Necromancer Class Overview

Last Updated: July 19th 2023

Share on Social

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.

Necromancer Class


  • 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.

Malignant Hearts

In Season 1, we can now socket Malignant Hearts into specific Socket types in your Jewelry (Rings and Amulet). There are Necromancer Specific and General Hearts that can be mix and matched to tailor fit into your particular build and play style.


  • The Sacrilegious (Vicious, Offensive): Walking near a Corpse automatically activates an equipped Corpse Skill every second, dealing 40-30% reduced damage.
  • The Decrepit Aura (Brutal, Defensive): When at least 5 enemies are near you, gain an aura that automatically curses surrounding enemies with Decrepify for 5-15 seconds.
  • Frozen Terror (Devious, Utility): Lucky Hit: Up to a 10-20% chance of inflicting Fear for 2.5 seconds. Feared enemies are Chilled for 20% every second.
  • The Great Feast (Wrathful, Super-World Tier IV): Each Minion drains 1.0-2.0 Essence per second but deals 50-75% increased damage. With no Minions, this bonus applies to you and drains 5 Essence per second.


  • The Picana (Vicious, Offensive): Critical Strikes electrically charge the enemy for 0.75-2.50 seconds, causing lightning to arc between them and any other charged enemies dealing 68-136 Lightning damage.
  • The Dark Dance (Vicious, Offensive-World Tier III): Every 5 seconds while above 60% Life, Core Skills cost 68-51 Life instead of your Primary Resource. Skills that consume Life deal 10-20% increased damage.
  • Tempting Fate (Vicious, Offensive-World Tier III): You gain 40-60% Critical Strike Damage but your Non-Critical Strikes deal 20-15% less damage.
  • The Lionheart (Brutal, Defensive): You gain 10% Barrier Generation. You Heal 3-7 Life per second while you have an active Barrier.
  • Revenge (Brutal, Defensive-World Tier III): 10-20% of incoming damage is instead suppressed. When you use a Defensive, Subterfuge or a Macabre skill, all suppressed damage is amplified by 250% and explodes, dealing up to 1360-2040 Fire damage to Nearby enemies.
  • Prudent Heart (Brutal, Defensive-World Tier III): You become Immune for 2.0-4.0 seconds after you lose more than 20% Life in a single hit. This effect can only occur once every 110 seconds.
  • Determination (Devious, Utility): Resource draining effects are 40-50% less effective. In addition, gain 3.0-8.0% increased Resource Generation.
  • Retaliation (Devious, Utility-World Tier III): Deal 510-680 Fire damage to surrounding enemies whenever a Crowd Control effect is removed from you.
  • The Calculated (Devious, Utility-World Tier III): After spending 150-200 of your Primary Resource, your next attack Stuns enemies hit for 2 seconds.
  • The Malignant Pact (Wrathful, Super): Cycle through a Malignant bonus every 20 kills:
    • Vicious: Gain 20% Attack Speed.
    • Devious: Core and Basic Skills have a 15% chance to fully restore your Primary Resource.
    • Brutal: Every 21 seconds, gain a Barrier absorbing 85-102 damage.
  • Creeping Death (Wrathful, Super): Your damage over time effects are increased by 30-40% for each different Crowd Control effect on the target. Unstoppable monsters and Staggered bosses instead take 110-130% increased damage from your damage over time effects.
  • The Barber (Wrathful, Super-World Tier III): Critical Strikes and all subsequent damage within 2.0-4.0 seconds is absorbed by your target. Then, the absorbed damage erupts onto surrounding enemies. Stored damage is increased by 10% per second.


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.

Skill Tree & 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!

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.
Book of the Dead - Necromancer Specialization

Skeletal Warriors

  • Skeletal Warriors - Skirmishers
  • Skeletal Warriors - Defenders
  • Skeletal Warriors - Reapers

Skeletal Mages

  • Skeletal Mages - Shadow
  • Skeletal Mages - Cold
  • Skeletal Mages - Bone


  • Golems - Bone
  • Golems - Blood
  • Golems - Iron

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.

Legendary Aspects

Legendary Aspects offer another important avenue of build customization. They can be either found as a Legendary items or imprinted on an item at the Occultist. Aspects with dynamic values are +100% effective on Two-Handed Weapons and +50% effective on Amulets in most cases.

Check out our Legendary Aspects Overview to learn more details.

Codex of Power

The Codex of Power is a collection of Legendary Aspects that the Occultist can imprint on any rare or legendary item for a cost. Each power has to be unlocked by completing a specific Dungeon once and always comes with their minimum value if they have a dynamic value. As of right now, most maximum values are unknown and left out from this list. Certain effects with flat damage, Life or Barrier values scale with character level or item power.

Listed below are all the Necromancer Legendary Aspects. Check out our Codex of Power Overview to see those available to all classes.


At the time of writing this article, the Necromancer doesn't have any Defensive Aspects in the Codex of Power. That's how you know you're playing an absolute POWER house of a class. The best Defense is a great Offense!


These aspects cannot be crafted from the Codex of Power and instead must be found as a Legendary drop. A list will follow once there is more information.

Unique Items

The Necromancer has seven class-specific Unique items which can be seen in the planner to the right. There are two items for the Bone Skills, two items for the Summon skills, one item for Darkness Skills (Bloodless Scream) and two items specifically for Corpse Explosion. Unique items have special Aspects that you cannot extract or overwrite.

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.

© 2023 Maxroll Media Group, All Rights Reserved