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Diablo II: Resurrected

Beginner Necromancer

By
Nathan Garvin

Information, tips and strategies about how to build a starter Necromancer on a budget with the goal of finishing Normal difficulty as quickly and easily as possible.

There are three main builds for the Necromancer - Summonmancer, Bonemancer and Poisonmancer. While Summonmancer is our personal favorite for its easy of use and survivability, the Poisonmancer - with the right gear - is awfully good at clearing high aLv areas with Poison Nova. Alas, neither the Summonmancer nor Poisonmancer are great early-game, as the Summonmancer requires too many Skill Points to be spent before it’s running smoothly and the Poisonmancer… well, Poison Nova requires you to be Lv30, and Poison Dagger is… well, let’s just say insufficient, unless dropping a lot of Stat Points into Dexterity so you can needle one enemy at a time is your idea of a good starter build.

Process of elimination, our starter build is going to be a Bonemancer. It’s not the best starter build, and if you’re playing with a group we suggest just sucking it up and running a Summonmancer - you won’t contribute much at first, but once you’ve maxed out Raise Skeleton and invested some into Skeleton Mastery, your minions will at least serve as a decent meat (or rather, bone) shield. If you’re going solo, the Bonemancer will function well enough as an almost pure caster, capable of Bone Spearing his way through Normal mode, at which point you can respec into something better.

Bonemancer - Skills

Things start out well enough with Teeth, which fires numerous small, low-damage projectiles with each cast. While the number of projectiles increase as you spend points into the skill, the damage remains anemic. Even maxed, the skill will do a fraction of the damage per projectile that other spells deal at much lower levels. Sure, the AoE spread is nice, but the kill rate and Mana cost mean this won’t be a viable option for long.

Fortunately we’ll unlock Bone Spear at Lv18, which is much more impressive, damage-wise, and while it takes a while to reach, Teeth are a synergy, so the points you spend on Teeth aren’t going to waste. While it packs a decent punch, the real boon to Bone Spear is that it pierces foes, which will give you sufficient crowd control.

Other than those two skills, you’ll want to get a point into Corpse Explosion (a required purchase between Teeth and Bone Spear), Amplify Damage (will boost the effectiveness of Corpse Explosion) and Clay Golem, the latter of which is mostly just a distraction for enemies. This simple build will get you to Nightmare difficulty, but you can also just grind Eldritch and Shenk until you’re in the mid-30s and respec.

Bonemancer Suggested Skills

Skills Skill Points Notes
Teeth 10+ Basic attack spell. Use it until Bone Spear is up to snuff.
Corpse Explosion 1 A great spell for other builds, use it and Amplify Damage to neutralize advantageously placed mobs.
Bone Spear 20 Primary attack, pierces enemies.
Clay Golem 1 Basic meat shield. Don’t expect too much out of it with only a point invested. Best used as bait after Act 2.
Amplify Damage 1 Boost damage from Corpse Explosion, should all but ensure kills.

Bonemancer Level-by-Level Skills

Lv Skill
2 - 5 Teeth (4)
6 Corpse Explosion (1)
Den of Evil Amplify Damage (1)
7 Clay Golem (1)
8 - 17 Teeth (14)
18 Bone Spear (1)
Radament’s Lair Bone Spear (2)
19 - 34 Bone Spear (18)
The Fallen Angel Bone Spear (20)

Bonemancer - Stats

Like other casters, the Bonemancer is interested in two things - just enough Strength to wear gear, and the rest of their points can go into Vitality. Since we plan to respec around the end of Normal mode, you don’t need to worry about higher-tier gear like a Spirit Monarch, and while a Spirit sword would be nice, you probably won’t be playing this build long enough for that to become an issue, either. Getting up to 40~ Strength should be sufficient - if you’re incredibly lucky and find something like Magefist or Frostburn, boost your Strength up to equip them, otherwise, just spend everything else into Vitality.

Bonemancer Level-by-Level Stats

Lv Stat
2 - 6 Strength +25 (40)
7+ Vitality (100+)
Lam Esen’s Tome Vitality +5 (100+)

Bonemancer - Gear

The Bonemancer has pretty simple needs at the start: Mana fuels his offense, so the moment you can do Countess runs, you should. Accumulate as many Tir runes as you can, as sticking them in socketed gear will help you recover Mana after each kill. The defense of the gear itself doesn’t matter, and you can buy most of this from Charsi (helm, armor) and Fara (weapon, shield) in Act 1 and Act 2, respectively. Every Tir rune will give you +2 mana/kill, so five of these can make a huge difference.

Other than that, you just want to stock up on jewelry with Faster Cast Rate and any item that gives you mana/kill, +Mana/Life/Energy/Vitality. Boots with Faster Run/Walk will make travel quicker, and once you outgrow the Tir gear you can replace it with runewords like Lore (Ort + Sol) and Stealth (Tal + Eth), although unless you get incredibly lucky and find something like Frostburn gauntlets, Mana will be an ongoing concern.

Bonemancer Gear

Type Notes
Helmet 2-socket helmet w/Tir runes - Lore runeword (Ort + Sol)
Amulet +Faster Cast Rate amulet
Weapon 3-socket weapon w/Tir runes - +skills Necromancer wand
Armor 3-socket armor w/Tir runes - Stealth runeword (Tal + Eth)
Shield 3-socket shield w/Tir runes - +skills Necromancer totem (can also be socketed with Tir runes)
Gloves any
Ring 1 +Faster Cast Rate ring
Ring 2 +Faster Cast Rate ring
Belt any
Boots +Faster Run/Walk boots

Walkthrough

  • Play normally until you reach the Black Marsh.
  • Find the Forgotten Tower and kill the Countess repeatedly - she’ll frequently drop runes. You want Ral, Tal, Eth and as many Tir runes as you can get.
  • Purchase or find 3-socket armor, 2-socket helmets, 3-socket one-handed weapons and 3-socket shields. Most of this gear should be socketed with Tir runes for +2 Mana/kill per rune (these will make great hand-me-down gear for new characters).
  • Play through the rest of the game until Act 5 - do runs on Eldritch the Rectifier and Shenk the Overseer from the Frigid Highlands Waypoint to level up to the mid-30s.

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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Activision Blizzard
  • Platforms
    PS4, PS5, Switch, XB One, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Action RPG, Hack-n-slash
  • Guide Release
    20 September 2021
  • Last Updated
    30 November 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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The guide for Diablo 2 Resurrected seeks to help new players find their footing in Sanctuary by providing build advice and information on gear and how to farm it.

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