Around the time of Diablo 4‘s release, I called Necromancers the worst class in the game for Endgame content. Well…that’s sadly probably still true. However, Necromancers remain both wildly popular and incredibly fun to play. They’re also perfectly viable in the Endgame if you work your way toward the best Necromancer Endgame builds.
Much as we did with Sorcerers’ Endgame builds, we’re going to be focusing on builds that represent Necromancers’ main styles of play. While some Necromancer builds are ultimately more powerful than others, your personal preferences may inspire you to choose one playstyle over the others. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s called having fun, and it remains valuable even late into the Diablo 4 experience.
Once again, though, please note that you will not find a full Paragon Board breakdown in these builds. Paragon Boards are still being uncovered/fine-tuned, so I’m waiting until more information is available on them/added to a Build Calculator in order to update these articles with that information. I apologize for any inconvenience, and we’ll be bringing you more information on these builds as soon as possible!
Diablo 4 – Best Bone Necromancer Build: Bone Spear
Skills: Bone Splinters, Bone Spear, Bone Prison, Iron Maiden, Corpse Tendrils, Bone Storm
Key Legendary Aspects and Unique Items: Deathless Visage, Splintering Aspect, Aspect of Bursting Bones, Aspect of Shielding Storm
Generally speaking, Bone Necromancers are the most powerful Necromancers in Diablo 4‘s Endgame content. While there are a few viable ways to build a great Bone Necromancer, it’s hard to argue against a good Bone Spear build.
Bone Spear is one of the most powerful Core skills in Diablo 4. When fully upgraded, it deals a whopping 119% damage to whatever it hits. With the right upgrades, though, Bone Spear can splinter after its initial hit and deal considerable (though reduced) damage to enemies near your initial target.
While Bone Spear is strong on its own, it becomes nearly broken when you buff it with the right gear and supporting abilities. A few casts of a properly supported Bone Spear attack can melt through a single target as few other attacks in the game can dream of doing. Add some Critical Strike damage to the package, and you’ll be stunned by how quickly you take down even the toughest enemies.
Your general strategy with this build is to spam Bone Spear on any Elites and let the splintering effect take care of the lesser enemies around them. The rest of this package is designed to support that basic strategy. Optimally, you’ll use Corpse Tendrils to pull enemies in, Cast Bone Prison to trap them, and Use Iron Maiden to curse the area they are trapped in. From there, Bone Spear will do the rest of the work. Bone Storm, meanwhile, is just a fantastic overall ability that buffs your damage and defenses while providing extra AoE Damage.
You do have a couple of spots you can play with in this build if you’d like to experiment. Most notably, some versions of this build run Corpse Explosion and Blood Mist instead of Bone Prison and Iron Maiden. I tend to prefer the latter abilities since they help solve this build’s Essence problems, but Corpse Explosion and Blood Mist offer some extra versatility and survivability. You can play with both to see which works best for you.
Deathless Visage really takes this build to a new level, but you can get by without it until you find it. Just be sure to bolster your resources and survivability with Legendary gear when possible and always keep your Critical Strike Chance/Damage high. Bone Spear will do the rest from there.
Diablo 4 – Best Minion Necromancer Build: Infinite Darkness
Skills: Decompose, Blight, Raise Skeletons, Decrepify, Corpse Explosion, Army of the Dead
Key Legendary Aspects and Unique Gear: Aspect of Hardened Bones, Unyielding Commander’s Aspect, Aspect of Frenzied Dead, Aspect of Decay, Blighted Aspect
Unfortunately, Necromancer’s minions are a bit weak at the moment. Once you get into Diablo 4‘s Endgame content, you’ll start to notice that your minions just aren’t able to stay alive long enough to carry you like they used to. However, it is possible to utilize Necromancer minions well into Diablo 4‘s late game and still push massive damage. Conveniently enough, that’s exactly what this build is trying to do.
While minions are a big part of this build, Shadow/Darkness damage is what makes this strategy viable. Between Blight, Decompose, and the modified Corpse Explosion, you’re going to regularly be cursing the ground around you with Shadow damage effects. Most of those effects will simply deal Shadow damage over time. However, what really makes them valuable are the ways that they both debuff enemies and buff our minions who will essentially be living in those Shadow areas as they attack enemies.
So far as that goes, Shadowblight is actually the heart of this build. That Key Passive greatly increases the overall damage our minions deal to Shadow-affected enemies. That also means that they don’t have to “survive” nearly as long in order to deal the damage that we need them to deal in order to be viable. In a weird way, then, increasing our minions’ damage via this strategy actually increases their survivability.
Most encounters will see you use Decompose and Blight to generate both corpses and your initial Shadow damage. From there, You’ll use a combo of Corpse Explosion and Decrepify to turn the battlefield into a wasteland of minion-friendly buffs and enemy-crippling debuffs. Keep your minions alive, use Army of the Dead whenever possible, and repeat that basic rotation as needed. Very few things will stand in your way so long as you are able to maintain your Shadow damage and your minion uptime.
As with most minion-based builds, corpse management is a key part of this strategy. You shouldn’t have too many problems generating corpses, but if you find yourself running out of resources, you can give Reap a shot or even choose the Skeletal Warrior Book of the Dead ability that allows those minions to generate more corpses. This shouldn’t really be a problem in enemy-rich areas, though, which is why I favor trying to push extra damage.
Finding gear for this build is also pretty interesting. Generally speaking, you want to prioritize gear that enhances your minion damage, minion survivability, and Shadow damage/uptime. Your own survivability tends to be secondary. If your primary strategy completely falls apart, you’re probably not going to survive a bad situation anyway. Even still, it’s not a bad idea to take a few basic steps to ensure that you can survive the occasional bad situation, especially since we’re not running Blood Mist for escapability.
Diablo 4: Best Blood Necromancer Build – Rathma’s Vigor
Skills: Blood Surge, Hemmorhage, Corpse Tendrils, Blood Mist, Blood Wave, Decrepify
Key Legendary Aspects and Unique Gear: Blood Artisan’s Cuirass, Temerity, Tidal Aspect, Fastblood Aspect, Blood-bathed Aspect, Blood-soaked Aspect
To be very honest with you, I’m not convinced anyone has found the absolute best Blood Necromancer build in the game. I certainly wouldn’t claim that’s what this build is. Blood Necromancers slightly lag behind other Necromancer options at the moment. However, if you’re determined to play a Blood Necromancer, then you need to know about the power of Rathma’s Vigor.
Rathma’s Vigor is a Necromancer Key Passive ability that allows you to get a guaranteed Overpower hit with your next Blood attack if you remain Healthy for 15 seconds. On its own, that’s incredibly strong. Overpower damage multipliers are based on your overall health and Fortified health, and Blood Necromancers tend to have a lot of both of those things. Much like Druids, Blood Necromancers can occasionally deal insane Overpower damage to large groups of enemies thanks to that effect.
What makes Rathma’s Vigor really special, though, is Blood Mist. See, Blood Mist doesn’t just make you Immune; it also deals a little damage to any enemies you come into contact with while in Blood Mist form. The damage is usually the least important part of the Blood Mist ability, but if you time your Blood Mist cast with your Rathma’s Vigor proc, then every tick of damage that Blood Mist does will be an Overpower attack.
So, if you’re able to time your Blood Mist attacks right, you can actually use that ability to deal with bosses and other powerful Elites in a pretty unique way. Your other Blood abilities are much more valuable when dealing with multiple enemies, but that Rathma’s Vigor interaction turns you into an invincible Overpower damage-dealing machine every 15 seconds or so. It’s incredibly good, though getting the timing right can be awkward.
The rest of this build is honestly up for some debate. Blood Surge is way too powerful of an AoE attack to ignore, and I also think that Blood Wave is (now that it’s been buffed) also too powerful to pass up. Corpse Tendrils and Decrepify are basically a combo package that allows you to pull enemies towards you and then curse the ground around them for even greater damage output. However, I could see someone making an argument for Blood Lance and Corpse Explosion in those spots. Even Bone Prison could be pretty interesting.
For gear, you’re looking to buff your Overpowered damage as much as humanely possible. Survivability is not an issue with this build, though anything that takes advantage of your high overall Health and constant Health regeneration can certainly find a home in some of the equipment flex spots. Generally speaking, though, you’ll want to prioritize damage output when you’re weighing gear stats.
Finally, you absolutely need to grab the Bone Mage sacrifice from Book of the Dead as quickly as you can. That incredible ability buffs your overall Overpower damage by 40%, which is an absurd damage increase for this build.