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The best Necromancer builds for leveling in Diablo 4 season 1


Necromancers are the summoners of Diablo 4, but that’s not their entire identity. Like much of Diablo 4, Necromancers are far more complex than you’d initially imagine. So when you can summon minions to do your bidding or sacrifice them for major stat bonuses, how do you know what to do? That’s where we come in, with our suggestions of the best Necromancer builds for Diablo 4 season 1.

Necromancers are able to summon Skeletons and Golems. But they’re also able to cast Sorcerer-like spells dealing in the creepier sides of magic. They can sling bone and drain blood from foes. They can even project poison blight on the ground. And, yes, they can sacrifice minions for incredible bonuses with the Book of the Dead.

In this Diablo 4 guide, we’ve gathered and simplified the best Diablo 4 Necromancer builds for season 1. If you need even more information on item affixes or other more complex ideas, we’ve been sure to link out to the more detailed versions of these builds, as well as where to find their original creators.

Best Necromancer leveling build

A Necromancer standing in front of three bloody skeletons in Diablo 4 concept art

Image: Blizzard Entertainment

This build is based off GhazzyTV’s Necromancer leveling guide at IcyVeins, and is purely for leveling: i.e., allocating your 58 skill points between levels 1 and 50. If you want more detailed information about the item affixes you want to look for on your gear, or which other Legendary powers are great for your build, check out the original IcyVeins guide.

Best skills for leveling

Necromancer leveling guides use the absolute powerhouse of a skill: Bone Spear. Bone Spear is both extremely versatile and deals massive damage, hence why we rank it up so quickly. In this build, you’ll also use Bone Splinters, Corpse Explosion, Blood Mist, and Decrepify — as well as both Golem and Skeleton skills.

Here are the best skills for a Necromancer leveling build, organized by the exact order you should purchase them in — bearing in mind that some skills require you to allocate a number of skill points in the tree in order to unlock them. As such, you’ll need to unlock new skills before enhancing existing ones.

Note: GhazzyTV’s guide recommends starting with Blood Surge and transitioning to Bone Spear after level 15.

  1. Bone Splinters / Enhanced Bone Splinters
  2. Blood Surge (rank 1-5) — Replace with Bone Spear (rank 1-5) after level 15
  3. Corpse Explosion / Enhanced Corpse Explosion
  4. Hewed Flesh (rank 1-3)
  5. Grim Harvest (rank 1-3)
  6. Enhanced Bone Spear / Supernatural Bone Spear
  7. Corpse Explosion (rank 2-5)
  8. Skeletal Warrior Mastery (rank 1-3)
  9. Plagued Corpse Explosion
  10. Serration (rank 1-3)
  11. Compound Fracture
  12. Evulsion (rank 1-3)
  13. Unliving Energy
  14. Ossified Essence
  15. Unliving Energy (rank 2-3)
  16. Fueled by Death (rank 1-3)
  17. Blood Mist
  18. Compound Fracture (rank 2-3)
  19. Imperfectly Balanced (rank 1-3)
  20. Decrepify / Enhanced Decrepify
  21. Necrotic Carapace (rank 1-3)
  22. Death’s Reach (rank 1-3)
  23. Amplify Damage (rank 1-3)
  24. Decrepify (rank 2-3)

Best Book of the Dead setup for leveling

While sacrificing your minions is the common play for endgame builds, most builds actually use minions while leveling, and this build is not different. Here are the minions you should use for this build:

  • Melee Skeletons – Reapers
  • Mage Skeletons – Cold
  • Golem – Bone (change to Iron as you get closer to 50)

Best Legendary Aspect for Necromancer leveling build

GhazzyTV’s build only recommends a single Legendary Aspect while leveling.

When you first start your new character, complete one dungeon first in order to collect its Aspect. Then place it on a piece of gear (ideally jewelry, when possible). Just keep in mind that you should replace this Legendary with a new version using the imprint system every few levels.

  • Splintering Aspect (Guulrahn Slums dungeon in Dry Steppes) — Bone Spear’s primary attack makes enemies hit beyond the first Vulnerable for 1.5 seconds. Bone Shards from Bone Spear deal 50% bonus damage to vulnerable enemies and pierce them.

Necromancer Season 1 endgame build — Bone Spear

This build is based off of Echohack’s Bone Spear Necromancer endgame guide at MaxRoll.gg, and is a general endgame guide capable of finding success in all activities. This guide assumes that you’re over level 50, have access to all 58 skill points, and are making progress on your Paragon Boards. If you want more detailed information about the item affixes you want to look for on your gear, or why these Legendary powers are great for your build, check out the original MaxRoll guide.

Note: This is a variation on the above leveling build, which removes minions in favor of more late-game scaling. Bone Spear is one of the best builds in the game during Diablo 4 season 1, so it’s excellent for both leveling and endgame content if you’re a Necromancer player.

Best skill points for Necromancer Bone Spear endgame build

This build utilizes Bone Spear as its core skill and main means of dealing damage. It also uses Bone Storm, Decrepify, Corpse Tendrils, Bone Splinters, and Blood Mist.

Since you need all 58 points for this build, the order you select these skills in doesn’t matter as long as you have the pre-requisite points in the earlier Skill Tree tiers. Here is how you should spend your Skill Points for this build:

  • Bone Splinters / Enhanced Bone Splinters / Acolyte’s Bone Splinters
  • Bone Spear (rank 1-5) / Enhanced Bone Spear / Paranormal Bone Spear
  • Unliving Energy (rank 1-3)
  • Imperfectly Balanced (rank 1-3)
  • Hewed Flesh (rank 1-2)
  • Blood Mist / Enhanced Blood Mist / Ghastly Blood Mist
  • Decrepify / Enhanced Decrepify / Abhorrent Decrepify
  • Death’s Embrace (rank 1-3)
  • Amplify Damage (rank 1-3)
  • Death’s Reach (rank 1-3)
  • Corpse Tendrils / Enhanced Corpse Tendrils / Plagued Corpse Tendrils
  • Serration (rank 1-3)
  • Compound Fracture (rank 1-3)
  • Evulsion (rank 1-3)
  • Rapid Ossification (rank 1-3)
  • Bone Storm / Prime Bone Storm / Supreme Bone Storm
  • Stand Alone (rank 1-3)
  • Memento Mori (rank 1-3)
  • Ossified Essence

Book of the Dead setup for Necromancer Bone Spear build

For this build, you’ll want to select Sacrifice for all three minions in your Book of the Dead. Here are the minion types you want to Sacrifice:

  • Skirmishers Warriors
  • Cold Mages
  • Iron Golem

Malignant Hearts for Necromancer Bone Spear build

Season 1 adds the new Malignant Hearts, which act as Legendary Gems for your jewelry. Each Heart comes with its own Legendary Power, which can alter your build significantly.

Echohack recommends these three Malignant Hearts:

  • Caged Heart of the Great Feast
  • Caged Heart of Tempting Fate
  • Caged Heart of the Prudent Heart

If you’re struggling to find any of these Malignant Hearts, check out these alternatives:

  • Caged Heart of Revenge
  • Caged Heart of the Calculated
  • Caged Heart of The Barber

Legendary Powers and Uniques for Necromancer Bone Spear build

To make this build work, you’re going to need powerful Legendary Powers and Unique items to augment your build.

Echohack recommends these items:

  • Helm: Explosive Mist
  • Chest: Shielding Storm
  • Gloves: Grasping Veins (dungeon drop)
  • Pants: Disobedience (dungeon drop)
  • Boots: Wind Striker (dungeon drop) or Penitent Graves (Unique)
  • Bow: Bladedancer (dungeon drop)
  • Two-handed weapon: Splintering (dungeon drop) — Mandatory
  • Amulet: Serration
  • Ring 1: Torment (dungeon drop) or Umbral (dungeon drop)
  • Ring 2: Exposed Flesh

Paragon Boards for Necromancer Bone Spear build

The Paragon Board system is very complex, and you’ll want to carefully pair your Glyphs with specific boards for your class:

  1. Starter Board / Control Glyph
  2. Bone Graft / Exploit Glyph
  3. Scent of Death / Corporeal Glyph
  4. Flesh-eater / Sacrificial Glyph
  5. Bloodbath / Essence Glyph

You should level your Glyphs to 15 in this specific order:

  1. Control
  2. Exploit
  3. Sacrificial
  4. Corporeal
  5. Essence

You can path your own way through the Paragon Boards following these basic guidelines. However, for the best results, follow Echohack’s path exactly.

How to make a great Necromancer build

A necromancer stands at a campfire next to a text description of the necromancer class in Diablo 4.

Image: Blizzard/Activision via Polygon

Necromancer’s are Diablo 4’s main summoning class — although Druids, ironically, had better summons during the game’s launch window. But aside from their army of minions, Necromancers also act as a darker caster, sharing a lot of playstyle DNA with the Sorcerer.

Like all classes, most Necromancer builds boil down to a few Key Passives:

  • Bone
  • Blood/Health
  • Shadow
  • Minion

Bone skills — like Bone Spear — hit extremely hard for Necromancers, and are great for chunking down enemies. The Ossified Essence Key Passive modifies that damage even further for players that successfully pool their Essence. Blood builds utilize Blood skills to both keep the Necromancer healthy while dealing big damage. These builds typically end with the Rathma’s Vigor Key Passive.

Shadow builds use Shadow skills to poison enemies with dark essence. Interestingly, the Shadowblight Key Passive not only benefits the Necromancer, but also their minions, making it a more diverse build path. Minion builds are Necromancer’s main bread and butter, but are entirely dependent on how good minions are in the current meta. When they’re useful, these builds end with the Kalan’s Edict Key Passive.

Like all classes, Necromancer builds have other identities to them — like Thorns — but most will converge on one of the four identities highlighted above. What really determines build viability on Necromancer is how you use your minions and the Book of the Dead. If you want to make your own build, decide early on if you want to sacrifice your minions or use them in battle. This will not only determine which skills you’ll want to use, but which of the four Key Passives you want to angle toward.

Looking for other Diablo 4 builds? We have explainers on the Sorcerer, Rogue, Druid, and Barbarian classes.

Update (July 20): This guide has been reworked to focus on the best Necromancer leveling build for Diablo 4 season 1.

Update 2 (July 25): This guide now includes endgame Necromancer builds for Diablo 4 season 1.

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