The Necromancer has a range of builds, where players can use blood, magic for sustain, shadow magic to curse and wither, bone magic for crit and burst playstyles, or harness the power of minions to do their bidding. While all the builds are interesting, when you think of Necromancer, you think of death and minions. If you’re interested in the class fantasy of the Necromancers minion playstyle, then we have a build for that style. Read on to learn more about the Diablo 4 Necromancer minion build, which uses corpse explosion and other status effects to bolster damage.
Diablo 4 Necromancer Minion and Corpse Build
The general idea behind this Diablo 4 Necromancer Minion build is that it doesn’t go all-in on minions as it could, and that’s largely because there’s a lot of synergy with Corpse Explosion. Players will build their character to help spread status effects, such as Stunned, Slowed and Vulnerable. These status effects will help your minions to shred your foes and remain alive, whether they are fighting packs or bosses, but, they’ll also scale with your Corpse Explosion too.
Here are the skills you’ll likely use when you reach level 25, and upgrade by level 27:
- Basic: Decompose > Enhanced > Acolytes Decompose.
- Core: Blight > Enhanced Blight > Supernatural Blight
- Skill 1: Skeletons
- Skill 2: Corpse Explosion > Enhanced > Plagued Corpse Explosion
- Skill 3: Corpse Tendrils > Enhanced > Plagued CT
- Skill 4: Army of the Dead > Prime > Supreme
You will be using Decompose for four reasons. The main reason is that it causes corpses to spawn. Enhancing it will provide bonus essence, while the acolyte node will improve your minion damage against decomposing targets. All in all, these grant bonus single target, setup for AOE, and resource generation are very good basic skills. You also need corpses to summon your minions, so, this skill is needed to kick start your undead presence.
As for your core skill, you want Blight. Place your cursor over an area of the ground, which will deal damage, and defile an area dealing more damage over a six-second window. When you take the two recommended talents, that will slow enemies, and increase damage your minions deal to blighted enemies. Again, more synergy for minions, with a slow that matters later on.
Your Corpse Explosion is your build’s most crucial skill. You can reliably use this skill on dead enemies, and from the corpses your Decompose generates, meaning you can proc this fairly often. Moreso, the Plagued talent for this skill is a key talent, as you get bonus damage per slow, stun or vulnerable effect on the enemy, stacking bonuses per each effect on them. Since you will slow and get vuln from your skills, this makes it easier to ramp CE’s damage on mobs, and to some extent, bosses. You also get stuns from your choice of Golem (more on this in the Book of the Dead.)
Another skill you want is Corpse Tendrils. This skill will consume a corpse and pull nearby enemies together. Enhancing it also grants another means of slowing enemies, and its Plagues talent applies Vulnerable to all enemies damage by this skill. While the slow won’t work against bosses, the damage will still apply Vulnerable, ensuring you still scale damage bonuses for your CE in single target.
Army of the Dead is the final skill you pick up in the ultimate tree. The skill spawns several volatile skeletons, which charge forward and explode. When you get to improve it, you get more chances to spawn corpses, and spawn more warriors and mages. The skill also synergizes with minion legendaries too to further enhance your minion playstyle. More on legendaries later.
If you want to Golem summon as well, then you will need to replace Corpse Tendrils. You’ll lose Vuln, but you’ll gain some heavy hitting skills and CC.
Book of the Dead choices
In the book of the dead, you want to use:
- Reaper > Upgrade 1: Reaper attacks against immobilized, slowed, stunned, or vulnerable enemies reduce the cooldown of their heavy ability by two seconds. Since you get your Slows and Vulns out often, this makes their burst damage more frequent.
- Cold Mage > Sacrifice You want to Sacrifice your Cold Mages so you can get increase Vuln damage. Applying Vuln via your Corpse Tendrils is guaranteed, so it is a huge DPS boost.
- Iron Golem > Sacrifice: You gain 30% increased critical strike damage, but lose the ability to summon a Golem.
When you play this build you will largely want the following:
- Skeleton Warrior Mastery: This increases the damage and life of your skeletons. You will use Reapers in this build as you will see most use from reducing Reapers’ ability and the damage they deal. If you like keeping your Mages alive, you may also take Skeleton Mage improvement passives in the Corruption tree, but we recommend removing them.
- Capstone - Shadow Blight: Shadow damage inflicts enemies with Shadowblight for two seconds. You and your Minions deal 10% bonus damage to enemies afflicted with Shadow Blight. Every 10th time an enemy takes damage while afflicted with Shadowblight, they take bonus damage.
You can also take the Death’s Defense, Inspiring Leader, and Hellbent Commander talents to improve the damage of the minions further. These are passives in the ultimate tree. One requires being Healthy, which is active while you are above 80% HP. This is easy enough to do, thanks to all the slows and stuns your build has, not to mention the minions can tank for you.
Necromancer Zoo Build
Okay, when you get the Explosive Mist Legendary, you can turn your Blood Mist into a Corpse Explosion procing machine. When you do get it, you can switch to this build, as you auto proc corpse explosion, meaning you can use you minions has corpse generation tools. This allows you to full spec into Minions and improving their damage via the passive, while you Blood Mist into all the Corpses repeatedly and become a bloody ball of explosions.
- Key Legendary - Explosive Mist: When you cast Blood Mist, your Blood Mist Triggers Corpse Explosion. For every corpse triggered by this skill, reduce the cooldown of Blood Mist by three seconds.
- Basic Skill: Reap > Enhanced > Acolyte’s Reap. This allows Reap to form a Corpse under the first - enemy hit. Occurs every five seconds.
- Skill 1: Blood Mist > Enhanced> Ghastly. Blood Mist leaves behind a corpse every one second.
- Skill 2: Corpse Explosion > Enhanced > Plagued
- Skill 3 Skeleton
- Skill 4: Mages
- Skill 5: Golem
When you reach level 25, you can opt for these skills, completely replacing a core skill.
The reason for it is because you can start buffing all of your minions by this point through the various passives. Moreso, you can perhaps get a legendary that allows you to
You also want the following passives:
- Hewed Flesh
- Warrior Mastery Mastery
- Mage mastery
- When there’s no skills to pick up, you want to improve your Corpse Explosion and Blood Mist to level 5, and get any gear that grants skill points to these skills for more damage and more cooldown reduction on Blood Mist.
- You also want Kalen’s Edict as your Capstone.
In your Book of the Dead, you want to take all the effects that buff your corpse generation, like the Reaper’s Corpse Generation, and the Skeleton Mage that leaves behind a Corpse, for more CE procs from your Blood Mist.
Diablo 4 Necromancer Minion Build: Legendary Affixes
Here are the legendaries that synergize very well with the Necromancer minion build and general skill usage.
- Edgemaster’s: Skills deal up to 24% increased damage based on the available resource when cast.
- Expectant: Enemies hit with basic skills increase the damage of your next core skill by 5% up to 50%.
- Flesh Rending: After Decompose spawns a corpse, gain 10 Essence.
- Reanimation: Your skeletons gain increased damage while alive, up to 20% after ten seconds.
- Umbral - Restore essence when your crowd control an enemy - slows and stuns count, which makes mobbing easier.
- Unyielding Commander: While Army of the Dead is active, your minions gain 70% attack speed and take 90% reduced damage.
The other legendary that may work with your diversion is the Sacrificial legendary affix. If you sacrifice your Cold Mages, you will gain slightly extra bonus Vuln damage. But it is not necessary to do so.
Diablo 4 Necromancer Minion Build Stats
The core skills of the Necromancer minion build are as follows
- Damage improvements - more damage on skills and basic skill are generally the best for progressions
- Vulnerable damage - With this build, you have large, vulnerable windows on enemies, so improving your vuln damage is worth it.
- Crowd control damage - Slows and stuns both count as crowd control, which will increase your mobbing damage. However, this stat will only affect your single-target damage if you manage to stagger the boss.
- Crit chance - Some extra crit chance won’t hurt
This concludes the Diablo 4 Necromancer Minion Build. Good luck with your mob clearing and farming, and even putting up a solid fight to single target fights through your ultimate and Vulnerable windows.