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Necromancer Class Overview

Last Updated: January 5th 2024

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The Necromancer returns in Diablo 4 as the master of the Undead! They wield Shadow, Blood, Bone, and Curses as easily as ever before. With a horde of Skeletons, lead by your massive Golem, a single Necro fills the fields of Sanctuary with a terrifying host. The fuel you need to DEVASTATE the entire screen with MASSIVE Corpse Explosions is never more than a single dead demon away! This overview covers their Strengths & Weaknesses, Skills, Passives, Legendary Aspects, and much more.

Class Identity

The Necromancer is able to dish out both tons of Single-Target and Area of Effect (AoE) damage. With the ability to mix and match what minions you use to best maximize your build synergy OR sacrifice them all to be a one-Necro army! The multiple types of Crowd Control (CC) options, as well as great survivability and sustainability through Blood Orbs, gives the Necromancer unparalleled play-style freedom and versatility.

Female and Male Necromancer


  • Versatile Damage: Necromancer Offensive Skills have a great mixture of AoE and Single-Target options. The versatility comes in that many of the AoE sources of damage also work well against Single-Targets.
  • Blood Orbs: This Necromancer specific resource gives us great options for replenishing Life, Essence and even triggering other Passives/Aspects for skill synergizing.
  • Crowd-Control: The Necromancer can Slow, Stun, Pull, Chill, apply Vulnerable and literally imprison enemies in rings of Bone. Few other classes can accomplish all of this in the same build.
  • Surprisingly Tanky: Don't let the emaciated body fool you. The Necro easily stacks Fortify and Barrier, all while replenishing Life and becoming completely Immune through Blood Mist. Throw some Skeletons or your Golem in the way of danger for even more survivability.
  • Corpse Explosion: It's the best Skill the Diablo franchise has ever had. Once a single tiny demon body hits the floor, you cover the screen in blood and gore! This Skill NEVER stops being satisfying every time you clear the screen and the next one too!


  • Too Many "Core" Skills: While the options for Skills gives a lot of room for customization, EVERY end-game Necro build wants to use Corpse Explosion, Corpse Tendrils, and Blood Mist. While it seems silly to complain about having great Skills, this does limit the types of builds since we can only use 6 at a time.
  • Squishy To Start: The Necromancer becomes very tanky during a fight. "Becomes" being the key word there. You need to collect Blood Orbs and generate Corpses to max out your Fortify and Barrier bonuses, which requires active combat.
  • Complex Skill Rotation: You need to keep multiple timers and Skill cooldowns at the forefront of your mind to truly unlock the potential of Necro builds. The addition of Blood Orbs and needing to grab them where they drop adds even further complications to keep track of.
  • Where are the Corpses?: Generating Corpses can be a lot harder than you might expect. For Bosses and other single-target objectives, your ability to generate Corpses to resurrect minions, and use Corpse Explosion/Corpse Tendrils can be a tough task to accomplish.
  • Slow Late Game Scaling: The Necro absolutely SMASHES open-world content, PvP, and Early-game leveling, but they're also very gear dependent. You might hit a brick wall progression-wise until you find key gear pieces to give you the Utility and damage multipliers you need to push high tier Nightmare Dungeons.


Necromancers have the option of using a strong 2-Handed Weapon for bigger damage multipliers, or 1-Handed Weapon and a Focus for Cooldown Reduction and an additional Legendary Aspect, or swapping the Focus for a Shield for more survivability and Block Chance.

  • Focus vs Shield: The Focus allows you to stack more Offensive Aspects, Damage and Cooldown Reduction. The Shield gives a unique Chance to Block which reduces incoming damage by a large percentage, use Defensive/Utility Aspects and stack Thorns damage.
  • 2-Handed vs 1-Handed: Since the Necromancer is reliant on Legendary Aspects for our biggest damage multipliers, the 2-Handed Weapon gives the biggest bonus here as well as on its rolled affixes. That being said, 1-Handed Weapon combinations can give better Lucky Hit Chance, Skill Damage and the ability to select an additional Aspect to better empower a hybrid build.

Necromancer Item Slots:


Chest Armor


Ring (x2)


Two-Handed Weapon
- OR -
One-Handed Weapon + Shield
- OR -
One-Handed Weapon + Focus

Example gear for the Bonme Spear Necromancer

Check out our Legendary Aspects and Codex of Power Overview or our Uniques Overview to learn more about which items the Nceromancer has access to.

Skills & Passives

Skill points are unlocked by level-ups and the Renown system. As you spend more points, you unlock more and more categories of skills. Each active skill can be ranked up to 5 times (with bonus Ranks from items), increasing their damage (usually +10% of the base value) or reducing their cooldown by 5% with each additional rank. After unlocking a skill, you can enhance it with another point and then choose one out of two upgrades to specialize it further.

There are Passive Skills found all over the tree, attached as optional choices to certain skill clusters. They grant small bonuses to damage, defense or utility under certain conditions and help to round out your build by shifting it further in the direction you want to take. All passives have 3 ranks and usually scale linearly.

Check out our Skill Tree Overview to learn more details.

Basic Skills


Enhanced Hemorrhage

Acolyte's Hemorrhage

Initiate's Hemorrhage


Basic skills are used to generate Essence. and apply debuffs like Vulnerable. When you run out of resources, they are useful to finish off small enemies or to add extra damage against an Elite or Boss while you prepare one of your stronger Essence-spending attacks. They also bring important utility including the generation of Corpses.

Core Skills

Blood Surge

Enhanced Blood Surge

Supernatural Blood Surge

Paranormal Blood Surge


Basic skills are used to generate Essence. and apply debuffs like Vulnerable. When you run out of resources, they are useful to finish off small enemies or to add extra damage against an Elite or Boss while you prepare one of your stronger Essence-spending attacks. They also bring important utility including the generation of Corpses.

Macabre Skills

Blood Mist

Enhanced Blood Mist

Ghastly Blood Mist

Dreadful Blood Mist


Here we get Corpse Explosion and Blood Mist, must haves for any Necromancer build. You also gain access to the Passive Skills that define the Necro: Deal extra Damage after consuming a Corpse, and the first buff for our Skeletons.

Corruption Skills

Iron Maiden

Enhanced Iron Maiden

Horrid Iron Maiden

Abhorrent Iron Maiden


Here's your selection bewteen 2 Curses. As well as more specialized Passives for increasing your damage dealt and damage reduction.

Summoning Skills

Corpse Tendrils

Enhanced Corpse Tendrils

Plagued Corpse Tendrils

Blighted Corpse Tendrils


In this node, we finally get our hands on the best CC in the game, Corpse Tendrils. We also unlock Bone Spirit, which is the strongest Single-target Skill the Necro has access to. But these are just appetizers compared to the huge Passive trees that spread out from this node. The Necromancer is truly defined by the Passive Skills you select. Each skill type (Bone, Blood, Darkness) have 12 total Ranks to unlock various benefits when using them.

Ultimate Skills

Blood Wave

Prime Blood Wave

Supreme Blood Wave


Ultimates are high-impact abilities with a long cooldown and need to be built around to be effective, so not every build runs with one of them. Only one can be chosen and only have a single rank with a two-step linear upgrade path that offers no extra choices. The Necromancer also unlocks the 12 Rank Passive tree for their skeletal army at this node.

Key Passives

Kalan's Edict


Rathma's Vigor

Ossified Essence


These passives are located at the very bottom of the Skill Tree. They are extremely powerful and modify the overall play style of your build. Similar to Ultimate Skills, only one of them can be chosen!

Unique Class Mechanic - The Book of the Dead

The Book of the Dead is a unique Necromancer Summons enhancement system. You can specialize your Skeletal Warriors, Mages, and Golem to fit the needs of your build. You can also choose to sacrifice your summons, stopping your ability to summon them, but gaining powerful thematic bonuses based on the options you choose. As your Necromancer reaches higher levels, you are able to summons more types of Minions to add to your horde! You gain access to the actual menu at Level 5!

General Summon Overview

There are three types of horrors the Necromancer can summon at any given time. Your Minions gain 30% of your stats as a baseline. Raise Skeleton and Golem must be on your skillbar to summon them.

  • Skeletal Warriors: These are your front-line swarming minions. There are high DPS, Tank and slow heavy Damage focused variants. Sacrificing these awards bonuses similar to the focus they have.
  • Skeletal Mages: These skeletons are your back-line artillery minions. There are Shadow Damage, Physical Damage, and Chilling CC focused variants. Sacrificing these awards bonuses to your damage potential and Resource management.
  • Golems: The Golems are front-line disruption tanks. There are Ultra-tanky, AoE damage, and AoE CC focused variants. Sacrificing your Golem awards bonuses that increase your own tankiness and DPS potential.
Example Book of the Dead choices for the Bone Spear Necromancer

Necromancer Class Quest: Unlock Your Golem

The Necromancer needs to complete a Class specific Quest to unlock the ability to summon their golem. See our guided walkthrough below:

Guided Necromancer Class Quest

Check out our Necromancer Book of the Dead post for more details on this system.


The four core attributes provide the following to the Necromancer:

  • Strength: Armor (1 each)
  • Intelligence: Skill Damage (10% per 100), All Elemental Resistances (5% per 100)
  • Willpower: Resource Generation (10% per 100), Healing Received (10% per 100), Overpower Damage (25% per 100)
  • Dexterity: Critical Strike Chance (2% per 100), Dodge Chance (2.5% per 100)

Intelligence is considered the main attribute as it increases your damage dealt. Dexterity and Willpower are also useful for their offensive and defensive bonuses, while Strength does next to nothing. Some items can roll bonuses to attributes and later on Paragon boards allow stacking the right stats for your character. In addition, you may find hidden Altars of Lilith in the open world that unlock a permanent bonus for all of your characters.

Check out our Stat Overview to learn more.

Necromancer Summary

  • Necromancers have a wide range of abilities that let you build the spooky-undead champion of your dreams. Summon hordes of skeletons, explode corpses, and curse the armies of hell to... hell.
  • Your Skeleton army as well as your Golem have 3 different variants with unique upgrades to tailor their abilities to your needs. Or just say forget them all and sacrifice them to empower your Necromancer further. The Book of the Dead gives you quick access to change your build on the fly.
  • The Necro has a surprising amount of Crowd Control, AoE and damage-soak via your summons. This makes them a great addition for party-play in the open-world as well as in Dungeons.
  • Your combination of healing, Blood Orbs, and stacking Fortify make for many defensive options to build around. Mix and match Offense and Defense to get the best fit for your play-style.
  • When all else fails, cast Corpse Explosion until the enemies stop moving. Works every time!


Written by MacroBioBoi.
Reviewed by Echohack.

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