This bone spirit endgame build revolves around a unique item called Blood Artisan’s Cuirass. Prior to obtaining this item, it is advisable to use the Bone Spear Necromancer build. The Bone Spirit Necromancer build is considered one of the best and most efficient options available in the current patch. With its crowd control capabilities, ability to generate essence-less bone spirits while still using bone spears and vulnerability effects, and respectable damage output for clearing, this build takes the Necromancer class to a whole new level of gameplay.
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It is important to note that this build requires the Blood Artisan’s Cuirass. Self-casting bone spirit is not desired for this build, and the unique chest triggers it automatically. This makes the item a direct requirement to play this build.
Unfortunately, Diablo 4 does not offer any direct target farming opportunities. This means that you will have to depend on luck or open armor chests in Helltides in the hopes of obtaining this item.
Please keep in mind that the video guide is primarily meant to illustrate gameplay and provide an overview of the build mechanics. The written guide is always the most up-to-date and accurate version, as updating the video with new information is not possible.
Strengths and Weaknesses
To see how this build compares to other builds on our site, you can check out our build tier lists.
Season of the Malignant
Season 1 Patch Updates
The Season 1 Patch Update introduced several changes specific to this build. Here are the details of the changes:
- Aspect of Disobedience: Maximum stacks reduced from 100 to 60, reducing maximum bonus armor % from 25%-50% to 15%-30%.
- Raise Skeleton, Corpse Explosion, and Corpse Tendrils: Range for auto-targeting corpses on mouse and keyboard increased by 50%.
- Evulsion: Bonus damage to Vulnerable reduced from 6/12/18% to 5/10/15%.
- Essence Glyph: Bonus now affects all damage instead of just Core Skills.
- Splintering Aspect: Bone Shard damage bonus reduced from 50-100% to 30-60%.
- Osseous Gale Aspect: Bonus Bone Storm duration increased from 4-8 to 5-10 seconds.
- Aspect of Grasping Veins: Critical Strike Damage bonus reduced from 30-60% to 20-40%.
- Enhanced Bone Spirit: Cooldown reduction increased from 6 to 7 seconds.
Apart from the armor nerf from Aspect of Disobedience, the Necromancer received significant nerfs to its generic clearing performance through the Splintering Aspect. Despite these nerfs, the Bone Spear performs admirably, making this build more than viable as a niche or different playstyle compared to the original Bone Spear Necromancer Build. The 1.1.1 patch had minimal impact on the build, leaving it as strong as before.
The Season 1 theme introduces Malignant Hearts that provide build-altering bonuses. These hearts are divided into four categories, each with a corresponding color that needs to be socketed in the corresponding colored Malignant Socket on equipped jewelry. Wrathful Hearts are a special case due to their rarity and can be placed in any socket. Here are the Malignant Hearts useful for this build, ranked by importance. The stats displayed reflect what a level 20 character would receive as a drop.
- 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 Tempting Fate (Vicious, Offensive – World Tier III): You gain 40-60% Critical Strike Damage, but your Non-Critical Strikes deal 20-15% less damage. Keep in mind that this demands 100% chance to Critical Strike, which requires significant gear investment.
- Caged Heart of the Sacrilegious (Vicious, Offensive): Walking near a Corpse automatically activates an equipped Corpse Skill every second, dealing 40-30% reduced damage.
Skill Tree Points
The following tables display the full allocation of Skill Points for the Summoner Necromancer build. The first table includes the most important 48 points to start the build, while the second table covers the remaining 10 points allocated once you obtain all Skill Points from Renown.
Book of the Dead
Since the focus of this build is dealing brutal damage with bone skills, the minions are sacrificed, making way for Lilith. Here’s how the sacrifice is distributed among the different minion types:
- Melee Skeletons: Sacrifice Skirmishers for extra Critical Strike Chance.
- Mage Skeletons: Sacrifice Cold Mages for extra damage against Vulnerable targets.
- Golem: Sacrifice Iron Golem for increased Critical Strike Damage.
The Paragon progression system unlocks at Level 50 and provides a significant amount of character power. On the Paragon Board, bonuses can range from minor stats on Magic Nodes to more powerful Rare Glyphs and Legendary Nodes.
As you progress towards Glyph Sockets and Legendary Nodes, prioritize Damage, Intelligence, Resistance, and Life for Normal and Magic Nodes. The Glyph radius increases as you level them up. If you cannot fulfill Additional Bonus requirements early on, skip allocating extra Nodes for now. Also, keep in mind that you might not have the desired Glyph when you reach your first socket. In such cases, slot in any Glyph that provides beneficial stats for you until you acquire the correct one.
Paragon board images courtesy of d4builds.gg.
Mechanics and Playstyle
The general playstyle of this build involves clearing packs of enemies using Bone Spear and generating Essence through crowd control from Aspect of the Umbral and Corpse Tendrils. Corpses are consistently generated thanks to Lucky Hit and Blighted Corpse Explosion, with extra Essence being generated from Hewed Flesh. All of these mechanics are centered around spawning Blood Orbs, which allow us to cast Bone Spirit for 0 Essence cost, dealing tremendous damage. This occurs regularly during clearing and against single targets. To ensure a consistent supply of corpses, Osseous Gale Aspect is utilized, causing Bone Storm to consume more corpses and further enhance the mechanical approach of this build.
Gear Choice and Stat Priority
In terms of gear, prioritize higher total damage output for your weapon, as higher damage is better. Keep in mind that if you find a higher Item Power 1-Handed weapon, it might be superior to a 2-Handed weapon when combined with an Off-hand or Shield, as Shields scale your main-hand weapon by 80%. For endgame, ensure that your Legendary power is on a 2H weapon for the 100% scaling effect.
The following list outlines the affixes to prioritize on gear for Bone Spirit Necromancers. Affixes for each gear slot are listed in order of importance. Bolded stats are the most important and sometimes vital for the proper functioning of the build.
- Critical Strike Damage
- Critical Strike Damage with Bone skills
- Vulnerable Damage
- Maximum Essence
- Lucky Hit: Up to 5% chance to restore primary resource
- Critical Strike Chance
- Lucky Hit Chance
- Critical Strike Damage
- Ranks of Bone Spear
- Movement Speed
- Movement Speed for X seconds after killing an elite
- Essence cost reduction
- Essence Cost reduction
- Critical Strike Chance
- Critical Strike Damage
- Lucky Hit
Legendary Aspects and Codex of Power
The Bone Spirit Necromancer build revolves around Bone Spirit and making enemies Vulnerable. However, it is vital to note that this specific guide is designed entirely around the unique chest, Blood Artisan’s Cuirass, which allows for a playstyle centered around spawning Blood Orbs and casting Bone Spirit for free. It is not recommended to play this build without access to the entire list of powers and gear mentioned in the guide.
Listed below are the Codex Powers and Aspects found on Legendary Items that are crucial for the Bone Spirit Necromancer build. If you cannot find the proper Legendary drops, you can use Aspects from the Codex of Power, although they have weaker effects. Extract Aspects from lower-level Legendary Items and imprint them onto better Rare Items with preferred stats.
|Gear Slot||Aspect Name||Legendary Aspect Power|
|Unique Item||Blood Artisan’s Cuirass||N/A|
The following are the best Gems to socket into gear for each slot type:
- Weapon: Royal Emerald for increased +#% Critical Strike Damage to Vulnerable enemies.
- Armor: Royal Ruby to increase your life.
- Jewelry: Royal Skull for increased Armor.
Elixirs and Health Potions
To gain an edge in your adventures, visit the Alchemist and craft Elixirs that enhance your stats and experience gain for 30 minutes. Remember to gather the necessary crafting materials by foraging plants. Select an Elixir that provides the resistance you need most, or try the Assault Elixir to boost your Attack Speed.
When you reach Level 20, 30, 45, 60, 70, 80, and 90, return to the Alchemist to upgrade your potion. The extra healing provided is essential for survival.
- August 7th, 2023: Guide updated for Patch 1.1.1.
- July 19th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 1, including Malignant Hearts.
Remember to take your time and experiment with different variations of the build to find what suits your playstyle best. Good luck on your journey in Diablo 4!