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The best Diablo 4 Necromancer build for solo play

The best Necromancer build in Diablo 4 takes a bit from each of the RPG class' unique skill branches to make a hero that shines in solo play or multiplayer groups.


The best Necromancer build in Diablo 4 takes a bit from each of the Necromancer’s unique skill branches. The result is a bone warrior with some powerful blood magic who can summon undead allies and withstand the assaults of even the toughest Elite foes.

What is the best Necromancer build in Diablo 4?

A man wearing bone armor stands in the middle of a snowy plain. A menu at the image's bottom shows an option to summon an undead spirit

Necromancers are similar to Sorcerers, in that they cast long-range spells, are a bit weak physically, and have access to a broad range of abilities. The key difference is their ability to summon corpses, an ability that works regardless of which skills you invest in. Even if you run out of Essence – that’s Mana for Necromancers – you can still summon skeletons to defend you.The best Necromancer build is shaping up to be a lot like the Necromancer builds in previous Diablo games. You can divide your resources between summoning, blood magic and explosions, and bone magic. All three are effective,  though bone magic still has a slight advantage thanks to its area-of-effect spells and a few skills that weaken and trap foes. 

The best Necromancer build for solo play

We opted for a bone build with a slight detour into blood explosion territory to help maximize your damage and keep foes at a safe distance. The Necromancer’s passives are just as important as their skills, so don’t forget to drop some skill points in them as well.

Basic skill: Bone Splinters (Initiate’s)

Bone Splinters fires a few bone fragments in a small arc, damaging enemies in front of you. At the Initiate’s level, it also restores Essence with each hit.

Core skill: Bone Spear (Enhanced)

Bone Spear summons, you guessed it, a giant bone spear. It damages all enemies in its vicinity and, at the enhanced level, explodes, dealing even more damage. You can specialize further and make enemies vulnerable or generate more bone shards. However, we recommend saving those skill points for core passives instead.

Core passives: Unliving Energy and Imperfectly Balanced

Unliving Energy increases your Essence limit, so investing two or three points in it is a good idea. Imperfectly Balanced makes your core skills cost more Essence, but they also deal 10 percent more damage. If you struggle managing your Essence, feel free to skip this one. The buff is nice, but it’s also just 10 percent.

Macabre skill: Corpse Explosion (Plagued)

Corpse explosion makes a corpse explode, as you’d expect. It deals damage in a broad area, and at the Plagued level, it deals extra damage to foes who are slowed or vulnerable.

If you have extra points, Bone Prison is another worthwhile Macabre skill. Like the name suggests, it traps enemies in a prison of bone. The Ghastly enhancement makes trapped foes vulnerable, which blends well with Plagued Corpse Explosion.

Macabre passives: Skeletal Warrior Mastery

If you have any spare points, put one or two in Skeletal Warrior Mastery to bump up how much damage your undead friends deal.

Corruption skill: Decrepify (no enhancements)

Decrepify slows enemies in a set area for a certain amount of time, making it a perfect complement to Corpse Explosion.

Corruption passive: Death’s Reach

This skill increases how much damage your skills deal to enemies who are far away. Since the Necromancer works best at a distance, that will likely end up being most foes.

A menu screen showing the Necromancer's branching skill paths

Summoning skill: Bone Spirit (Dreadful)

Bone Spirit consumes all of your Essence and sends for a giant skeleton that explodes and damages nearby enemies. It deals greater damage if you have more Essence when you cast it, so it’s best to use this one when your meter is full. The Dreadful version will restore 30 Essence over four seconds after it hits an enemy.

Summoin passive: Serration

Serration increases the chance of landing a critical hit for every 10 points of Essence you have. It’s useful in general, but especially if you cast Bone Spirit at full Essence.

Ultimate skill: Army of the Dead (Prime)

Army of the Dead raises a slew of skeletans that flood the battlefield and explode. At the Prime level, they may leave behind a corpse for you to summon or explode too.

If you’re looking for tips on what skills to choose for your Diablo 4 hero of another class, check out our Rogue build, and  Sorcerer build guides.

Contributing Editor

Josh is a freelance writer and reporter who specializes in guides, reviews, and whatever else he can convince someone to commission. You may have seen him on NPR, IGN, Polygon, or VG 24/7 or on Twitter, shouting about Trails. When he isn’t working, you’ll likely find him outside with his Belgian Malinois and Australian Shepherd or curled up with an RPG of some description.

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