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Screenshot by Gamepur

The 3 best Necromancer builds in Diablo 3

Life is such a tenuous concept.

The Necromancer was the final hero class that Blizzard added to Diablo 3, and its a fan favorite with its unique death-centric focus. Similar to how the Barbarian relies on being able to hit enemies in order to build up its power and begin clearing in earnest, the Necromancer similarly relies on corpses already being on the ground. Once you get those initial kills, however, grifting with the Necromancer is a power-fantasy blast. Here are the 3 best Necromancer builds in Diablo 3.

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Related: The 3 best Crusader builds in Diablo 3

#3 — Corpse Corp Por Necromancer build

The Corpse Corp Por, a nod towards Ultima Online’s Word of Power for Explosion being ‘Corp Por’, focuses on using Corpse Explosion and stacking a bank of future explosions using a Sanctified Flesh Golem. Solid at solo-progging grifts, this build relies on a Season 27 mechanic called Angelic Crucibles, which are consumable items that upgrade Legendary items into perfect stat-roll Ancient tiers while also further buffing three random class abilities.

Corpse Corp Por Necro gear list

Lots of Legendary’s are ultimately going to be needed for this build thanks to the Angelic Crucibles, which can be an easier grind for than specific gear sets. It’s worthwhile to stop at this build and try it out while grinding for higher-powered alternate builds. The good news is that it’s more than plausible that you already have the majority of this gear set collecting dust in the bank.

Item NameSlot
Leoric’s CrownHead
Razeth’s VolitionShoulders
Grasps of EssenceHands
Aquila CuirassChest
Dayntee’s BindingBelt
Blackthorne’s Jousting MailPants
Ice ClimbersFeet
Krelm’s Buff BracersArms
AmuletThe Johnstone
Convention of ElementsRing
Krysbin’s SentenceRing
Trag’Oul’s Corroded FangWeapon
Lost TimeOff-hand

Corpse Corp Por skill set

Screenshot by Gamepur
Grim ScytheCursed Scythe
Bone SpearBlighted Marrow
Corpse ExplosionClose Quarters
Bone ArmorDislocation
Lord of the DeadFrozen Lands
Command GolemFlesh Golem

For this build, aim for an Angelic Crucible that allows us to Sanctify Command Golem, which allows us to use the creature as a corpse bank so we never run out of corpses of explode. Without the Sanctification, the build still runs well, however. Bone Spear should used on distant enemies to pull new packs into prepared corpses, and drop the Flesh Golem wherever you may need an additional explosion or 3.

If you’re feeling adventurous, Bone Armor could be dropped for a curse such as Frailty, but you’re effectively removing one of the very few defensive abilities on an already squishy class. The passive skill Spreading Malediction only comes into play when we’re actively proccing curses against enemies, so if you’re eschewing the curses altogether, Swift Harvesting could be a solid secondary passive.

#2 — Rathma’s Army Necromancer build

Any Necromancer worth their salt has the ability to summon skeletons from the ashes of the planet, bringing forth doom and carnage in their wake. This Necromancer build amplifies that using both undead summons and the skill Army of the Dead. Rathma’s unique set brings monstrous benefits befitting a Necromancer: permanent, unkillable summons reduce the Army of the Dead cooldown on hit while boosting its damage almost 2,000%. This build can invoke visual clutter during grifts, but the feeling of endless power offers a most primal satisfaction that is worth sacrificing some visual fidelity for.

Rathma’s Army Necromancer gear list

As is tradition, we’re using a gear set and attempting to exploit the set bonuses to the best of our ability. Rathma’s can be a quick farm with a Necromancer, but finding those high-level pieces in order to maximize the build can take quite a bit of time. The main priority in building this is to buff your Army of the Dead first, minions second. Note the weapon and off-hand are also part of a set, which saves players from needing to constantly refocus their skeletons onto new targets. There’s additional DPS if players can manage to do this themselves, perhaps opting for Trag’Oul’s Corroded Fang and an accompanying off-hand.

Item nameSlot
Rathma’s Skull HelmHead
Rathma’s Ribcage PlateChest
Rathma’s SpikesShoulder
Rathma’s Macabre VambracesHands
Rathma’s Ossified SabatonsFeet
Captain Crimson’s Silk GirdleWaist
Captain Crimson’s ThrustLegs
Bonds of C’LenaWrists
Squirt’s NecklaceNeck
Krysbin’s SentenceRing
Convention of ElementsRing
Jesseth SkullscytheWeapon
Jesseth SkullshieldOff-hand

Rathma’s Army Necromancer skill set

Screenshot by Gamepur
Siphon BloodPower Shift
Blood RushPotency
RevivePersonal Army
Bone ArmorDislocation
Command SkeletonsFrenzy
Army of the DeadDeath Valley

This build is fantastic as it provides healthy survivability with passives, which increase in strength based on the number of minions active. Keep Command Skeletons and Revive on cooldown to keep your number of minions at 17, and you’re be nigh untouchable for T16 farming. The crux of this build, however, is the Army of the Dead — the Death Valley rune brings everyone to the middle of the AoE, allowing a massive pile-up of damage.

Ensuring that you’re keeping your summons active on the nearest enemy is vital for this build, however, which can invite a heft of micro-focused gameplay. The Jesseth set can mitigate this need entirely, but will also ultimately remove the ability to add more DPS to the counter. It’s plausible to remove the Bone Armor skill and rely on minion damage and upkeep to keep health topped-off, but it’s a harrowing experience watching your health ping-pong between full and empty. Likely safer, if you’re searching for an alternative, to remove your escape with Blood Rush and opt for a curse.

#1 — Trag’Ouls Death Nova Necromancer build

We experimented slightly with Trag’Oul’s weaponry, but this build takes the entire set and develops massive nukes centered on the player. It’s a sweaty build, as you’ll be needing to dive into packs of enemies as a squishy Necro, but the payoff is delicious carnage that farms even the most stacked levels of Hell. It’s a very gear-specific build, however, and seeking out all of the necessary pieces with max rolls and suffixes is going to take some time.

Trag’Ouls Death Nova Necro gear list

We’re seeking out the Aughild’s set, which increases damage dealt and mitigates damage received, and Trag’Oul which will increase the damage our life-spending abilities deal by 3,800%. Combined, those two make a fearsome combination that shreds everything in sight while managing to offer a bit more survivability. Both skills Siphon Blood and Blood Rush are mandatory for this build, however, removing a bit of wiggle-room for experimentation at the top. Both our weapon and off-hand picks augment and supplement the Siphon Blood, further removing flexibility.

Item nameSlot
Trag’Oul’s GuiseHead
Aughild’s PowerShoulders
Trag’Oul’s ClawsHands
Trag’Oul’s ScalesChest
Dayntee’s BindingWaist
Trag’Oul’s HidePants
Trag’Oul’s Stalwart GreavesBoots
Aughild’s SearchArms
Krysbin’s SentenceRing
Convention of ElementsRing
Haunted VisionsNeck
Funerary PickWeapon
Iron RoseOff-hand

Trag’Ouls Death Nova Necro skill set

Screenshot by Gamepur
Siphon BloodPower Shift
Death NovaBlood Nova
Blood RushPotency
SimulacrumBlood and Bone
Bone ArmorDislocation
FrailtyAura of Frailty

Compared to other top-DPS builds for Diablo, the Death Nova build offers very little room for experimentation. Bone Armor becomes a necessity to supplement armor, and the passive Rathma’s Shield offers a bit more of survivability. The Blood Rush rune of Potency supplements armor after use by a large amount: blink into mobs and begin spamming Death Nova until everything stops moving. Siphon Blood is greatly augmented with gear selections: keep your essence and health topped-off with it between Nova’s. Simulacrum offers two additional selves that will constantly spam Death Nova until they die — it will cost a lot of your health, but the additional damage is vital for high-level grifting.

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Chris Davenport
Chris Davenport is a freelance writer for Gamepur. He's been writing video game guides for the past five years and has been featured on GameRant.