Wondering what the best Necromancer builds are in Diablo 4? Regardless of which class you choose, Diablo 4 is a deep, complex game with countless build options open to players, so much so that it can be overwhelming at times. On this page, as part of our Diablo 4 guide, we’ll provide a framework that’s both powerful and fun, which can be configured as you see fit.
First up is The Blood Knight, a hard-hitting melee-focused take on the class, employing Blood and Darkness skills for added utility. Wielding a two-handed scythe and foregoing Minions for powerful and permanent buffs, we blasted through World Tier 2 (normal difficulty) our first time with ease, leaving oceans of blood and mounds of broken, bloodied Corpses in our wake (providing ammunition for still-more DPS). A selfish class, The Blood Knight is perfect for a solo player (able to buff and heal themselves) looking to experience the game’s plot and lore, which (without spoilers) at times feels most appropriate for a character with a necromantic background.
Diablo 4: Best Necromancer Builds
In order to make this guide as flexible as possible, we’ll go through the Abilities and Talents we use to make The Blood Knight tick. Then, we’ll take you through our Level Guide, one level at a time, all the way up to 30. By that point, you should have a pretty good idea of how everything works, almost be done with the Campaign, and know whether you want to take it into the End Game. After beating the Campaign with at least one character on a Realm, players will have the option to skip the Campaign in future and go straight to the End Game, leaving them free to try another class if they like
Let’s first take a look at the Abilities we’ll be using to define this playstyle. We recommend unlocking the first five as quickly as possible (so as to liven up gameplay) and circling back to develop the basics in good time. Once the build comes online, we’ll be maxing them all out anyway, so if you find one particularly fun to use, feel free to make the points up later. Play how you want to play!
Reap: Reap is a Basic skill (using it generates Essence, which powers Core skills) and your bread-and-butter melee attack, a spectral scythe that deals Shadow damage and is great for clearing mobs of weaker enemies. Eventually, we’ll upgrade this to Initiate’s Reap (Non-Boss, Non-Elite enemies under 5% HP killed instantly).
Sever: Sever is a Core skill, a multi-phase ranged AOE that launches a scythe-armed spectre in a straight line, dealing area Shadow damage and returning to the point of origin. In time, we’ll upgrade this to Paranormal Sever (4th use inflicts Vulnerable on every enemy hit, which causes them to take an additional 20% more damage).
Blood Lance: Blood Lance is a Core skill, and your single-target ranged Blood damage dealer, a spear of ichor which deals an additional burst of damage to every enemy already lanced. At some point, we’ll upgrade this to Supernatural Blood Lance (8th use spawns a Blood Orb, healing you for 15% HP, and guarantees the next use will Overpower, increasing damage proportional to your maximum HP).
Blood Surge: Blood Surge is a Core skill, an AOE burst attack that deals Blood damage radiating out from the caster and procs instantly, making it a great way to turn an ambush around. By the time we’re done, we’ll upgrade this to Supernatural Blood Surge , which will Fortify the player (10% reduced damage) and, if over 50% HP, deals 20% more damage.
Corpse Explosion: Killing an enemy with a Necromancer will leave behind a Corpse, a consumable resource which can be put to a surprising number of our uses. For our purposes, we want to upgrade to Blighted Corpse Explosion somewhere down the line (shifts to Shadow damage, spawning a pool of dark matter on the Corpse), which deals ticking damage over time that stacks, depending on how many corpses are triggered. Does not harm the player.
Blood Wave: Blood Wave is an Ultimate skill which deals Blood damage in a devastating, forward-moving wave. Once fully upgraded, it will Slow enemies and leave three Blood Orbs in its wake (heal for 15% max HP).
In summation, open encounters with and remember to work in Reap to build up Essence, which powers your lethal Core skills. As the situation requires, use Sever, Blood Surge, and Blood Wave to deal with swarms of lesser foes, generating a bountiful harvest of Corpses and Blood Orbs (the latter helping make those Healing Potions stretch further). For Elites and Bosses, use Blood Lance to deal high single-target damage and your mobility to draw these more powerful enemies into the swamps caused by Blighted Corpse Explosion. In large enough quantities, stacking Blighted Corpses can start to feel broken, eventually dealing more than 1,000 tick damage per second alone (each), affecting dozens of enemies across a massive swathe of ground.
As mentioned previously, we’ll be ditching Minions for additional buffs, utilising the Necromancer’s unique Book of the Dead mechanic. We want the bonus for Reapers (10% increased Shadow damage), Shadow (15% maximum Essence) and Iron (30% increased Critical damage).
We’ll pick Talents and gear suited to maximising Shadow and Blood damage, as well as increasing our melee capabilities, looking for synergies along the way. On a final point aesthetic point, while you can technically use whatever weapon you like, we prefer a two-handed scythe (for obvious reasons, and Reap looks kind of awkward without one).
At each level reached, players will gain one skill point, which we recommend you invest in the following order. Note that certain skills are gated behind how many points total have been invested, but outside of the initial investment in Reap, that won’t be an issue. One final reminder that though we will end up at the same place at level 30, unlock the below in the order you like, and enjoy.
Note: skills not detailed above are passive Talents, which provide a variety of effects and will be described below.
|4||Upgrade to Initiate’s Reap|
|6||Unlock Blood Lance|
|7||Unlock Blood Surge|
|9||Upgrade to Paranormal Sever|
|10||Develop Blood Lance|
|11||Upgrade to Supernatural Blood Lance|
|12||Develop Blood Surge|
|13||Upgrade to Supernatural Blood Surge|
|14||Unlock Corpse Explosion|
|15||Develop Corpse Explosion|
|16||Upgrade to Blighted Corpse Explosion|
|17||Unlock Gruesome Mending (below 50% HP, receive 10% more healing from all sources)|
|18||Unlock Reapers Pursuit (damaging enemies with Darkness skills increases movement speed by 5% for 3 seconds)|
|19||Unlock Gloom (damaging enemies with Darkness skills increases damage by 2%, stacks up to 3 times)|
|20||Unlock Crippling Darkness (Darkness skills have a 15% chance to Stun for 1 second)|
|21||Unlock Terror (Darkness skills deal 3% increased damage to Stunned opponents)|
|22||Unlock Blood Wave|
|23||Develop Blood Wave|
|24||Develop Blood Wave|
|25||Unlock Death’s Embrace (melee ranged enemies take 2% more damage, deal 3% less)|
|26||Unlock Coalesced Blood (while Healthy, above 80% HP, deal 6% increased damage|
|27||Unlock Tides of Blood (Blood skills deal increased Overpower damage, dependent on max HP, and doubled while Healthy, above 80% HP)|
|28||Unlock Drain Vitality (Blood skills have 25% to Fortify, take 10% less damage from all sources, for 2% of max HP)|
|29||Unlock Stand Alone (6% damage reduction if no Minions)|
|30||Unlock Shadowblight (key passive, Shadow damage inflicts Shadowblight status, causing enemies to take 10% more damage from all sources).|
Finally, we bound Reap to Cross, Sever to Square, Corpse Explosion to Triangle, Blood Lance to R2, Blood Surge to L2, and Blood Wave to R1, but use what works best for you. To progress, we would recommend going back and maxing out your Basic and Core skills before developing the Talents as you see fit. All told, this process should take you right into World Tier 3 (hard mode) and beyond, depending on how much side content you clear.
Did you find this page on our best Necromancer builds in Diablo 4 helpful? Be sure to check out the rest of our extensive Diablo 4 guide coverage.