Login with Patreon
DiabloNov 13, 2019 10:00 am CT

Explode every corpse across Sanctuary with our Diablo 3 Necromancer 101 guide

Diablo 3 Male and Female Necromancers

BlizzCon’s big Diablo 4 announcement came in with a blood-soaked bang. But how can you get your Diablo fix now? Don’t despair; Diablo 3 is waiting for you to join in. Season 18 has just ended, so you have a bit of time to brainstorm what class you’d love to try first. Why not try the newest addition to D3‘s lineup, the Necromancer?

What is a Necromancer?

The Necromancer is a caster centered around weaponizing blood, bones, and the undead. Wielding scythes and phylacteries as class-unique gear, the Necro can directly inflict damage or summon pets to dispense pain on their behalf. As a caster, they are very squishy and can be taken down by elites in a single shot.  Such swift deaths are avoidable with a quick application of their evasive and defensive abilities.

The Necro’s primary attribute is Intelligence — same as the other caster classes, Wizard and Witch Doctor — although Vitality is surprisingly critical. Their resource is Essence, termed a static resource as it does not decay like the Barbarian’s Rage, but neither does it automatically regenerate like other casters. Necros rely on either their Primary abilities or Devour to restore their resource pool. Depending on the build, the Necro can also tap into a secondary resource: their health pool. Blood Rush and Simulacrum spend health to cast as part of the base ability, and others like Bone Spear can spend health as part of a Skill Rune to increase damage.

Diablo 3 Necromancer

The Necromancer’s strongest abilities

The Necro has quite the toolkit available, with pure damage-dealing skills, pets, curses, and utility skills that reduce damage taken or provide a quick escape. Some powerful options to consider are:

  • Skeletal Mage with the Singularity rune can end up as one of the most substantial damage outputs for a Necro. The Singularity rune alters the spell to use the caster’s entire Essence pool to summon one souped-up pet (to the tune of a 3% damage increase per point of Essence). Max Essence caps at 200, so this can equate to a single minion dealing 1000% weapon damage.
  • Necromancers have several abilities to make use of enemy corpses. Still, Devour is a brilliant tactical utility as it opens up resource regeneration outside of Primary skills (freeing up a slot for additional damage dealing). With rune modifications, this skill can become a passive aura, increase the caster’s maximum life, or restore health.
  • Bone Armor both deals damage and mitigates damage taken by the caster, with skill runes to improve mobility, deal more damage, or apply a stun. Bonus: It has a fantastic tooltip description — “rip bones from nearby enemies.” Why else play a Necro?
  • The Necro’s Blood Rush is a crucial ability for getting out of tight spots, but with a catch. The base ability costs 5% of the caster’s health, which can prove fatal if not monitored. Just beware of that health bar (or use the Hemostasis skill rune to remove the cost) and enjoy zipping halfway across your screen.
  • Curses are the Necromancer’s debuff, applied to the target area with an Essence cost to reduce movement speed, heal the caster, or even straight-up kill enemies below a certain health percentage.
  • The Reanimation category of abilities has no wrong choices, with two pet options (Command Skeletons and Command Golem), Army of the Dead for high damage output, and Land of the Dead, which allows you to use all corpse-based abilities without the presence of corpses. Class sets help choose the perfect ability for you.


Necromancer armor sets

As with other classes, the Necromancer’s armor sets highlight specific abilities to help define your build:

  • Bones of Rathma: Named for Rathma, the first Necromancer, this set focuses on a pet-based build building up Army of the Dead to deliver killer damage.
    • Note: This will be the set granted by Haedrig’s Gift to seasonal players in Season 19.
  • Grace of Inarius: A unique set that only boosts Bone Armor, but what boosts! It is also the set to use if you want to be up close and personal with your kills, as the 6-piece bonus has Bone Armor activate a bone tornado that both deals damage to and increases the damage taken by targets from the Necro.
  • Pestilence Master’s Shroud: Bonuses from the Pestilence set create a high-damage build, firing off as many Corpse Lances as there are corpses to consume while projecting a serious plague doctor aesthetic.
  • Trag’Oul’s Avatar: This armor is appropriately colored as it is the set for the blood Necro, boosting all Life-spending and healing abilities. Leverage passive skills like Blood for Blood to burn through the game content solo.
  • Jesseth Arms: A complementary duo to any Necro pet build, a scythe and shield (of bones!) comprise the Jesseth set. Pair this with the Bones of Rathma for a considerable boost to minion damage.

Why you should play a Necromancer

Do you love the idea of yanking the very blood and bones from your victims, having an array of pets at your disposal, and whacking about with a monstrous scythe? Then the Necromancer is the class for you. Mind your health and positioning, and you will completely tear through Sanctuary. Happy hunting!

Blizzard Watch is made possible by people like you.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!


Join the Discussion

Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our  commenting and community guidelines.

Toggle Dark Mode: