Game Mobalytics

A Comprehensive Guide to Leveling as a Necromancer in Diablo 4

Leveling with Bone Spear or Blood Surge

Please note that our Bone Spear and Blood Surge Necromancer leveling guides are now available on separate pages. You can access them using the buttons below.

Bone Spear Necromancer Leveling Guide
Blood Surge Necromancer Leveling Guide

As a Necromancer, there are four different playstyles you can choose from for leveling. However, both Shadow and Minions are currently underperforming compared to the two powerhouses of the class – Bone Spear and Blood Surge. These two builds perform incredibly well from the start and even in the end-game.

We highly recommend using one of these two leveling guides before transitioning to one of our end-game build guides, which you can find here.

The Bone Spear leveling guide is the most commonly played due to its great end-game damage output and party-play performance. If you plan on playing Bone Spear in the end-game, there is no reason not to level with this build.

For our Blood and Shadow builds, we recommend using our Blood Surge leveling guide, especially if you’re leveling alone. Blood Surge is incredibly resilient and thrives on having enemies group up, allowing you to eliminate them with ease. Ultimately, both leveling builds perform incredibly well, and it comes down to two questions – “Are you planning on playing a Blood or Bone build for the end-game?” and “Which one do you think you’ll have the most fun leveling with?”

General Leveling Tips

The recommended World Tier to level in is 1 (Adventurer). This will provide you with the smoothest and fastest leveling experience. If you enjoy a challenge, you can play in World Tier 2 (Veteran). However, the 20% extra experience from monsters does not make up for the additional time it takes to kill them, resulting in a slower leveling process.

In regard to leveling up on the seasonal realm, we also suggest checking out our season checklist. It provides useful tips and tricks on how to be prepared for Season 1 of Diablo 4. Don’t miss this chance to make the most out of your leveling journey!

Before engaging in endgame activities such as the Capstone Dungeon (which unlocks World Tier 3), Nightmare Dungeons, or the Tree of Whispers, you must complete the main storyline.

Getting a mount is an important step in your leveling journey. We recommend saving your explorations of the world (such as obtaining Altars of Lilith) for after you acquire a mount. For more details, read our mount guide.

If you have any questions or feedback on the guide, feel free to join the livestream and ask me!

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Essence: The Necromancer’s Resource

Necromancers have two different resources: Essence and Corpses.

Essence is the primary resource and is comparable to the primary resource of other classes. It refills slowly over time but can also be replenished through the use of certain Basic Skills and talents. Essence is used to cast some of your most powerful skills.

The secondary Necromancer resource is Corpses. Corpses are obtained from fallen enemies and can be raised as minions or detonated.

Unique Class Mechanic – The Book of the Dead

The Necromancer’s unique class mechanic is called The Book of the Dead. This book unlocks upon reaching Level 5 and allows Necromancers to customize their army to suit their preferences. This includes which minions they want to summon and how they behave in combat.

There are three customizable minions: Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages, and Golems. Minions will automatically re-summon after respawning during a World Boss fight.

The Skeletal Warriors are the first part of the Book that unlocks. Advancement through levels will grant access to Skeletal Mages next, while Golems can only be obtained by completing a priority quest at Level 25.

Skeletal Warriors

Skeletal Warriors can specialize in one of three ways: Skirmishers, Defenders, or Reapers.

  • Skirmishers are standard warriors that deal 30% increased damage but have 15% reduced Life.
  • Defenders wear shields and have 15% increased Life.
  • Reapers slow attackers with wide-area-of-effect frontal scythe attacks and have a powerful wind-up skill that deals heavy damage every 10 seconds.

Skeletal Mages

Skeletal Mages come in three varieties: Shadow Skeletal Mages, Cold Skeletal Mages, and Bone Skeletal Mages.

  • Cold Skeletal Mages chill and freeze enemies.
  • Shadow Skeletal Mages deal additional Shadow damage.
  • Bone Skeletal Mages launch their own bones to deal heavy Physical damage at the cost of some of their Life.


Necromancers can choose one of three types of Golems: Bone Golems, Blood Golems, and Iron Golems.

  • Bone Golems taunt enemies in a wide area.
  • Blood Golems drain Life from enemies around them.
  • Iron Golems charge into enemies to slam the ground and stun them.

Secondary Class Mechanics


Necromancers can sacrifice their minions to become stronger for a short period of time. For example, sacrificing a Blood Golem increases the Necromancer’s maximum Life temporarily. However, during this time, it is impossible to summon any more Golems.


Necromancers can cast Curses upon their enemies using skills like Iron Maiden and Decrepify. These curses inflict powerful but temporary debuffs with unique effects.

Weapons and Restrictions

Reaper’s Scythes are a unique weapon type available only to the Necromancer class. However, if you cannot obtain a Scythe right away, Swords, Daggers, and Wands are suitable alternatives. Additionally, a Focus or Shield can be used as an offhand. Please note that offensive Aspect powers can only be applied to a Focus offhand, while shields only accept defensive Aspect powers.

Skills and Passive Skills

This section provides an overview of the main skill categories for the Necromancer. For a detailed list of all Necromancer skills and passive skills, refer to the pages below:

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Necromancer Skills Categories

All classes have Basic, Core, and Ultimate Skills as skill categories. Necromancers also have Macabre, Curse, and Corpse Skills.

Basic Skills

Basic Skills are spammable skills that primarily regenerate Essence. They are not very powerful but can be used to finish off smaller enemies or as fillers while waiting for more powerful skills to become available. They can also generate Corpses.

The Basic Skills for the Necromancer are:

  • Decompose
  • Reap
  • Hemorrhage
  • Bone Splinters

Core Skills

Core Skills are some of the most frequently used Necromancer skills in any build, as they serve as the main sources of damage. However, Core Skills have no cooldown, and their biggest drawback is their high Essence cost.

The Core Skills for the Necromancer are:

  • Blight
  • Sever
  • Blood Surge
  • Blood Lance
  • Bone Spear

Corpse Skills

Corpse Skills help boost the Necromancer’s defensive capabilities while providing powerful offensive options.

The Corpse Skills for the Necromancer are:

  • Corpse Explosion
  • Corpse Tendrils

Curse Skills

The Curse Skill category includes all Necromancer skills that inflict Curses or Corruption upon enemies. Curses help deal damage over time and increase the damage dealt to Cursed/Corrupted enemies.

The Curse Skills for the Necromancer are:

  • Iron Maiden
  • Decrepify

Macabre Skills

With these skills, Necromancers can boost their damage while summoning additional horrors to inflict more destruction.

The Macabre Skills for the Necromancer are:

  • Bone Spirit
  • Blood Mist
  • Bone Prison

Ultimate Skills

Ultimate Skills are powerful skills with long cooldowns. They require careful planning and can only be chosen one at a time.

The Ultimate Skills for the Necromancer are:

  • Army of the Dead
  • Blood Wave
  • Bone Storm

Dismount Skill

While mounted, the Necromancer class has access to a unique Dismount Skill. This skill causes the Necromancer to jump off the mount, slam the ground, and create a frontal cone of magic bones, damaging enemies in its path. If struck by an enemy, the player is automatically dismounted and unable to use the Dismount Skill.

Necromancer Attributes

Necromancers benefit from the four core attributes in slightly different ways. Here are their effects for the Necromancer:

  • Strength: Increases the Necromancer’s Armor and Block Chance.
  • Dexterity: Increases the Necromancer’s Dodge Chance.
  • Intelligence: Considered the primary attribute for Necromancers, as it multiplies all damage.
  • Vitality: Increases the Necromancer’s maximum Life and Life Regeneration.

Endgame Necromancer Builds

The leveling builds listed at the top of this page are designed to take your Necromancer to Level 50. After reaching Level 50, it is recommended to use an endgame build guide to allocate Paragon points and equip gear with the best stats and Aspects. The following endgame builds will help you optimize your character from Level 50 to 100.

Level 50 + Endgame Necromancer Build Guides

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Endgame Activities

Complete the main storyline to unlock various endgame activities in Diablo 4. Follow the yellow-marked quests to navigate your way through the game.

After finishing the main storyline, the game becomes quite open-ended. Here is a list of activities you should consider, in approximate order:

  1. Complete the Level 50 Capstone Dungeon: Switch to World Tier 2 and complete the Level 50 Capstone Dungeon in Kyovashad, within the Fractured Peaks.
  2. Complete Renown in All Zones: Finish the remaining Renown stages in all of the zones. Stages 4 and 5 are locked behind World Tier 3, so completing the Capstone dungeon first is necessary.
  3. Tree of Whispers: Engage in bounties found all over the game world, which can be paired with other events and activities. The Tree of Whispers rewards you with experience, items, and Nightmare Sigils.
  4. Nightmare Dungeons: These are the main endgame activity and can be done in World Tier 3 or higher. Nightmare dungeons provide a challenge and offer great item rewards. They are also the only way to level up Glyphs inserted into your Paragon board.
  5. Helltides: Participate in Helltides, which take over large areas of the map for one hour. Killing monsters in the affected area awards a temporary currency that can unlock chests. Helltides are an excellent source of Forgotten Souls for enchanting gear.
  6. Complete the Level 70 Capstone Dungeon: Unlock World Tier 4 by completing the Level 70 Capstone dungeon. Only attempt this dungeon at Level 60 or higher.
  7. Legion Events and World Bosses: Engage in Legion events and defeat World Bosses found on the map. These activities reward good items and experience.

Endgame Tips After Level 50

The leveling builds mentioned in this guide are designed to get you to Level 50. As you approach or reach this milestone, you might wonder what activities you should engage in Diablo 4. Here are some recommendations:

  • Finishing the storyline should be your priority, as it unlocks various endgame activities. Always complete the yellow-marked quests to progress.
  • Keep in mind that after completing the main storyline, the game becomes open-ended. You have the freedom to choose which activities to engage in and in what order, depending on your goals.
  • Complete the Level 50 Capstone Dungeon: Switch difficulty to World Tier 2 and complete the Level 50 Capstone Dungeon in Kyovashad. This unlocks World Tier 3.
  • Complete Renown in All Zones: Finish the remaining Renown stages in all zones. If you want to optimize character power, consider delaying this step until higher levels, around 65-70.
  • Tree of Whispers: Engage in bounties found throughout the game world. This activity provides experience, items, and Nightmare Sigils.
  • Nightmare Dungeons: These are the main endgame activity and can only be done in World Tier 3 or higher. Nightmare dungeons offer a challenge, great item rewards, and the ability to level up Glyphs.
  • Helltides: Participate in Helltides, as they are an excellent source of Forgotten Souls for enchanting gear.
  • Complete the Level 70 Capstone Dungeon: Unlock World Tier 4 by completing the Level 70 Capstone dungeon. Only attempt this dungeon at Level 60 or higher.
  • Legion Events and World Bosses: Engage in Legion events and defeat World Bosses for good items and experience.


  • August 7th, 2023: Moved the leveling build to a separate page.
  • July 26th, 2023: Added Caged Heart of the Decrepit Aura as a solid choice for leveling.
  • July 19th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 1, including Malignant Hearts.

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