diablo 4 minion necromancer

Minion Army Necromancer Guide – Season of the Malignant

With this Diablo 4 Minion Army Necromancer build you can watch your favorite show while your minions obliterate every monster around you.

The Diablo 4 Minion Army Necromancer Build provides a comfortable and safe playstyle that allows you to breeze through content without having to execute a complicated rotation.

You will command an army of Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages and a powerful Golem that will engage in combat with your enemies and deliver most of your damage. Meanwhile you will be buffing your minion's damage and manipulating enemy monsters with Corpse Tendrils , which pulls big packs of monsters together and primes them for obliteration by your minions and powerful Corpse Explosion 's.

You can even put your character in the middle of an active Event and effectively go AFK – watch as your Minions and automated Corpse Explosions take everything down, without you pressing a single button!

Whether you prefer a more active approach or a relaxed cruise, the Diablo 4 Minion Army Necromancer will make you feel like you're on the winning side of a great battle between your army of summons and the enemy hordes of monsters.

Gameplay Showcase

Skills Overview

Raise Skeleton

Raise Skeleton allows you to summon your permanent Skeleton army which usually will consist of more than 10 Skeletons. The Sacrilegious Malignant Heart will automatically summon Skeletons from nearby Corpses if you're below your cap of active minions. Once you have the maximum amount of Skeletons active, you can further use this ability on a nearby Corpse to heal your Skeletons and boost their damage by 30%. Note that this last portion of the ability will not be used automatically by the Sacrilegious Heart.


Most of the time you'll want to use the Blood Golem. The defensive option will redirect a portion of the damage you would normally take to the Golem's life pool. This will make you a lot more durable, especially if you want to take advantage of the AFK playstyle. The offensive option is good for regular gameplay, especially for single target damage. Make sure to use the active ability of the Golem when fighting a bigger pack of monsters, for extra AoE damage.

Corpse Tendrils

Corpse Tendrils is a powerful utility skill that's going to be automatically triggered by The Sacrilegious Heart as long as you're standing near a Corpse. It fulfills multiple functions. Firstly, it will pull multiple monsters together, allowing your AoE abilities to hit more of them at the same time. Secondly it's going to Stun the monsters, giving you very reliable Crowd Control. Lastly, it's going to apply Vulnerable debuff to the monsters, boosting your damage against them.

Corpse Explosion

The Corpse Explosion is an integral part of this build. It provides a lot of damage and useful synergies for our build. We're turning it into a ground Damage Over Time effect with the Corpse Explosion enhancement and we're automatically triggering it with the Sacrilegious Heart. To help with targeting, we can also use the Howl from Below Unique Gloves which boost the Corpse Explosion damage as well as add a "homing missile" Skeleton that will rush to the nearest enemy, delivering the Corpse Explosion directly to it. This auto-targeting is very helpful while AFK and allows us to take advantage of Corpses that are not directly under the enemies.


Reap is a great basic ability for this build. It allows you to rapidly recover the most Essence by striking a large number of monsters at the same time after they've been pulled together by Corpse Tendrils . It also gives us extra Damage Reduction and Attack Speed, both of which are great to have.


The Core Ability is completely optional and it boils down to the choice between Sever and Blight . For leveling and a more active playstyle Sever works best. It has the range of a full screen, allowing you to hit enemies far ahead of you to proc the Reaper's Pursuit passive and maximize your Movement Speed. It will also do more damage until we have the very end game setup. Once you get close to level 100 and allocate most of your Paragon points - Blight will provide the most damage.

Book of the Dead

  • Skeletal Warriors
    For the Skeletal Warriors we're always going to specialize in Reapers with 15% chance to generate a Corpse. With 6 or 7 of these Warriors out, we're going to consistently create enough Corpses to support repeated casts of Corpse Explosion while fighting bosses.
  • Skeletal Mages
    The standard choice for your Mages is going to be either Shadow Mages with a chance for extra attack for more damage or Shadow Mages with a chance to Stun enemies. Both will benefit from Gloom and Terror passives and the Stuns can help you be safer while AFK.
    For maximum single target damage while bossing you can also use Bone Mages with the additional 40% increased damage, however that requires using the Bonded in Essence passive and actively healing them with your Raise Skeleton active ability.
  • Golem
    Most of the time you will want to use the Blood Golem. 15% damage absorption is a good option for surviving while AFK, while the 50% increased damage works well for general gameplay and especially bossing. Iron Golem with AoE shockwave is also a decent option that synergizes well with Corpse Tendrils while clearing dungeons.

Malignant Hearts

The Great Feast

This Wrathful heart is perhaps the single most powerful piece of gear in this entire Diablo 4 Minion Army Necromancer build. At the cost of draining your Essence it provides up to 100% increased damage - doubling the offensive capability of your Skeletons and the Golem.


This Devious Heart can completely nullify the downside of The Great Feast Heart, allowing us to maintain all of our Essence for other uses, as well as become immune to any other form of Resource Drain.

CAUTION: The Determination Heart is currently bugged and has no effect whatsoever. This means that you will not have enough Essence for a core skill if you use The Great Feast, but it is still worth using that Wrathful Heart because the bonus damage your Minions will get outweighs whatever damage your Core Skill would provide. This bug will hopefully be fixed in Patch 1.1.1. Until then you can use The Decrepit Aura Heart.

The Sacrilegious

This Heart will automatically use our Corpse skills. It activates them in order of placement on your action bar. If you want your Corpse Tendrils to be triggered first - you should place them to the left of Corpse Explosion and vice versa. This heart will also automatically summon Skeletons if you're below your maximum number of active minions, regardless of where you place your Raise Skeleton button. The great thing about this heart is that it completely bypasses the natural cooldowns of the skills it triggers and still allows you to use those skills in the regular manner.



  • Blood Getter's Aspect
    Increasing the maximum number of Skeletal Warriors will boost our DPS as well as increase the rate at which we're generating new Corpses through the Reaper specialization. This is a Drop Only Aspect so make sure to save those any time you find a Legendary with it. Optionally you can also move this Aspect to your Amulet which will turn it from a +2 into a +3 bonus to your Skeletal Warrior cap.

Chest Armor:

  • Protecting Aspect
    This Aspect is very helpful for staying safe while AFK or pushing higher level Nightmare Dungeons. It will protect you from large, uncontrollable spikes of damage and make sure that you don't die in those situations. The cooldown on this Aspect is short enough that you should always have its effect available whenever you need it. If you're not interested in the AFK farming strategy, you can use Aspect of Disobedience instead.


  • Blighted Aspect
    The Gloves slot is reserved for the Howl from Below Unique Gloves, but before you get them, you can use the Blighted Aspect. This Aspect can grant a huge boost to your damage if you're actively using your Darkness abilities and have the Shadowblight Key Passive. The buff from this Aspect is active only some of the time and it happens too rarely while AFK farming for it to be worth it in this specific playstyle. If you want to engage in more active gameplay and will use a lot of Darkness abilities, then the Shadowblight Key Passive combined with a high roll of this Aspect are going to be very powerful.


  • Aspect of The Protector
    Usually the main danger of dying comes from Elite monsters. This Aspect will provide additional defense whenever you hit an Elite enemy. The Barrier will mitigate the spike in incoming damage and allow you to survive much better.


  • Viscous Aspect
    This Aspect adds +2 to our Skeletal Mage cap. Just like the Blood Getter's Aspect it can be placed on the Amulet for an additional +1 Skeletal Mage - however, additional Mages are not as good as additional Skeletal Warriors because they do not spawn Corpses for us.
  • Wind Walker Aspect
    If you want to maximize your clear speed in Dungeons, you can utilize this Aspect in combination with Sever and Reaper's Pursuit passive. If you're going to use it, I recommend prioritizing Critical Strike Chance on your gear in order to trigger it more consistently.


  • Aspect of Grasping Veins
    Our weapon choice is going to be a Two-Handed Scythe. We'll be replacing it pretty frequently so for the weapon slot we preferably pick an Aspect that's available in the Codex. The Grasping Veins Aspect is going to provide us with a huge amount of Critical Strike Chance and Critical Damage. The automatic use of Corpse Tendrils will guarantee a very consistent uptime of these buffs.


  • Aspect of Reanimation
    This Aspect provides a big multiplier to our Minion's damage, however it is Drop Only. This is one of the reasons behind using it on an Amulet slot. Amulets are rarely replaced because it's very hard to find good Amulets. If you don't have this Aspect you can fill this slot with Blood Getter's Aspect or a good roll of Aspect of Grasping Veins.


  • Aspect of Inner Calm
    If you're interested in taking advantage of some AFK farming, this Aspect will give you a lot of damage. Your character will remain stationary and this Aspect will simply multiply your Attack power, which benefits all of your damage, including the Minions.
  • Aspect of Frenzied Dead
    This Aspect gives your minions a ramping Attack Speed buff. Attack Speed is a great multiplier to your damage and it helps your Summons with triggering their bonus effects more often.

Unique Items

Howl from Below

These Unique Gloves are typically easy to find and fit very well into this build. We don't rely on Core Skills for damage, which means that losing out on bonus Ranks to Core Skills does not hurt our damage output. Instead we're getting auto-targeting Corpse Explosion 's that deliver the damage to distant enemies. The Lucky Hit Chance and additional Crowd Control from the Gloves also helps us defensively.

Ring of Mendeln

This Ring is a rare drop, however if you manage to find it, it's going to replace the Aspect of Inner Calm . It's a big damage boost, especially if you're using your other skills a lot, increasing the chance to trigger the Lucky Hit effect.

Item Modifiers

The Diablo 4 Minion Army Necromancer uses a different approach than most other builds. We will be focusing much more on defensive modifiers and life recovery in order to survive even while AFK. The main defenses will consist of Damage Reduction, Armour, Maximum Life and modifiers that help our Fortify.

This build doesn't scale as well with Vulnerable and Crit as most other builds in the game so these stats are not as mandatory. We apply Vulnerable through Corpse Tendrils which is not always affecting whatever we're hitting, making Vulnerable less effective. Additionally, minions only get 30% of our Crit Chance (while having zero base Crit Chance), which means our scaling with Crit is not as powerful as on other builds either. Most of our damage comes from Paragon board, Minions, Aspects, and other passive multipliers.

EquipmentBest-in-SlotGood Stats
Helm- Maximum Life
- Total Armor
- Life Regeneration
- All Stats
- Intelligence
- Willpower
- Dexterity
- Healing Received
Chest- Maximum Life
- Total Armor
- Damage Reduction
- Damage Reduction While Fortified
- Intelligence
- All Stats
- Willpower
- Dexterity
- Damage Reduction From Close Enemies
- Damage Reduction From Distant Enemies
- Fortify Generation
Gloves- Critical Strike Chance
- Attack Speed
- Intelligence
- All Stats
- Intelligence
- Willpower
- Dexterity
Pants- Maximum Life
- Total Armor
- Damage Reduction
- Ranks Of Corpse Explosion
- Intelligence
- All Stats
- Willpower
- Dexterity
- Damage Reduction From Close Enemies
- Damage Reduction From Distant Enemies
- Damage Reduction while Fortified
- Dodge Chance
Boots- Movement Speed
- Dodge Chance
- Damage Reduction While Injured
- Fortify Generation
- Intelligence
- All Stats
- Willpower
- Dexterity
Amulet- Ranks Of All Corpse Skills
- Ranks Of The Hellbent Commander
- Minion Attack Speed
- Damage Reduction
- Movement Speed
- Damage
- Damage Reduction From Close Enemies
- Damage Reduction From Distant Enemies
- Damage Reduction while Fortified
- Summoning Skill Damage
- Total Armor
Rings- Maximum Life
- Life Regeneration
- Critical Strike Chance
- Vulnerable Damage
- Damage To Affected By Shadow DoT
- Fortify Generation
- Maximum Minion Life
Weapon- Vulnerable Damage
- Intelligence
- All Stats
- Damage To Affected By Shadow DoT
- Critical Strike Damage
- Damage To Distant Enemies
- Damage To Crowd Controlled Enemies

Weapon Base:

Two-Handed Scythe is the ideal choice of a weapon for the Diablo 4 Minion Army Necromancer build.

It's a slow weapon type, which is great for us, because Minions have their own base Attack Speed and only benefit from the average damage of your weapon. That's why we want the hardest hitting weapon we can get, no matter it's speed.

The Scythe also gives us a lot of Life Recovery On Kill, which can heal us through a lot of damage. Combined with Life Regeneration While Not Damaged Recently, we'll be able to heal in combat and outside of it.


  • Armor: Sapphire/Topaz
    In the Armor slot we have two main choices for our gems. The default choice of a Sapphire gem [3% Damage Reduction While Fortified] provides a smaller amount of Damage Reduction, but it is more consistent. The Topaz gem [10% Damage Reduction under Crowd Control] will help you survive enemy Crowd Control which is mostly an issue in Nightmare Dungeons.
  • Weapon: Skull
    Because Minions inherit only one third of our Crit Chance, we're better off increasing our Life sustain through the Skull gems [Life on kill]. The extra healing in combat is very helpful, especially if you haven't found a good Two-Handed Scythe yet and have to rely on a Sword, which doesn't have the implicit Life on kill modifier.

Skill Tree

In this part of the guide we'll go over the Skill Tree choices and recommended order of spending your points.

You can find the Skill Tree HERE (powered by D4Builds.gg). Under the “Skill Tree” tab, make sure that you have the “Leveling Path” enabled to see the recommended order of Skill Point allocation.

  • We start off by taking Reap , Reap and Reap . This will immediately give us all of the utility of this Basic Skill, however we do not put any more points onto the skill itself because it's damage is mostly irrelevant.
  • Next we invest our points into Sever , Sever and Sever . This will make our Core Skill scale with the number of active Minions we have.
  • After that, we'll take the Corpse Explosion and turn it into a Darkness skill through the Corpse Explosion Passive.
  • The next priority is to invest in the power of our summons by picking Skeletal Warrior Mastery and Skeletal Mage Mastery .
  • Next, you should take the Corpse Tendrils together with the Corpse Tendrils and Corpse Tendrils passives to unlock access to all of its utility. We'll only put one point in the Corpse Tendrils skill itself though.
  • As soon as it's available, you should allocate three points into Reaper's Pursuit , as it will speed up your leveling significantly, especially with smart use of Sever that can damage far away enemies.
  • After that we're going to prioritize minion specific passives. Inspiring Leader , Hellbent Commander , Death's Defense and Golem Mastery .
  • Our key passive can be either Shadowblight or Kalan's Edict . Shadowblight will give you more damage if you're using your Basic or Core abilities a lot. Kalan's Edict is better suited for AFK playstyle, since you won't activate enough Shadowblights with just Corpse Explosion for it to be worth it.
  • The remaining points can be spent on passives that benefit our damage: Gloom , Terror , Fueled by Death ; give us some utility in the form of extra Corpses: Hewed Flesh ; and boost our defenses: Necrotic Carapace , Death's Embrace .

Paragon Boards & Glyphs

Most of the focus in our Paragon setup of the Diablo 4 Minion Army Necromancer is on each type of a minion we can summon and their damage output. This is where the majority of your damage will come from. The gear provides us mostly with defenses while the Paragon Boards and Glyphs give us the bulk of this build's damage.

You can also find the full Paragon setup you can follow HERE (powered by D4Builds.gg).

Starting Board

The Starting Board provides a lot of our main attribute which for a Necromancer is Intelligence. By using the Mage Glyph we'll be able to immediately leverage all those Intelligence nodes into more damage. This Glyph will also help with the survivability of your Skeletal Mages which tend to be fairly easy to kill early on.

Cult Leader

The Cult Leader board features a lot of great Minion related passives as well as the Cult Leader Legendary Node that gives us 45% damage increase (15% increase per minion type active). We also boost a lot of the minion related nodes with the Deadraiser Glyph. This is the most important board in our setup, due to the sheer amount of damage it provides.

Flesh Eater

The Flesh Eater board has a very powerful Legendary passive which gives us 40% increased damage for 6 seconds after consuming 5 Corpses. Since our Malignant Heart automatically uses a Corpse skill every second, as long as you can generate enough Corpses, this buff will be always up. This board has also enough Dexterity to support the Warrior Glyph. This will further beef up your Skeletal army and scale your Skeletal Warrior's damage.

Hulking Monstrosity

This board provides a lot of bonuses to our Golem. The Legendary passive is optional. You can pick it up before you have the full Paragon setup, but because it costs 10 points to reach it, and it only buffs one minion, it is generally better to spend those points on our last Paragon Board. Due to high amount of Willpower in the Glyph radius of this board, we're slotting in the Revenge Glyph [Bonus to all rare nodes in range and Thorns increase all damage taken by enemies]. In order for the second part of that glyph to work you'll need any source of thorns in your build. A single modifier on your gear, an Elixir or a single passive point in Spiked Armor will all work. Your Minions inherit Thorns from you so the enemies don't have to hit you directly for it to work.

Scent of Death

The Scent of Death Legendary node has two powerful effects, one of which will always be active at any given time. While there are no Corpses nearby, it will give us 15% increased damage. While there there are at least 2 nearby Corpses (which will be the case most of the time in combat), it gives us 15% Damage Reduction which is a very significant amount. Our Glyph choice for this board is the Golem Glyph. This Glyph requires Willpower in the radius which the Scent of Death board provides in abundance.

Bone Graft

The last board in our Paragon setup is chosen due to quick access to the Glyph socket and large amount of Dexterity in its radius. The Exploit Glyph [Increased damage to Vulnerable targets] will boost our single target damage. Unlike in some other builds this is not a big priority because we do not apply Vulnerable 100% of the time.

Gameplay Tips

  • Use Reap whenever there are many enemies clumped together for a huge boost to your Essence. Each enemy hit by your basic ability will generate 4 Essence.
  • Remember that you can manually use Corpse Tendrils to pull enemies and reposition them by targeting the right Corpse. This will also apply the Vulnerable debuff and Stun them.
  • In combat, try to always keep up your Raise Skeleton active buff. It gives you 30% damage boost which is very noticeable.
  • If your Skeletal Warriors are on the target and can consistently hit it, you will generate a lot of Corpses. Take advantage of it by spamming your Corpse Explosion skill. You can simply hold down the hotkey and hover your mouse cursor over the Corpses. This will do a lot of damage.

The Diablo 4 Minion Army Necromancer Build makes you feel like a real commander of an undead army. You don't even have to lift a finger and they will kill all monsters that dare to come too close to you.

While perfect for AFK farming and relaxed Diablo 4 gameplay, this build can also comfortably push content of higher level than yours, as long as you keep investing in your defense.

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