In Diablo 4, Necromancer is the master of the Dark Arts. They can raise Skeletons and Golems, wither away their foes with Shadow magic, siphon life with Blood magic and dominate the battlefield with bone shards or corpse explosions.
This build is wildly fun and very easy for new players. It can deal with Elites, Bosses and groups of enemies. I ripped through the campaign with it and you will have no trouble getting to World Tier 3 and beyond. Boss fights were particularly satisfying and, honestly, easy.
This Diablo 4 Necromancer build focuses on Bone Splinters, Bone Spear and Corpse Explosion as your main sources of damage. You will be stacking Vulnerability on enemies and evaporating them. When you get to a large group of foes just start weaving in Corpse Explosion and watch the EXP pile up.
We will also be boosting all of our undead minions because I don’t feel like a Necromancer without an undead army and taking Bone Storm as our Ultimate Ability. The power level for this build spikes at level 25 by unlocking the Golem. Once you can add that tanky nightmare to your horde of undead minions you will really start to cruise.
This is your Essence generator. Weave this in between casts of Bone Spear and Corpse Explosion to keep your Essence topped off. You are going to want to take a point into Enhanced Bone Splinters and Initiates Bone Splinters. Enhanced Bone Splinters is great because it adds additional Bone Splinters when you have over 50 Essence. Initiating Bone Splinters adds a chance to apply the Vulnerable status to enemies hit by Bone Splinter.
This is our main damage ability. This can often one-shot lesser foes and does good damage to packs of enemies as it pierces through them. You are going to want to take a point in Enhanced Bone Spear for a little extra DPS boost. Follow this up with a point in Supernatural Bone Spear. This is an amazing enhancement to the spell as it makes the first target hit by bone spear Vulnerable for 3 seconds. This helps to decimate Bosses and Elites.
I love this skill even though the damage was nerfed. It is just too satisfying and makes clearing waves of enemies a breeze. As you kill enemies with your bone skills they will create Useable Corpses. With Corpse Explosion we can turn those into bombs and detonate them dealing damage to the remaining foes around the corpse. Add a point to Enhanced Corpse Explosion to increase its radius. You can also put a point into Plagued Corpse Explosion to increase the damage against Slowed, Stunned or Vulnerable enemies. Our bone skills apply the Vulnerable status effect consistently enough to make this worthwhile.
This ultimate, combined with the Golem, is amazing. It provides DPS, Damage Reduction and increased Critical Strike chance when fully upgraded. Pop this for boss fights and watch them melt away.
Select Reapers with Upgrade 2. Reapers have a 15% chance to carve off a corpse from enemies. The extra corpses are great for Corpse Explosion and are welcome in boss fights that are mostly single target encounters.
Select Cold with Upgrade 1. Each time the Skeletal Mage strikes a foe with a normal attack we generate 2 Essence. This is a great Essence generation tool and synergizes well with our Key Passive Ossified Essence.
Select Bone with Upgrade 1. Bone Golems will shed a corpse after losing 20% of their health. This is great to get another corpse on the battlefield.
This Diablo 4 Necromancer build is very well-suited for beginners and so has a straightforward playstyle.
Open with Bone Spear. Your minions will swarm the battlefield. Weave in Bone Splinters for Essences generation and Corpse Explosion for damage.
During Boss fights or tough Elite encounters pop Bone Storm to melt health bars. The Golem has a taunt ability on a relatively low cool down so feel free to use that to keep enemies off you.
Skills Leveling Guide
|Skill Points 1-10||Skill Points 11-20||Skill Points 21-30||Skill Points 31-40||Skill Points 41-50||Skill Points 51-58|
|Bone Splinters 1/5||Bone Spear 4/5||Skeletal Mage Mastery 2/3||Serration 2/3||Death's Reach 2/3||Grim Harvest 3/3|
|Enhanced Bone Splinters 1/1||Bone Spear 5/5||Skeletal Mage Mastery 3/3||Serration 3/3||Death's Reach 3/3||Fuled By Death 1/3|
|Bone Spear 1/5||Corpse Explosion 2/5||Plagued Corpse Explosion 1/1||Compound Fracture 1/3||Evulsion 1/3||Fuled By Death 2/3|
|Enhanced Bone Spear 1/1||Corpse Explosion 3/5||Bone Storm 1/1||Ossified Essence 1/1||Evulsion 2/3||Fuled By Death 3/3|
|Supernatural Bone Spear 1/1||Corpse Explosion 4/5||Prime Bone Storm 1/1||Compound Fracture 2/3||Evulsion 3/3||Bone Splinters 2/5|
|Initiates Bone Splinters 1/1||Corpse Explosion 5/5||Supreme Bone Storm 1/1||Compound Fracture 3/3||Rapid Ossification 1/3||Bone Splinters 3/5|
|Corpse Explosion 1/5||Skeletal Warrior Mastery 1/3||Unliving Essence 1/3||Imperfectly Balanced 1/3||Rapid Ossification 2/3||Bones Splinters 4/5|
|Enhanced Corpse Explosion 1/1||Skeletal Warrior Mastery 2/3||Unliving Essence 2/3||Imperfectly Balanced 2/3||Rapid Ossification 3/3||Bones Splinters 5/5|
|Bone Spear 2/5||Skeletal Warrior Mastery 3/3||Unliving Essence 3/3||Imperfectly Balanced 3/3||Grim Harvest 1/3|
|Bone Spear 3/5||Skeletal Mage Mastery 1/3||Serration 1/3||Death's Reach 1/3||Grim Harvest 2/3|
Aspects are extremely powerful gear modifiers available only on Legendary and Unique items.
Most Aspects can be earned as first-time clear rewards for completing Dungeons throughout the world of Sanctuary. These Aspects are stored in your Codex of Power – you have full access to them and can imprint them onto your Rare gear at the Occultist.
There are also other Aspects that are more scarce and can be found only on Legendary drops in the world. These Drop Only Aspects can be extracted from their host items and saved in the stash to be later imprinted onto another Rare piece of gear.
Since this is a Diablo 4 Necromancer build that is intended for leveling and early game players, in the list below we will mostly rely on Aspects that you are guaranteed to get through the Codex of Power system. In a few cases, we will add mentions of the Drop Only Aspects as alternatives.
Note: (xx) means this value is a random roll. However, imprinting from Codex of Power always gives the lowest possible rolls.
|Aspect of the Protector|
Damaging an Elite enemy grants you a Barrier absorbing up to xx damage for xx seconds. This effect can only happen once every xx seconds.
Location: Lost Archives, Fractured Peaks
This is a nice defensive boost since initially we don't have much in the way of damage mitigation.
|Aspect of Shielding Storm|
Each time that Bone Storm damages an enemy, gain a Barrier equal to xx% of your Base Life for xx seconds.
Location: Drop Only
Solid enhancement for our Ultimate Skill, adding massive defensive utility.
|Aspect of Might|
Basic Skills grant xx% Damage Reduction for xx seconds.
Location: Dark Ravine, Dry Steppes
You will be weaving in a lot of Basic Skills - this buff will be constantly up.
Skills deal up to xx% increased damage based on your available Primary Resource when cast, receiving the maximum benefit while you have full Primary Resource.
Location: Oldstones, Scosglen
Great DPS boost and good synergy with our playstyle.
|Aspect of Disobedience|
You gain xx increased Armor for xx seconds when you deal any form of damage, stacking up to xx.
Location: Halls of the Damned, Kehjistan
Another universally great Aspect and a solid damage mitigation tool for this build.
Becoming Injured while Crowd Controlled grants you Unstoppable for xx seconds. This effect has a xx second Cooldown.
Location: Caldera Gate, Fractured Peaks
We do not have any good escape tools in this build, so this will help when we get into a tight spot.
|Aspect of Reanimation|
Your Skeletons gain increased damage while alive, up to xx%x after xx seconds.
Location: Aldurwood, Scosglen
Huge power spike for our undead Army - no strings attached.
|Aspect of Serration|
The Ossified Essence Key Passive also increases the Critical Strike Damage of your Bone Skills by xx% per Essence above xx, up to xx%.
Location: Drop Only
Critical Strike Damage is one of the most impactful damage multipliers in the game, so if you're lucky to find this Aspect early, the leveling will be a breeze.
|Aspect of Torment|
Critical Strikes with Bone Skills increase your Essence Regeneration by xx% for xx seconds.
Location: Black Asylum, Fractured Peaks
It may be tricky to get a lot of crit early on during leveling, but you will still have enough to proc Essence Regeneration regularly.
Your Golem has a xx% chance to reduce its active Cooldown by xx seconds and a xx% chance to spawn a Corpse each time it damages an enemy with its normal attack.
Location: Sepulcher of the Forsworn, Kehjistan
Adds a lot of utility to Golem's normal attacks which will help your build play much smoother.
|Aspect of Exposed Flesh|
Lucky Hit: Up to a xx% chance to generate xx Essence when hitting a Vulnerable enemy with your Bone Skills.
Location: Drop Only
Our Vulnerable uptime is fantastic, so the Essence Regeneration will skyrocket with this Aspect.
Bone Spear's primary attack makes enemies hit beyond the first Vulnerable for xx seconds. Bone Shards from Bone Spear deal xx% bonus damage to Vulnerable enemies and pierce them.
Location: Guulrahn Slums, Dry Steppes
Bone Skills are at the very core of our build, and this Aspect meaningfully upgrades both of them, adding piercing and more consistent Vulnerable application.
During early leveling, substats on items do not matter that much. You will be replacing your gear very often, equipping the items with the highest Item Power you can find.
The section below will only matter in the later part of your Diablo 4 Necromancer leveling as you move through your first Capstone Dungeon and towards World Tier 3.
|Equipment Slot||Great Sub-Stats||Good Sub-Stats|
|Helm||Intelligence, Maximum Essence||Armor, Maximum Life|
|Chest||Intelligence, Damage Reduction||Armor, Damage, Bone Skill Damage, Ultimate Skill Damage, Maximum Life, Maximum Minion Life|
|Gloves||Critical Strike Chance, Critical Strike Damage, Ranks of Bone Spear||Intelligence|
|Pants||Intelligence, Damage Reduction, Ranks of Corpse Explosion||Armor, Dodge Chance, Maximum Life|
|Boots||Intelligence, Movement Speed||Armor, Dodge Chance|
|Amulet||Cooldown Reduction, Damage Reduction, Movement Speed, Essence Cost Reduction||Damage, Bone Skill Damage, Intelligence, Ranks of All Corpse Skills|
|Rings||Critical Strike Chance, Critical Strike Damage, Vulnerable Damage||Maximum Life, Maximum Essence, Resource Generation|
|Weapon||Intelligence, Critical Strike Damage, Vulnerable Damage||Core Skill Damage, Ultimate Skill Damage|
Gems are slotted into items and provide substantial bonuses for your equipment.
Below is the list of recommended Gems for this Diablo 4 Necromancer Leveling build, depending on the equipment slot:
- Weapons = Emeralds (Critical Strike Damage to Vulnerable enemies)
- Armor = Rubies (Maximum Life) | Topaz (Damage Reduction while Crowd Controlled)
- Accessories = Skulls (Armor)