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Are you ready to command the powers of the undead? Then you don’t want to miss out on our Necromancer class guide for Diablo 4! The Necromancer, also known as the Summoner, is one of the most beloved classes in the franchise’s history, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most powerful classes in the upcoming game. With the right build, you’ll be able to raise the dead, manipulate bones, and harness Shadow magic like never before. So, stay tuned and read on to find out more about this legendary summoner and how to master their skills in Diablo 4.
Diablo 4’s Necromancer class has a unique class mechanic called the Book of the Dead, which allows players to customize their army of undead minions.
There are three types of minions the Necromancer can summon, including Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages, and Golems. If you faced the problem where Necromancer’s Golem wouldn’t spawn, the solution is provided in this article. Each minion type has its own specializations, such as combat behavior or types of magic. For instance, Skeletal Warriors can be specialized as Skirmishers for higher damage or as Defenders for increased life. Skeletal Mages, on the other hand, can choose between three types of magic: Shadow, Cold, and Bone. Additionally, each minion type has upgrades that will synergize with the Necromancer’s skills.
Lastly, players can use the Book of the Dead to sacrifice the ability to access certain minion specializations and receive a permanent buff in return. Some examples of these buffs include a permanent 15% gain to non-Physical damage resistance for Skeletal Warriors’ Defender specialization and a permanent 15% increased damage bonus against Vulnerable enemies for 3 seconds for Skeletal Mages’ Cold specialization.
The Necromancer has several skill groups to choose from, including Basic Skills, Core Skills, Corpse and Macabre Skills, Corruption Skills, Summoning Skills, Ultimate Skills, and Key Passives. The Necromancer’s main resource is Essence, which is collected by using Basic Skills and spent using other skills.
The Basic Skills for the Necromancer include Bone Splinters, Decompose, Hemorrhage, and Reap. Each of these skills has two mutually exclusive upgrades that can be chosen when the skill is activated.
The Core skills include Blight, Blood Lance, Blood Surge, Bone Spear, Hewed Flesh, Sever, and Unliving Energy.
Blight unleashes concentrated blight that deals damage and leaves behind a defiled area that deals damage over time. The Enhanced Blight skill causes Blight to slow enemies by 25%, while the Paranormal Blight skill gives Blight a 30% chance to immobilize enemies for 1.5 seconds on impact. The Supernatural Blight skill makes you and your minions deal 15% increased damage to enemies within Blight.
Blood Lance allows the Necromancer to throw a blood lance that lingers in an enemy for three seconds, dealing damage to the enemy and all other lanced enemies. The Enhanced Blood Lance causes Blood Lance to pierce through enemies who are currently lanced, dealing 15% reduced damage to subsequent enemies after the first. The Paranormal Blood Lance gives the Necromancer 15% attack speed and reduces Blood Lance’s essence cost by two while at least two enemies or a boss are affected by Blood Lance. The Supernatural Blood Lance guarantees the next cast of Blood Lance will overpower after casting Blood Lance eight times and spawns a Blood Orb under the first enemy hit.
Blood Surge enables the Necromancer to draw blood from enemies, dealing damage, and expel a blood nova that deals damage. The Enhanced Blood Surge skill heals the Necromancer for 2.5% of their maximum life when drawing blood from enemies. The Paranormal Blood Surge skill grants the Necromancer a stack of Overwhelming Blood if an enemy is damaged by Blood Surge’s nova while they are healthy. At five stacks of Overwhelming Blood, the Necromancer’s next Blood Surge overpowers. The Supernatural Blood Surge skill fortifies the Necromancer for 1% of their base life each time an enemy is hit by Blood Surge’s nova. While the Necromancer has fortify for over 50% of their maximum life, Blood Surge deals 20% increased damage.
Bone Spear allows the Necromancer to conjure a bone spear from the ground, dealing damage and piercing through enemies. The Enhanced Bone Spear skill causes Bone Spear to break into three shards when it is destroyed. The Paranormal Bone Spear skill increases Bone Spear’s critical strike chance by 5%, firing two additional bone shards upon being destroyed if Bone Spear’s primary projectile critically strikes. The Supernatural Bone Spear skill makes the first enemy hit by Bone Spear vulnerable for three seconds.
Hewed Flesh gives the Necromancer’s damage up to a 4% chance to create a corpse at the target’s location. This chance is doubled against bosses.
Sever allows a specter of the Necromancer to charge forward and attack with its scythe, dealing damage, and returning to the Necromancer to attack again for damage. The Enhanced Sever skill damages enemies along its path for 25% of its initial damage. The Paranormal Sever skill makes every fourth cast of Sever make enemies vulnerable for two seconds. The Supernatural Sever skill deals 2% increased damage for each minion the Necromancer has upon cast.
Unliving Energy increases the Necromancer’s maximum essence by three. The Imperfectly Balanced skill causes the Necromancer’s Core skills to cost 5% more essence but deal 10% increased damage.
In the Corpse and Macabre skills, the Blood Mist skill allows the Necromancer to disperse into a bloody mist, becoming Immune for three seconds, while periodically dealing damage to enemies and healing for 0.5% of their maximum life. The Enhanced Blood Mist skill reduces the cooldown of Blood Mist by two seconds when the Necromancer casts a skill that overpowers. The Dreadful Blood Mist skill fortifies the Necromancer for 0.5% of their base life each time Blood Mist hits an enemy, while the Ghastly Blood Mist skill leaves behind a corpse every second.
The Bone Prison skill allows the Necromancer to unearth a prison of bone that surrounds a target area for six seconds. The Enhanced Bone Prison skill grants the Necromancer 15 essence and an additional five essence per enemy trapped if an enemy is trapped by the Bone Prison. The Dreadful Bone Prison skill fortifies the Necromancer for 5% of their base life for each enemy trapped by the Bone Prison, while the Ghastly Bone Prison skill makes enemies inside the Bone Prison vulnerable.
The Corpse Explosion skill detonates a corpse, dealing damage to surrounding enemies. The Enhanced Corpse Explosion skill increases the radius of the explosion by 15%. The Blight Corpse Explosion skill turns the Corpse Explosion into a darkness skill, releasing a vile miasma that deals shadow damage over six seconds instead of exploding. The Plagued Corpse Explosion skill increases the damage dealt to enemies that are slowed, stunned, or vulnerable by 10%, and these damage bonuses can stack.
The Grim Harvest skill generates three essence when the Necromancer consumes a corpse. The Fueled by Death skill increases the Necromancer’s damage by 4% for four seconds after they consume a corpse. The Skeletal Warrior Mastery skill increases the damage and life of the Necromancer’s skeletal warriors by 15%, while the Spiked Armor skill grants the Necromancer eight thorns.
In the Corruption skills, the Amplify Damage skill increases the Necromancer’s damage to cursed enemies by 3%. The Death’s Embrace skill causes close enemies to take 2% more damage from the Necromancer and deal 3% less damage to them. The Death’s Reach skill increases the Necromancer’s damage to distant enemies by 4%.
The Decrepify skill curses the target area, slowing enemies afflicted by it by 40% and causing them to deal 20% less damage for 10 seconds at a cost of 10 essence. The Enhanced Decrepify skill has a chance to stun enemies hit while afflicted with Decrepify for two seconds, while the Abhorrent Decrepify skill reduces the Necromancer’s active cooldowns by one second when they hit an enemy afflicted with Decrepify. The Horrid Decrepify skill instantly kills enemies below 10% life when the Necromancer or their minions hit them, but it does not work on bosses.
The Iron Maiden skill curses the target area, causing enemies afflicted with it to take damage each time they deal direct damage for 10 seconds at a cost of 10 essence. The Enhanced Iron Maiden skill grants the Necromancer five essence for each enemy cursed instead of costing essence, but it does not work on enemies who are already cursed with Iron Maiden. The Abhorrent Iron Maiden skill heals the Necromancer for 5% of their maximum life when an enemy dies while afflicted with Iron Maiden. The Horrid Iron Maiden skill increases the damage of Iron Maiden by 15% when at least three enemies are afflicted with it.
The skills used in summoning various creatures and abilities in battle can be improved through the use of enhancements. For instance, Bone Spirit is a skill that consumes all of the character’s essence to create a spirit of bone that seeks out enemies and deals damage. The damage output of Bone Spirit increases by 3% for each point of essence expended during casting. The Enhanced Bone Spirit enhancement reduces the cooldown by 6 seconds if the skill critically strikes, while the Dreadful Bone Spirit enhancement generates 30 essence over the next four seconds after the spirit hits an enemy. The Ghastly Bone Spirit enhancement increases the critical strike chance by 10%.
Corpse Tendrils is another skill that pulls in enemies, stuns them for three seconds, and damages them. Enhanced Corpse Tendrils slows down enemies by 50% before pulling them in, while the Blighted Corpse Tendrils enhancement has a 20% chance to drop a Blood Orb when damaging enemies. Plagued Corpse Tendrils, on the other hand, makes enemies vulnerable for three seconds.
Gruesome Mending is a skill that increases the character’s healing by 10% from all sources while below 50% life. The Coalesced Blood enhancement increases blood skill damage by 6%, while the Drain Vitality enhancement fortifies the character for 2% base life when hitting enemies with blood skills. The Transfusion enhancement heals the character’s minions for 15% of the amount of blood orbs created, while the Tides of Blood enhancement increases the Overpower damage of blood skills by 5% and doubles the bonus when healthy.
Necrotic Carapace fortifies the character for 2% base life whenever a corpse is formed from their skills or minions. Reaper’s Pursuit increases the character’s movement speed by 5% for three seconds whenever they damage enemies with darkness skills. The Crippling Darkness enhancement has a chance of stunning enemies for one second when using darkness skills, while the Gloom enhancement increases shadow damage to enemies by 2% for two seconds, stacking up to three times. The Terror enhancement gives darkness skills a 3% bonus damage to slowed, stunned, or immobilized enemies and applies the bonus to shadow damage dealt by minions.
Serration increases bone skills’ critical strike chance by 0.5% for each 10 essence used. The Compound Fracture enhancement increases bone skills’ damage by 5% for five seconds after critically striking ten times. The Rapid Ossification enhancement reduces the cooldowns of bone skills by 0.5 seconds for every 100 essence used. The Evulsion enhancement increases bone skills’ critical strike damage to vulnerable enemies.
Finally, Ultimate skills such as Army of the Dead, Blood Wave, Bonded in Essence, Bone Storm, Golem Mastery, and Stand Alone can be used to summon creatures and enhance abilities in battle. These skills provide various enhancements such as leaving behind corpses, slowing down enemies, increasing critical strike chance, increasing damage reduction, and increasing attack speed.
One of the abilities is Army of the Dead, which allows the player to summon skeletons that explode when near enemies, dealing damage. The upgraded versions of this ability have additional effects, such as leaving behind corpses or summoning other types of skeletal minions.
Another ability is Blood Wave, which summons a wave of blood that damages and knocks back enemies. Upgraded versions of this ability can slow enemies or leave behind blood orbs.
The Bonded in Essence ability allows the player’s Skeletal Priest to heal their skeletons periodically. Upgraded versions of this ability provide additional benefits, such as increased attack speed for the player and their minions or increased damage for the minions when the player is nearby.
The Bone Storm ability creates a storm of bones that damages surrounding enemies. Upgraded versions of this ability provide additional benefits, such as increased damage reduction or increased critical strike chance while the ability is active.
The player can also upgrade their Golem Mastery to increase the damage and life of their golem, as well as their Stand Alone ability to increase their damage reduction.
The Memento Mori ability provides bonuses for sacrificing skeletal minions.
The Necromancer in Diablo 4 possesses a variety of powerful skills that allow them to manipulate the forces of life and death to their advantage. One such skill is Kalen’s Edict, which grants a significant boost to minion attack speed when the Necromancer has not taken damage in the last three seconds. This bonus is even more potent when the Necromancer has at least seven minions under their command.
Ossified Essence is another skill that enhances the Necromancer’s damage-dealing capabilities, allowing their bone skills to deal increased damage based on the amount of Essence they have above 50 upon casting.
Rathma’s Vigor is a defensive skill that increases the Necromancer’s maximum life by 10%. Additionally, after being healthy for 15 seconds, the next Blood Skill that the Necromancer casts will overpower their enemies.
Finally, Shadowblight is a skill that infects enemies with a debuff that makes them vulnerable to shadow damage for two seconds.
The Necromancer and their minions deal increased damage to enemies with Shadowblight, and every tenth time an enemy receives Shadow Damage from the Necromancer or their minions while affected by Shadowblight, they take additional damage. Overall, the Necromancer in Diablo 4 possesses a diverse set of skills that allow them to excel both defensively and offensively on the battlefield.
As a Necromancer in Diablo 4, you’ll have the ability to summon an army of Skeleton Warriors and Mages to fight alongside you. Your playstyle will revolve around generating Corpses and Essence by using Decompose on enemies. With Blood Surge, you can deal extra area damage while also healing if needed. You’ll then summon Corpse Tendrils for maximum damage and Corpse Explosion to finish off any remaining foes. The Skeletal minions are a powerful company to have, dealing with a wide amount of AoE damage. To generate more Corpses and Essence, spam Decompose, and consume Corpses for more Essence regeneration with the Grim Harvest passive talent. With these tactics, you’ll become an unstoppable force on the battlefield.
The Summoner is a fascinating archetype of Necromancer in Diablo 4. Its playstyle revolves around the strategic use of Skeletal minions and corpse manipulation, making it a unique and versatile class. While its strength lies in the ability to control large groups of minions, it can be vulnerable when caught alone or when its minions are overwhelmed. If you’re interested in learning more about all the classes in Diablo 4 and how they compare to each other, check out our article dedicated to this topic. It’s a must-read for any gamer looking to master Diablo 4.