Necromancer Passives

Necromancer builds share a lot of the same passives because nothing beats general survivability and damage for them. Occasionally you'll find a niche build that needs a unique passive, but it's not common. Let's look through them in greater detail.

Aberrant Animator

Mechanics
Your Skeletal Mage, Command Golem and Command Skeletons gain 200% of your Thorns. This bonus is a straight 3x multiplier.

Best use
This passive is only used when playing the Thorns Rift Guardian Killer to give your Command Skeletons Thorns to kill the bosses.

Blood for Blood

Mechanics
Picking up a Health Globes removes the health cost of the next Blood spell. This effect lasts forever and stacks up to 10 times.

Best use
This passive is rarely used as blood builds are not popular in Diablo III, and for the builds that do exist there are better methods of staying alive besides taking this passive. A niche use for this passive is with Mask of Scarlet Death and Oblation to prevent "self-oneshot".

Blood is Power

Mechanics
After losing 100% of your maximum Life, all ability cooldowns are reduced by 20% multiplicatively. This effect cannot reduce an ability's cooldown more than once for each time that ability is used. The already spent amount of Life is remembered until the next cast and is tracked separately for each ability.

Best use
This passive is incredible for all Necromancer builds that use giant cooldowns like Land of the Dead. We can take damage from enemies as well as life-spending skills like Blood Rush and Death Nova Blood Nova to reset our abilities.

Bone Prison

Mechanics
Bone Spear, Bone Spikes, and Bone Spirit have a 30% chance to trap enemies in a Bone Prison for 3 seconds. Monster will be immobilized and are unable to attack or move.

Best uses
This passive is taken with the Masquerade Bone Spear build to trap enemies at range and activate Krysbin's Sentence.

Commander of the Risen Dead

Mechanics
The Essence cost of Command Skeletons and the cooldown of Command Golem are reduced by 30% multiplicatively.

Best use
This passive is rarely taken as the cost of Command Skeletons is never an issue. This passive has been used in solo pushing in conjuction with Command Golem Bone Golem to gather monsters better / more often.

Dark Reaping

Mechanics
While using a scythe, gain 2% of your total maximum Essence and 2% of your maximum Life per kill. This has nothing to do with the Life per Kill in your character stats, nor with the secondary stat Life after Kill on items.

Best use
This passive is useful in builds that kill a lot of monsters and are resource starved, like the LoD Skeletal Mage "Rat" Necromancer.

Draw Life

Mechanics
Increases your life regeneration by 10% for each enemy within 20 yards. This effect is capped to 50 and hugely benefits Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard in combination with Squirt's Necklace. It also increase the physical damage done by the Death's Bargain aura.

Best use
If you stack Life Regeneration and toughness, this passive can sustain you through heavy damage. This passive is popular for solo pushing as most builds require you to stand in large density to deal damage. Here it can be combined with Leech Cursed Ground. It even has loads of implication into group META play with the insane shield value for Squirt's Necklace when combined with Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard. In the Bone Spear META this can be used to even drop the zMonk and get in a zDH for massive damage boost.

Eternal Torment

Mechanics
Your curses cost 50% less Essence multiplicatively and last forever.

Best use
This passive is mostly useful for the "last forever" portion. Many Necromancer builds apply all 3 curses with Grim Scythe Cursed Scythe and Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang. After applying them and moving away, re-applying all the curses can be tedious, time-consuming, and can even cause you or your teammates to die. It's especially useful on builds using Aura of Frailty, as it lets you walk away from mobs without having your curse drop.

Extended Servitude

Mechanics
Increases the duration of your Skeletal Mage and Revive minions by 25%. This effect only scales of the skills base duration and does not increase the additional duration that is granted by items like Circle of Nailuj's Evol.

Best use
This passive is useful for mage builds like the LoD Skeletal Mage "Rat" Necromancer. It allows us more time to max our essence to release fully powered Singularity mages.

Final Service

Mechanics
When you take lethal damage, you are sustained preventing all damage for 4 seconds. In addition, you heal for 10% of your Life per minion. This effect cannot occur more than once every 60 seconds.

Best use
This is one of the best passives for the Necromancer as it allows you to cheat death and stay alive. In Patch 2.6.9 it was changed to no longer consume pets, and it will activate before Simulacrum Self Sacrifice.

Fueled by Death

Mechanics
Consuming a corpse increases your Movement Speed by 3% for 5 seconds. This effect can stack up to 10 times and exceeds the 25% Movement Speed cap.

Best use
This is an extremely popular passive for any Necromancer speed build as it provides 30% Movement Speed you have consumed 10 corpses (commonly done by spamming Devour).

Grisly Tribute

Mechanics
You are healed for 10% of your Life on Hit when one of your minions hits an enemy. This passive takes the Life on Hit out of you character stats.

Best use
The best use of this passive is not to use it; It's terrible.

Life from Death

Mechanics

  • Consuming a corpse has a 20% chance to spawn a Health Globe.
  • The Health Globe can only spawn if the consumed corpse was on the pathable surface.
  • After spawning 10 Heal Globes the passive goes on a 5 second internal cooldown.
  • Activating Land of the Dead will reset this cooldown, even if Land of the Dead is already running.


Best use
This passive is very useful on a support Necromancer to spawn health globes for our party. Besides the healing, Health Globes can give other bonuses like increased resource generation from Reaper's Wraps, or increase a Witch Doctor's damage from Gruesome Feast.

Overwhelming Essence

Mechanics
Increases your maximum Essence by 40.

Best use
This passive is incredible for any build needing more Essence and/or using Reilena's Shadowhook. This passive provide a total of 8.2% damage increase to builds with Shadowhook, 10.3% to ones with Shadowhook and Reservoir, and about 25.6% to Rats using Singularity.

Rathma's Shield

Mechanics
You cannot lose Life for 4 seconds after using Land of the Dead, Army of the Dead, or Simulacrum. With this passive and massive amounts of Cooldown Reduction and complementary items like Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, In-Geom and Messerschmidt's Reaver you can become straight up immortal.

Best use
Although this isn't a popular passive, it can be quite strong if you have very high cooldown to spam Land of the Dead. The immortality can have a very high uptime in speed content.

Rigor Mortis

Mechanics
Poison abilities also slow enemies by 30% and reduce their attack speed by 30% for 5 seconds.

Best use
This defensive passive is not taken often, but it can be used in groups by the zNec in higher Greater Rifts to reduce incoming damage.

Serration

Mechanics
Bone Spikes, Bone Spear, and Bone Spirit deal 1% increased damage for every 1.5 yards from you, up to a maximum of 20%. This damage increase is a a multiplier to other source and behaves similar to Zei's Stone of Vengeance.

Best use
This passive has found a use with the new Masquerade Bone Spear Necromancer. Since we're trying to attack at range, we can usually get the full 20% value at 30 yards (which is roughly 1/3rd of a screen away).

Spreading Malediction

Mechanics
Receive a 1% additive damage bonus for each enemy afflicted by one of your curses. The effect is gone if you go to another floor.

Best use
This is one of the best offensive passive for the Necromancer as long as the build takes a curse and relies on gathering up large groups of enemies... which is essentially every build in the game.

Stand Alone

Mechanics
Increase armor by 100% additively, reduced by 10% for each active minion. Simulacrum and your Follower are not considered as a minions.

Best use
This is best defensive passive the Necromancer has as long as you aren't using a skill with a lot of minions like Command Skeletons. Since Necromancers are an Intelligence class who naturally gain All Resistance from Paragon levels, this Armor boost is a tremendous toughness increase.

Swift Harvesting

Mechanics
Increase the attack speed of Bone Spikes, Siphon Blood, and Grim Scythe by 15% multiplicatively.

Best use
This is a nice offensive passive for any build using these 3 skills, like the Poison Scythe Necromancer and for Rift Guardian Killer builds to stack Bane of the Stricken faster.

Post by Raxxanterax