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Shadow Minion Necromancer Endgame Build Guide

Last Updated: May 24th 2024

Season 4 - LootS-Tier

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The Shadow Minion Necromancer combines the devastating power of Shadow Damage over Time (DoTs) with the unrelenting swarm of Undead Minions. Your Shadow Mages take over the center stage, while you pull the strings from the back with powerful Blights.

The Key Passive Shadowblight triggers from the attacks of your Skeletal Mages - Shadow and Ultimate Shadow, which opens up the full potential of this build by generating a lot of Blighted uptime.

Your undead army will consist of Skeletal Warriors - Reapers, Skeletal Mages - Shadow and Golems - Blood, while your Skeletal Mages - Shadow will be the stars of the show.

This build transitions well from our Minion Necromancer Leveling Build Guide since it uses similar Legendary Aspects found in the Codex of Power. This is meant to focus on the Minions themselves and how to scale them. Focusing more on the Necromancer's own damage and scaling can be much more impactful for people looking for a more active playstyle!

Shadow Minion Necromancer Endgame Gear

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

DifficultyVery Easy
SpeedfarmingAverage
PitExcellent
BossingExcellent
DefenseStrong

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

  • Raise Skeleton and Golem must be on the skill bar to summon these Minions. Each also has an activation ability that is used continuously during combat for maximum efficiency. Make sure you safe your Golem ability in dangerous situations to become Unstoppable.
  • Decrepify slows, reduces incoming damage, stuns and reduces your Cooldowns via Lucky Hit mechanics.
  • Blight provides a big damage multiplier and an additional source of Shadow Damage over Time. NOTE: Do not spam Blight! Use it sparingly on Elites and Bosses.
  • Corpse Tendrils provide a stead source of Vulnerable while also pixel pulling all mobs caught in it.
  • Bone Storm affects you and your Golem at the same time, procing Ultimate Shadow for more Blighted procs, while also generating Barrier through Shielding Storm.
Shadow Minion Necromancer Endgame Skill Tree

DO NOT SPAM Blight! Use it sparingly on Elites and Bosses.

  • Shadowblight and Blighted are the bread and butter of the build. Their procs result in a lot of instantenous damage and a gigantic damage multiplier for you and your Minions.
  • Hewed Flesh gives you an avenue for generating enough Corpses to sate all of your Corpse consumption needs while Necrotic Carapace generates Fortify in the meantime.
  • Gloom and Terror help to add on damage, while Reaper's Pursuit speeds you up and Crippling Darkness helps to stagger bosses and CC enemies in a fight.

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 Shadow Minion Necromancer chooses to utilize Skeletal Warriors - Reapers for cooldown reduction AND Corpse Generation (due to a bug in Season 4), Skeletal Mages - Shadow as your main source of Minion damage and Golems - Blood as additional damage source. Skeletal Mages - Shadow benefit from your Shadow Damage stats and proc Shadowblight.

Book of the Dead

IMPORTANT:

Your Minions gain 100% of any Stats, Buffs or bonuses the Necromancer gains for itself and 100% of Minion specific stats. There are some niche exceptions, but for the most part if you are granted a stat, your minions are.

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

Resource & Cooldown Management

Decrepify has the chance to trigger off of every damage instance including all of your overlapping Damage over Time (DoT) effects. This level of Cooldown management allows for realiably expecting for any and all Skills to be available when needed, even in crucial moments.

Grim Harvest fuels the low Essence cost of Decrepify and passively refills your Essence which means you never have to worry about your Essence generation.

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

You need to level up your Glyphs to increase their power and activate their Additional Bonus with the 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.

Glyph Leveling Priorities

Level 15

  1. Golem
  2. Scourge
  3. Exploit
  4. Territorial
    • NOTE: The four Glyphs above need to be leveled to 15 to be functional and are your priority while progressing in WT3 and WT4.
  5. Essence
  6. Deadraiser
  7. Amplify

Level 21

  1. Golem
  2. Essence
  3. Territorial
  4. Exploit
  5. Deadraiser
  6. Scourge
  7. Amplify

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 Shadow Minion 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

Many of your Skill choices depend on what Legendary Aspects and Unique items are available to you. While everyone has access to the same Codex of Power Aspects, the progression might be different for everyone!

  1. Unlock the following Aspects in your Codex of Power:
  2. Find the following Legendary Aspects either as a random drop or by gambling with Obols
    • Frenzied Dead - Gamble Offhand.
    • Ultimate Shadow - Gamble Offhand.
    • Void - Gamble Boots.
    • Occult Dominion - Gamble Boots.
    • Blood Getter's - Gamble Boots.
    • Shielding Storm - Gamble Pants.
    • Hardened Bones - Gamble Pants.
  1. If you're lucky enough to obtain the following Uber Uniques, they're useful for the build:
    • Harlequin Crest - Check the "Endgame & The Pit" variant for how to fit this item into the build.

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

Progression Setups

Starter
Leveling
to 100
Endgame
& The Pit
Speedfarming

Once you have completed the Leveling Guide, only the Codex of Power Aspects are guaranteed. With this setup you can farm the Legendary Aspects and Unique items you need for the next progression point.

Gear

  • Focus on acquiring as much Attack Speed, Critical Strike Chance and Intelligence stats on your gear as possible, while constantly upgrading your weapon for the highest DPS weapon you can find.
  • Disobedience provides necessary Armor throughout the early stages of the leveling experience.
Shadow Minion Necromancer Starter Gear

Skills

  • You can set and forget the Skill Tree for the Shadow Minion Necromancer.
  • Necrotic Carapace allows you to gain Fortify through generating Corpses with Hewed Flesh and by killing Monsters.
Shadow Minion Necromancer Skills

In this setup, you have access to all Legendary Aspects, allowing you to pilot a much stronger version of this build. Additional drop-only Legendary Aspects are used to fill all slots.

Gear

  • You now have access to Tempers, which increase your build's overall strength tremendously by acquiring accesss to more survivability, utility and damage.
  • Blood Getter's now provides a 21% damage multiplier to your Minions during the Skeletal Priest buff and requires you to keep it active constantly from now on throughout every fight.
  • Hardened Bones makes you and your Minions a lot tankier than before.
  • Ultimate Shadow makes procing Blighted very easy.
Shadow Minion Necromancer Leveling to 100 Gear

In this setup, you have access to all Unique items and Legendary Aspects. This allows you to pilot this build at its peak efficiency.

Gear

  • As you continue your character's journey, you now start to focus on acquiring the correct Greater Affixes and correct Masterworking crits on your gear.
  • Focus on reaching all necessary caps and breakpoints detailled in the "Stat Priorities" section below.
Shadow Minion Necromancer Endgame & The Pit Gear

Gear with Uber Uniques

  • If you are lucky enough to acquire a Harlequin Crest, you drop either Hulking or Void depending on which you like less. Hulking is probably needed less because you will have quite a lot of Cooldown Reduction at this point.
Shadow Minion Necromancer Ubers Gear

The Shadow Minion Necromancer already permanently moves at maximum Movement Speed and therefore only has minor changes in the Speedfarming variant.

Gear

  • Temper Movement Speed on your Amulet.
  • Add Slaughter on your boots instead of Blood Getter's.
  • Change the Royal Ruby over to Royal Topaz to maximize damage in trivial content.
Shadow Minion Necromancer Speedfarming Gear

Hardcore Adjustments

Hardcore requires you to build into more defenses. Here are some tips to successfully navigate the Shadow Minion Necromancer through potentially dangerous situations:

  • Find a Shield with a Greater Affix Damage Reduction roll, Masterwork crit that roll three times for up to 18.5% additional Damage Reduction and place Hulking on it. Or for even more Damage Reduction, add Might Aspect and swap your Blight Skill for Reap or Decompose.
  • Swap Golems - Blood Upgrade 2 for Golems - Blood Upgrade 1 to maximize your tankiness.

Check out our dedicated in-depth guide to learn more survival tricks in Hardcore.

Build Scaling & Stat Priorities

Learn about the important build scaling mechanics and stat weights.

Damage
Defense
  • Critical Strike Chance: Stacking Critical Strike Chance helps your Minions deal a lot more damage. A critical strike have a 50% damage multiplier baked into them. Getting more than 100% total Critical Strike Chance does not benefit this build.
  • Shadow Damage over Time: Shadowblight damage is increased by 100% [x] of your X bonus. Shadow Damage over Time damage on your gear therefore benefits your damage in multiple ways. This does not impact your Minions, but helps the Necromancer to add a small amount of DPS. The Shadow Minion Necromancer does not make use of this mechanic, but if you find gear with Shadow Damage over Time it is not completely useless.
  • Vulnerable: Minions gain 100% of your Vulnerable damage bonus.
  • Crowd Control: Decrepify helps you out with Crowd Control by giving you a big slow and a chance to stun.
  • Attack Speed: Your Minions gain 100% of your bonus Attack Speed. Increased Attack Speed increases the rate you cast all of your Skills. It decreases the length of time before Tendrils is on the field and how quickly you can cycle through your Skill Rotation. It's a high value stat and a direct boost to damage through Cult Leader.
  • Don't Get Hit: Make use of your range advantage and hit enemies from afar whenever you are in dangerous situations. By stutter stepping on the edge of your range, you can avoid most projectiles that come your way.
  • Armor: A great deal of defenses comes from your Armor. Disobedience will help you reach the cap of 9230 in the early game.
  • Resistances: As an Intelligence main stat class, the Necromancer naturally accrues a lot of Elemental Resistances. Make sure to reach the 70% cap in World Tier 4, and use Maximum Resistance buffs against particularly deadly enemies and content.
  • Unstoppable: You have Golem to gain Unstoppable. Cooldown Reduction helps making this defensive mechanic available more often.
  • Fortify:Necrotic Carapace allows you to gain Fortify through generating Corpses with Hewed Flesh and by killing Monsters.

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 100% Attack Speed. 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 with Inspiring Leader (18%).
  • > 90% total Attack Speed (Minion specific + Attack Speed on Gear, without counting Frenzied Dead)

Defense and Utility

  • > 25,000 Maximum Life
  • Armor Capped: 9,230
  • Resistance Capped: 70%
  • 100% Corpse Tendrils Size
  • 100% Decrepify Size
  • > 60% additional Movement Speed
  • > 50% Ultimate Cooldown Reduction
  • Helm: Hulking
    1. Cooldown Reduction
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Intelligence
    4. Resistance to All Elements
  • ⚒️ Maximum Life
  • ⚒️ Decrepify / Corpse Tendrils Size
  • Chest: Shielding Storm
    1. Ranks to Golem Mastery
    2. Armor
    3. Maximum Life
    4. Intelligence
    5. Resistance to All Elements
  • ⚒️ Maximum Life
  • ⚒️ Decrepify / Corpse Tendrils Size
  • Gloves: Occult Dominion
    1. Ranks to Skeletal Mage Mastery
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Attack Speed
    4. Intelligence
    5. Critical Strike Damage
    6. Vulnerable Damage
    7. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️ Damage to Cursed Enemies
  • ⚒️ Decrepify / Corpse Tendrils Size
  • Pants: Void
    1. Ranks to Skeletal Mage Mastery
    2. Armor
    3. Maximum Life
    4. Intelligence
    5. Resistance to All Elements
  • ⚒️ Maximum Life
  • ⚒️ Decrepify / Corpse Tendrils Size
  • Boots: Blood Getter's
    1. Movement Speed
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Intelligence
    4. Resistance to All Elements
  • ⚒️ Movement Speed
  • ⚒️ Crowd Control Duration
  • Weapon: Frenzied Dead (1h-Wand)
    1. Maximum Life
    2. Intelligence
    3. Critical Strike Damage
    4. Vulnerable Damage
  • ⚒️ Minion Attack Speed
  • ⚒️ Damage to Cursed Enemies
  • Amulet: Hardened Bones
    1. Ranks to Hellbent Commander
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Cooldown Reduction
    4. % Intelligence
    5. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️ Ultimate Cooldown Reduction
  • ⚒️ Damage to Cursed Enemies
  • Ring 1: Reanimation
    1. Critical Strike Chance
    2. Attack Speed
    3. Intelligence
    4. Critical Strike Damage
    5. Vulnerable Damage
  • ⚒️ Ultimate Cooldown Reduction
  • ⚒️ Damage to Cursed Enemies
  • Ring 2: Ultimate Shadow
    1. Critical Strike Chance
    2. Attack Speed
    3. Intelligence
    4. Critical Strike Damage
    5. Vulnerable Damage
  • ⚒️ Ultimate Cooldown Reduction
  • ⚒️ Damage to Cursed Enemies
  • Offhand: Blighted (Focus)
    1. Cooldown Reduction
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Maximum Life
    4. Intelligence
    5. Damage
    6. Lucky Hit Chance
  • ⚒️ Minion Attack Speed
  • ⚒️ Damage to Cursed Enemies

This build benefits the most from the following consumables:

  • Elixirs: Elixir of Precision, Elixir of Fortitude
  • Type I Incense: Sage's Whisper
  • Type II Incense: Soothing Spices to cap Resistances, Reddamine Buzz
  • Type III Incense: 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.

What Stats improve Minions?

Why no Ring of Mendeln?

Video Guide

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

Summary

The Shadow Minion Necromancer melds the worlds of AoE Damage over time, with a powerful Minion horde and continuous Crowd Control.

  • Raise Skeleton and Golem both need to be on your Skill Bar to summon these Minions. Each Skill has an important activated ability that you should be using all of the time.
  • When all else fails, spamming Blight eventually kills most things in the game. Make sure to have enough Skeletons alive to act as a bone-wall to keep enemies at bay.
  • Abhorrent Decrepify allows for all of your Cooldowns to reduce incredibly fast. Get ready to spam Skills faster than you ever have before!
  • Happy blasting 🚀!

Credits

Written by Chronikz
Reviewed by MacroBioBoi

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