing the Campaign, collecting Grim Favors for the Tree of Whispers, grinding Dungeons, or interacting with 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 Season 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.
  • Complete the Dungeons needed for any Legendary Aspects from your Codex of Power.
  • From level 1-50 you should focus on getting experience, by completing dungeons with high monster density like the Domhainne Tunnels, or Sirocco Caverns.
  • After level 50 you need to balance leveling up, Glyph Experience, and participating in endgame activities like Helltide, and Bosses.
    • The fastest experience possible is completing Nightmare dungeons with monsters up to 10 levels above your current level.
      • Check out our Nightmare Dungeon Tier List for the best layouts!
      • Around level 45-50 you should move to World Tier 3.
      • Around level 60-70 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.

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.
    • This makes imprinting a Legendary Aspect that CANNOT be found in the Codex of Power onto your weapon a bad idea in the long run.
    • While leveling, only imprint Legendary Aspects from the Codex of Power onto your weapon if any at all.
    • 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 45 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.
    • There's little point to entering World Tier 3 before 45 because that's the minimum level where you can equip Sacred items.
    • The same happens with World Tier 4 and Ancestral gear at level 60.

Next Steps

Video Guide


  • The Sever Necromancer packs a punch, keeps you surrounded in an awesome skeletal army, and has the only Mobility skill in the entire Skill Tree. What more could you ask for?
  • Remember that Sever has multiple damage steps per Skill use. Try to target enemies in a cluster and make sure that the path from you to them is full to get the maximum damage output!
  • Reap generates your Essence and extra corpses when you want to start a fight with Corpse Tendrils, or empower your Skeletal army.
  • Corpse Explosion becomes an AoE Shadow Damage over time vehicle to help empower the rest of our build and keep perpetual triggers of our Shadowblight Passive.
  • Look out for helpful Legendary Powers in the Codex of Power, especially those that increase your damage and survivability!
  • Read the Next Steps above to continue your journey.
  • In Bocca al Lupo, Nephalem!


Written by Macrobioboi.
Reviewed by Echohack.

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