The Blood Surge Necromancer build, also known as the “Bloodmancer”, offers a resilient and high-damage character to embark on your adventures in Diablo 4. This build revolves around the Blood Surge ability, which allows you to deal massive damage based on your current Life and Fortify. With a focus on clearing packs of enemies and excelling in single-target encounters, the Blood Surge Necromancer provides both offensive and defensive capabilities through the use of Life-stealing, Fortify, and Blood Orbs for healing. Additionally, enemies can be cursed with Decrepify to reduce their damage output, and Essence can be efficiently restored with the help of Iron Maiden during Nightmare Dungeon runs.
While it is possible to level up with this build, we highly recommend referring to the Necromancer Leveling guide for the smoothest campaign experience before transitioning to the Blood Surge Necromancer build.
Please note that the video guide serves to demonstrate gameplay and build mechanics, rather than act as a precise build guide. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, refer to this written guide.
Strengths and Weaknesses
To compare this build with others, you can refer to our build tier list.
Season of the Malignant
Season 1 Patch Updates
The Season 1 Patch Update introduces several changes specific to the Blood Surge Necromancer build. Refer to the Changelog for other guide updates.
- Maximum stacks of Aspect of Disobedience reduced from 100 to 60, lowering the maximum Bonus Armor percentage from 25%-50% to 15%-30%.
- Enhanced Blood Surge Healing increased from 2.5% to 3% of Maximum Life.
- Abhorrent Iron Maiden healing increased from 5% to 7% of Maximum Life.
- Drain Vitality Lucky Hit Chance increased from 25% to 30%.
- Amplify Damage increased from 3/6/9% to 4/8/12%.
- Blood-bathed Aspect Echo damage reduction reduced from 70-60% to 60-50%.
- Fixed an issue where guaranteed Overpower attacks from the Rathma’s Vigor key passive did not benefit from the Paragon Legendary Node Bloodbath.
- Fixed an issue where the Necromancer’s Imperfectly Balanced passive could only have 1 point allocated to it.
The 1.1.1 patch resolves the Imperfectly Balanced bug, allowing you to allocate 3 points to the passive. It also fixes the Overpower damage scaling issue with guaranteed Overpower attacks from the Rathma’s Vigor key passive.
The Season 1 introduces Malignant Hearts that provide bonuses that alter your build. These hearts are divided into 4 categories, each with a corresponding color to be socketed in the corresponding colored Malignant Socket on equipped jewelry. Wrathful Hearts, though rare, can be placed in any Socket. Listed below are the Malignant Hearts ranked by importance for the Blood Surge Necromancer build. The displayed stats reflect what a Level 20 character would receive.
- Caged Heart of the Dark Dance (Vicious, Offensive-World Tier III): Every 5 seconds while above 60% Life, Core Skills cost 68-51 Life instead of your Primary Resource. Skills that consume Life deal 10-20% increased damage.
- Caged Heart of the Prudent Heart (Brutal, Defensive-World Tier III): You become Immune for 2.0-4.0 seconds after losing more than 20% Life in a single hit. This effect can only occur once every 110 seconds.
Skill Tree Points
Below are the Skill Points allocation tables for the Blood Surge Necromancer build. The first table contains the essential 48 points to start the build, while the second table shows the additional 10 points to be allocated once you obtain all Skill Points from Renown.
[Skill Tree Images Placeholder]
Book of the Dead
The Blood Surge Necromancer build is designed for consistent enemy hits. Using minions with this playstyle can cause issues, as they could divert enemy attacks from you. Therefore, we recommend sacrificing the following minions:
- Melee Skeletons: Sacrifice the Skirmisher for increased critical strike chance.
- Mage Skeletons: Sacrifice Bone Mages in favor of Lilith’s massive increase to Overpower Damage.
- Golem: Sacrifice the Blood Golem to benefit from a significant Life boost.
The Paragon progression system unlocks at Level 50 and provides substantial character power. Prioritize Damage, Intelligence, Resistance, and Life when allocating points to Normal and Magic Nodes, as you make your way towards Glyph Sockets and Legendary Nodes. Remember that Glyph radius increases as you level them up. If you cannot meet Additional Bonus requirements early on, leave extra nodes unallocated for the time being. Additionally, it’s possible that you may not have the desired Glyph when you reach your first socket. In such cases, slot in any Glyph that provides helpful stats until you acquire the correct one.
The images below illustrate the recommended pathing, Glyph locations, and the order in which you should choose Paragon Boards after the initial Starting board.
[Paragon Board Images Placeholder]
For the Starting board, aim to acquire almost every Rare and Magic node available. Use the socket for the Blood-drinker Glyph, provided the radius is sufficient to meet the required Intelligence bonus modifier. After completing this board, proceed upward.
Bloodbath (2nd Board)
Next, focus on the Bloodbath board, rotating it to fit the image above. Rush the Legendary node while picking up any Rare and Magic nodes along the upward path. Follow the same procedure for the socket slot, where you’ll place the Territorial Glyph. If the radius allows you to fit the Dexterity, acquire the extra nodes for the additional bonus modifier. Move on to the right-hand side for the next board.
Blood Begets Blood (3rd Board)
The Blood Begets Blood board is the third board to be obtained. Similar to the previous board, prioritize Rare and Magic nodes, and place the Dominate Glyph in the socket. If the radius allows for the needed Willpower, acquire the additional bonus. Once you have these nodes, pick up the Legendary node before proceeding rightward for the last board.
Bone Graft (4th Board)
The Bone Graft board is the final board and does not require acquiring the Legendary board. Instead, it provides an additional socket alongside more Rare and Magic nodes. We recommend acquiring the top-side Magic and Rare nodes before placing the Sacrificial Glyph in the socket. The extra bonus provided by this board is not worth additional investments.
Paragon board images courtesy of d4builds.gg.
Mechanics and Playstyle
The rotation for the Blood Surge Necromancer build is not overly complex. It revolves around utilizing Blood Surge to clear mobs efficiently and deal high single-target damage. In situations where Essence is depleted, employ Iron Maiden. When facing single-target encounters, spam Hemorrhage to quickly recover Essence, which also aids in sustaining the Fortify buff. It’s essential to curse enemies with Decrepify to reduce their damage output. Ideally, use Blood Surge when you are surrounded by four or more enemies for optimal healing and cost-effective Essence consumption. Kite enemies until you gather a sufficient number to ensure efficient mob clearing.
Gear Choice and Stat Priority
When it comes to weapon choice, prioritize higher total damage output, as a higher Item Power 1-Handed weapon could be more effective than a 2-Handed weapon when paired with an Off-hand or shield. Shields scale your main-hand weapon by 80%. Refer to the list below for the affixes to prioritize on gear for the Blood Surge Necromancer build. The affixes in each gear slot are listed in order of importance. Bolded stats are crucial for the build’s proper functioning.
|Gear Slot||Important Affixes|
|+ Life||+ Armor|
|+ Life||+ Armor|
|+ Overpower Damage||+ Attack Speed|
|+ Life||+ Armor|
|+ Movement Speed||+ Essence Cost Reduction|
|+ Ranks of Tides of Blood||+ Essence Cost Reduction|
|+ Life||+ Overpower Damage|
|+ Overpower Damage||+ Vulnerable Damage|
|+ All Stats||+ Life|
|+ Essence Cost Reduction||–|
Aspects, Powers, and Uniques
The focus of the Blood Surge Necromancer build is to enhance the effectiveness of Blood Surge for clearing mobs efficiently while ramping up defensive layers to withstand endgame boss encounters. Below are the best-in-slot Aspects found on Legendary Items that are crucial for the Bloodmancer build. If you cannot find the appropriate Legendary drops, you can use Aspects from the Codex of Power, although they offer weaker effects. Extract Aspects from lower-level Legendary Items and imprint them onto better Rare Items with Preferred stats. This process does not require altering your skill tree.
[Gear Slot, Aspect Name, Aspect Power Placeholder]
There is one highly desirable Unique item: Temerity. This item grants easy access to a consistent Barrier effect, allowing you to switch your off-hand power to Conceited Aspect for a 15-25% damage increase while you have a Barrier active.
Refer to the following list for the best Gems to socket into gear for each slot type:
- Weapon: Royal Ruby for increased Overpower damage.
- Armor: Royal Ruby for maximum Life.
- Jewelry: Royal Skull for Increased Armor to mitigate damage taken.
Elixirs and Health Potions
To gain an advantage in your adventures, visit the Alchemist and craft Elixirs that enhance your stats and experience gain for 30 minutes. Gather the necessary crafting materials by foraging plants. Choose an Elixir that provides the most needed resistance or try the Assault Elixir to boost Attack Speed. Return to the Alchemist at Level 20, 30, 45, 60, 70, 80, and 90 to upgrade your potion, as the extra healing is essential for survival.
- August 7th, 2023: Minor updates for Patch 1.1.1
- August 5th, 2023: Guide updated for Patch 1.1.1 (launches August 8th, 2023)
- July 26th, 2023: Optimized Paragon board pathing and Glyph choices
- July 19th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 1, including Malignant Hearts.