Shadow Summoner Necromancer Endgame Guide

Last Updated: December 2nd 2023

Season 2 - Blood

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The Shadow Summoner Necromancer combines the devastating power of Shadow Damage over Time (DoTs), with the unrelenting swarm of Undead Minions, that shows what it truly means to be a master of Life and Death!

The Key Passive Shadowblight now triggers from the attacks of your Skeletal Mages - Shadow which opens up the full potential of this build. Relying on continuous damage and Lucky Hit procs from Corpse Explosion, you're able empower your Minions in a multitude of ways! Ring of Mendeln is particularly impactful, bringing some much needed burst potential to your kit.

This build transitions well from our Summoner Leveling 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!

The combination of DOT and high Critical Strike/Vulnerable damage output means we consistently push through content. Learning how Minions interact with your different stats and buffs is the key to your success!

Shadow Summon Necromancer Standard Gear

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

No Essence Management
Powerful AoE DOT Damage

Low Barrier of Entry for Gear
Powerful Minion Army for Protection ✔

High APM Play Style
Complex Skill Rotation
Requires A Unique Ring
Minion AI Is Still Clunky

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

  1. Ravenous - Increases our Attack speed significantly, and that of our Minions.
  2. Coven's Fangs - Adds a much needed multiplier to Minion damage.
  3. Prey on the Weak - Grants another multiplicative damage modifier.
  4. Flowing Veins - Increase your Damage over Time effects.
  5. Metamorphosis - Grants Unstoppable when you Evade, deals damage and applies Vampiric Curse to enermies in your path.
Endgame Vampire Powers

Skill Tree

Active Skills

  • Blighted Copse Explosion turns its explosion into an area of Shadow Damage over time. Stacking continuous DoTs maintains maximum DPS.
  • Corpse Tendrils Slows, Stuns, applies Vulnerable and pulls every monster (except Bosses) into a single space so that all of our AoE damage becomes more effective.
  • Decrepify Slows, reduces incoming damage, Stuns and reduces our Cooldowns via Lucky Hit mechanics.
  • Raise Skeleton and Golem must be on the skill bar to summon these Minions. Each also has an activation ability that's used continuously during combat for maximum efficiency.
  • Bone Storm grants 20% Critical Strike Chance to help your Minions and Shadowblight crit, 15% Damage Reduction and powerful interactions with Defensive Aspects.
Final Skill Tree


  • Shadowblight Key Passive is the true MVP of the build. Its proc is an instantaneous damage source that can Critically Strike. This adds so much damage to our kit and allows us to stack more damage stats on our gear for better output.
  • Hewed Flesh gives us an avenue for generating enough Corpses to sate all of our Corpse consumption needs. Stacking a ton of Lucky Hit Chance Bonus makes this passive efficient enough to not stall out on optimal gear.
  • Gloom and Terror help to add on damage, while Reaper's Pursuit speeds us up a little bit 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 Summoner Necromancer chooses to summon each type of available Minions to bolster its power and survivability. Reaper Warriors deal cleaving AoE damage and generate Corpses. Shadow Mages benefit from our Shadow Damage stats and proc Shadowblight. The Bone Golem has amazing survivability and a powerful AoE basic attack.

Book of the Dead


Your Minions gain 30% of any Stats, Buffs or bonuses the Necromancer gains for itself. If you have +10% Shadow Damage on a Ring, your Shadow Mages gain +3% Shadow Damage. BUT if a tooltip references the Minions directly, or the Stat refers to Summons/Minions, they receive 100% of that bonus. In the example of Abyssal the Necromancer AND the Minions deal 10% additional Non-Physical Damage. Your Minions do NOT gain 30% of the 10% you inherit from that Glyph. If an effect increases the damage a target takes (Revenge) that applies to the Minions with 100% effectiveness. See the Video Guide below for more information!

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

Paragon Board

← Scroll to Level →

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

Level 15

  1. Darkness
  2. Control
  3. Scourge
  4. Golem
  5. Territorial

Level 21

  1. Control
  2. Scourge
  3. Territorial
  4. Darkness
  5. Golem

There are a total of 225 Paragon Points. Starting with level 50 you gain 4 Paragon Points per level, plus 20 from Renown, and 4 from Altars of Lilith.


Shadow Summoner Necromancer deals damage in a multitude of ways, from the Necromancer themselves and from our horde of Minions. A lot of the gameplay rewards you for being able to manage Cooldowns and juggling the multiple buffs/activation abilities you have.

Skill Usage/Rotation

  • 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.
  • Your Minions now engage in combat on every Curse cast, so they quickly enter into the fray. This doesn't direct them towards attacking a specific monster in a pack. Using Golem directs your Golem to use its ability at the exact point you select, so this can be used to pseudo-direct the flow of battle.
  • Once a Corpse is formed, cast Corpse Tendrils on it and use Evade to make space between you and any threats while the Tendrils pull mobs into range. Begin popping any corpses formed with Corpse Explosion while the pull happens to regain Essence you need and get your passive proc ball rolling.
  • Now cycle through Golem activation, Raise Skeleton to apply healing and a damage buff, Corpse Explosion, Corpse Tendrils and Decrepify.
  • Your cooldowns quickly reduce thanks to your Curse, allowing for maximum uptime on Vulnerable from Tendrils, and Golem AoE damage siphon. Along with Explosion's continuous damage, you have this nice flow of continuous CC and damage.
  • Corpse Explosion helps to proc Shadowblight faster and gain us the buff from Blighted Aspect which our Minions gain 30% of. It also greatly increases the damage from Ring of Mendeln procs. (This uses the Necromancer's stats for damage scaling and not the Minion's!)
  • 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 spam.
  • Bone Storm should be permanently up during combat. With the ability to quickly reset its CD via Decrepify, it helps to increase overall damage output, survivability and continuing to proc all of our buffs and effects.

Resource & Cooldown Management

Your only Skill that uses Resource is Decrepify and you consume so many corpses that Grim Harvest keeps you topped off without needing to manage it.

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.

Progression Goals

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!

  1. Unlock the following Aspects in your Codex of Power:
  2. Find the following Legendary Aspects by farming in Dungeons, Nightmare Dungeons, Helltides, through the Tree of Whispers, or gambling with Obols:
    • Blood Getter's Aspect: Grants 2 extra Skeletal Warriors.
    • Viscous Aspect: Grants 2 extra Skeletal Mages.
    • Aspect of Frenzied Dead: Causes all Minion types to gain additional attack speed as they attack enemies.
    • Offensive Aspect of Decay: A seemingly innocuous Aspect that drastically increases our Shadowblight damage output.
    • Coldbringer's Aspect: Now works with every Skeletal Mage type. This adds a lot of CC potential to your kit.
  3. Find the following Unique items by farming in Dungeons, Nightmare Dungeons, Helltides. Note: You cannot gamble Unique items with obols!
    • X'Fal's Corroded Signet drastically increases your AoE damage output, as well as your kill speed against Bosses. This procs continously from our multiple DoT effects. It's ability to Critically Strike allows it to benefit from more damage multipliers, that easily slot onto the build.
    • Lidless Wall adds a new way to drastically increase your Speedfarming potential but requiring constant enemy engagement to maintain its bonus Bone Storm. While increasing survivability from Barrier Generation and Damage Reduction, it also provides a significant boost to our Shadow Damage output and spreads our damage even further across a battlefield.
    • 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 damage output.
    • 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.
  4. If you're lucky enough to find the Uber Uniques randomly or from Duriel, try incorporating them in the following ways:
    • Harlequin Crest does not fit well onto the Shadow Summoner Necromancer but if you don't have a powerful Helm, absolutely use this until you find a perfect match for the variant you're playing.
    • Andariel's Visage fits easily onto the build and offers an interesting method for managing survivability. The DoT application also helps with Speed Farming.
    • Doombringer 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 Setups

Early Endgame
Late Endgame
Abattoir of Zir

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.


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.

  • Blighted Offensive Aspect on an Amulet adds the biggest total damage multiplier we can on this build.
  • Offensive Aspect of Grasping Veins gives a massive amount of Critical Strike Chance and a decent damage multiplier.
  • Aspect of Inner Calm and Aspect of Reanimation are lower level damage scaling Aspects that you can use if you have extra materials for imprinting.
  • Aspect of Slaughter grants movement speed as long as you haven't received damage recently.
  • Make sure to upgrade your Weapon, Boots and Amulet at least 3 times to help buff high-priority stats.
Starter Gear


You NEED at least 1 source of Thorns damage on your gear somewhere so that Abhorrent Decrepify can proc from enemies attacking your Minions. This is one of the largest source of our build's overall efficiency. If you cannot find Thorns on a Chest piece, you can substitute 1 Skill Rank of Terror for Spiked Armor.


Before you have access to the powerful Aspect Aspect of Ultimate Shadow, Bone Storm offers very little to your kit. We opt for Army of the Dead instead to benefit from Unyielding Commander's Aspect to further empower your minion's damage and survivability.

Starter Skills

Build Scaling & Stat Priorities

The answer to many questions can be found in the following section.

Build Scaling

Learn all you need to know about how to scale the Sever Necromancer in the endgame.

  • Critical Strike Chance: Stacking xx% Critical Strike Chance helps our Minions successfully crit as well as our sources of instantaneous damage. Remember that the base 22% damage proc of Shadowblight can Crit AND Offensive Aspect of Decay eventually increases those procs to deal 300% extra damage. Minions have a base 50% Critical Strike Damage and gain 30% of our bonuses.
  • Vulnerable: Minions gain 100% of our Vulnerable damage bonus. This makes it an incredibly important stat for both of your primary damage sources. Stack as much of it as you can!
  • 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, Decrepify or Crippling Darkness procs.
  • Attack Speed: Increased Attack Speed increases the rate we cast all of our Skills. It decreases the length of time before Tendrils is on the field and how quickly we can cycle through our Skill Rotation. It's a high value stat. Minions gain 30% of our bonus Attack Speed.

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 Amethyst
  • 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 Combatant Fortune
  • Type I Incense: Sage's Whisper
  • Type II Incense: Soothing Spices to cap Resistances, Reddamine Buzz for Maximum Life.
  • Type III Incense: Chorus of War

Refer to the table below to see the best rolls for every slot ranked in order of importance:

Aspect of Ultimate ShadowMaximum Item Power (925)
1. Intelligence
2. All Stats
3. Damage to Close
4. Damage to Slowed
5. Damage to Shadow Damage
Over Time-Affected Enemies
Aspect of Grasping VeinsMaximum Item Power (925)
1. Lucky Hit Chance
2. Lucky Hit Chance while
You Have a Barrier
3. Maxium Minion Life
4. Cooldown Reduction
5. Critical Strike Chance
HelmColdbringer's Aspect1. Total Armor
2. Maximum Life
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Lucky Hit Chance while
You Have a Barrier
5. Intelligence
ChestAspect of Disobedience1. Maximum Life
2. % Total Armor
3. Damage Reduction from
Shadow Damage Over
Time-Affected Enemies
4. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
5. Maximum Minion Life
6. Thorns (IF necessary)
GlovesViscous Aspect
1. Critical Strike Chance
2. Attack Speed
3. Lucky Hit Chance
4. Lucky Hit: Chance to Apply Slow
5. Shadow Damage over Time
6. Intelligence
PantsAspect of Shielding StormImplicit: Potion Grants Barrier
1. Maximum Life
2. % Total Armor
3. Damage Reduction from
Shadow Damage Over
Time-Affected Enemies
4. Damage Reduction against Close Enemies
5. +xx Ranks to Corpse Explosion
BootsBlood Getter's AspectImplicit: Max Evade Charges
1. Movement Speed
3. +xx Ranks to Corpse Tendrils
4. Intelligence
5. All Stats
5. (Elemental) Resistance
AmuletBlighted Aspect1. Movement Speed
2. +xx Ranks to Gloom Passive
3. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
4. Damage Reduction from
Shadow Damage Over
Time-Affected Enemies
5. Minion Attack Speed
6. Cooldown Reduction
7. Total Armor
Ring 1Ring of Mendeln
Aspect of Frenzied Dead
1. Critical Strike Chance
2. Damage to Close Enemies
3. Lucky Hit Chance
4. Maximum Life
5. Maximum Minion Life
Ring 2Ring of the Sacrilegious Soul
Aspect of Decay
1. Critical Strike Chance
2. Damage to Close Enemies
3. Lucky Hit Chance
4. Maximum Life
5. Maximum Minion Life

Hardcore Adjustments

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

  • The Shadow Summoner Necromancer already prioritizes survivability above other stats on the majority of your gear. Make sure to ignore Damage affixes on your Amulet piece, and instead stack more survivability.
  • Consider using a Shield that has as many Damage reducing stats on it as possible. Add Protecting Aspect or Aspect of the Protector Aspect to the Shield for more protection.
  • In the Paragon Boards, select additional Armor Nodes in Rare clusters whenever possible.
  • Only farm Nightmare Dungeon content that is a few Levels above your Character until you're comfortable farming higher difficulty content.

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.

Speed Farming
Nightmare Dungeon Push
Mendeln Summoner
+ Infinimist
Boss Killer

The Speedfarming setup makes you more efficient in farming the Open World, Helltide zones, Tree of Whispers, regular Dungeons, and Nightmare Dungeons below Tier 45.


The build sacrifices survivability for mobility. Luckily, you can rely on your undead horde to absorb the brunt of your enemy's attacks.

  • Replace your Boots Aspects with Ghostwalker Aspect to trigger whenever you gain Unstoppable.
  • X'Fal's Corroded Signet replaces Ring of the Sacrilegious Soul to add on another AoE burst damage option.
  • Tibault's Will grants an additional damage multiplier whenever we Evade with Metamorphosis .
Speedfarming Gear

Skill Tree

Remove two points from Hewed Flesh to max out Reaper's Pursuit for even more mobility.

Speed Farming Skill Tree

Speed Farming Vampiric Powers

  • Ravenous grants a massive Attack Speed boost that our Minions inherit 30% of.
  • Hemomancy adds a much needed and consistent AoE damage source whenever we proc it.
Speedfarming Skill Tree

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 about the Shadow Summoner Necromancer.

What Stats do my Minions inherit?

What Scales the Ring of Mendeln Proc?


Learn all you need to know about the mechanics of your build.

Corpse Explosion

Video Guide

How Necromancer Minions Inherit Damage Stats in Diablo 4

Hungry for more Guides?


The Shadow Summoner Necromancer melds the worlds of AoE Damage over time, with a powerful Minion horde and continuous Crowd Control. Once you're lucky enough to drop the Ring of Mendeln, your total damage output sky-rockets!

  • 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 Corpse Explosion 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 our Cooldowns to reduce incredibly fast. Get ready to spam Skills faster than you ever have before!
  • Practice makes perfect! Don't be afraid to run slightly easier content of Nightmare Dungeons to get the flow of the gameplay loop.


Written by MacroBioBoi
Reviewed by DarkHumility

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