The Diablo 2 Necromancer is a powerful character that has interesting skills you won’t see from other characters. However, it’s not exactly as straightforward to use as, say, a Sorceress or Barbarian. Upon first sight, you wouldn’t even understand what the Diablo 2 Necromancer will be able to do. Nonetheless, if you can effectively utilize a Necromancer’s skills, it’s a powerful character choice to get through the game. Here’s how it works and what Diablo 2 players need to know.
What Is the Necromancer Character in Diablo 2?
The Necromancer – Diablo 2 character type isn’t exactly someone you often see in many other RPGs. Hence, it’s unsurprising that it confuses a lot of people when you first start the game. What is the Diablo 2 Necromancer and how does it compare to the other classes?
To put it simply, the Diablo 2 Necromancer is a sorcerer who can control death. No, that doesn’t mean the character is immune to death if that’s what you had in mind. Instead, the Diablo 2 Necromancer has powers related to conjuring and controlling the undead, among other things. As a result, whatever group of enemies they defeat can become a part of the Necromancer’s army. This is arguably their most valuable skill (and certainly the most addictive part of the class’s gameplay).
On the other hand, the Diablo 2 Necromancer isn’t limited to just summoning and controlling the undead. They can also dabble in other skills that other classes normally use. For example, they can wield a bit of magic — though not as proficient as Sorceress characters would be. Moreover, Necromancers can also deal in close-range combat, likewise without eclipsing the skill of the Barbarian or Paladin.
With that said, the Diablo 2 Necromancer is certainly more of a specialized character with unique skills. They mostly fight using curses, poison, and bone spells within the game. However, their most prominent and well-known skill is their dominion over death.
Diablo 2 Necromancer Skills
|Level Requirement||Summoner Skills||Poison & Bone Skills||Curses|
|1||Skeleton Mastery, Raise Skeleton||Teeth, Bone Armor||Amplify Damage|
|6||Clay Golem||Poison Dagger, Corpse Explosion||Dim Vision, Weaken|
|12||Golem Mastery, Skeletal Mage||Bone Wall||Iron Maiden, Terror|
|18||Blood Golem||Poison Explosion, Bone Spear||Confuse, Life Tap|
|24||Summon Resist, Iron Golem||Bone Prison||Attract, Decrepify|
|30||Fire Golem, Revive||Poison Nova, Bone Spirit||Lower Resist|
When Bobby Kotick and the developers at Blizzard created the Diablo 2 Necromancer, they certainly had something unique in mind. At least, that’s what we can infer from the creativity of the Diablo 2 Necromancer skills. They come in three types within the game. These include summoning skills, poison and bone skills, and curses. Let’s talk about each.
As the name implies, summoning skills help enhance your ability to call on summoned minions. They vary in type, effect, damage, hit points, and more depending on which ability you get. Some of them might add to the number of your minions while others improve their quality. Still, others even raise special minions like Golems or add special powers to your minions.
Why are summoning skills important, you might ask? Well, for one thing, summoning minions is essential to your gameplay and progression as a Diablo 2 Necromancer. Hence, enhancing that ability is crucial if you want to safely stay alive in the face of hordes. In addition, they’re important to your strategy if you want to protect your health and mana.
Poison & Bone Skills
The Diablo 2 Necromancer character might be great at summoning hordes of the undead to fight their battles. However, they’re not exactly the best in the game when it comes to close-range combat. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean Necromancers are completely useless when it comes to fighting.
This is because the Diablo 2 Necromancer can also pose a threat when using daggers with a poison build. Moreover, adding poison spells on top of this build increases this tactic’s effectiveness by a lot. Granted, a Necromancer still can’t stand a chance without the proper summoning abilities even with good poison. However, adding these skills to your arsenal could make you less vulnerable overall.
On the other hand, bone spells make use of dead enemies in ways other than turning them into minions. For example, a Diablo 2 Necromancer can turn corpses into bombs — a great tactic for crowd controlling when you’re overwhelmed. On the other hand, you can also choose to make bones into walls or prisons to impede your enemies.
Lastly, we have Diablo 2 Necromancer curses. Regardless of the type of build you want, a Diablo 2 Necromancer should have a few curses up its sleeve. That’s because curses are handy tools that give you an advantage by crippling your enemies in various ways. For instance, you can use curses to incite panic, slow down your enemy’s movement, or turn them against each other.
Of course, while these curses are powerful, they do have their trade-offs. That’s because they usually require you to use skill points, preventing you from purchasing other skills. Think wisely about the strategy you want to employ before you buy them, too.
How to Make the Best Necromancer in Diablo 2
Are you considering the Diablo 2 Necromancer character class? Then here are some tips you need to know to learn how to make a good Necromancer in Diablo 2.
Best Necromancer Builds
As a new Diablo 2 Necromancer, you might be thinking that talking about builds right away is a little strange. However, there are a lot of decisions you have to make later on based on the build you want. For example, you’ll have to distribute stat points and skill points per stat/skill as you progress. Choosing which to prioritize will depend on the type of build you want. You’ll be making tons of these decisions and you’ll want a foundation guiding them as they shouldn’t be arbitrarily made. That is if you like playing effectively.
With that said, what is the best Necromancer build in Diablo 2? You can approach this in several ways. Of course, it could all be down to taste and your playstyle. Here is each build you can consider, each different depending on what you prefer.
What is the best necromancer build for Diablo 2? For a lot of players out there, the answer is clear and simple: the Summonmancer (Summon Necromancer). It’s understandable, too. After all, Diablo 2 Necromancer characters are unique in that they can summon hordes of enemies to do their bidding.
Of course, just because summoning is a Necromancer’s unique trait doesn’t mean the Diablo 2 Necromancer Summoner build is the best, strategy-wise. Thankfully, however, the build is incredibly useful especially in the early parts of the game. It’s also great for single-player modes as the hordes truly carry you throughout.
As part of its nature, Summonmancers often act more like a supervisor or leader than the main player. They won’t be part of the front lines or involved in much combat. Your main focus will simply be to grow your legion of the undead — but be warned, it’ll take a while.
Of course, just because the Diablo 2 Necromancer summoner build is popular doesn’t mean it’s the best for everyone. Some claim that it’s not ideal if you reach later stages of the game when boss fights are more commonplace. That’s why Diablo 2 Necromancer players also turn to other options even when it’s harder during the early stages. One of these is the Bonemancer build.
What is Bonemancer, you might ask? Simply put, it’s kind of like the anti-Summonmancer build. In this build, you completely ignore the summoning skills and primarily prioritize enhancing yourself with bone spells. Of course, this build isn’t exactly ideal if you’re facing hordes of enemies at the start of the game. However, it shines in later stages, especially during Player vs. Player (PvP).
Another popular Diablo 2 Necromancer build is the Daggermancer. In this option, players get to use poison skills as part of their main strategy during battles. However, what’s great about this build is that it also utilizes melee damage as part of its play. Hence, if the poisons fail you, you’ll always have a fallback. Either way, it’s a good choice if you like more physical combat.
The Novamancer is another good Diablo 2 Necromancer build that’s a bit better for support than the other alternatives. It’s similar to Daggermancer in that it focuses on poisons more than hordes. However, what makes it stand out is that it doesn’t rely on physical damage at all.
Instead, the Novamancer completely relies on poisons with a mix of curses to carry the weight.
It’s a great way to do away with big groups of enemies if you can wield the build well. However, it does rely on the Clay Golem to divert enemies. Once that happens, you can use Poison Nova or Lower Resist to kill them as you please. Afterward, you can deal the final blow with Corpse Explosion. This play might seem difficult but it’s especially good in multiplayer and for murdering bosses.
Lastly, one of the more unconventional Diablo 2 Necromancer builds is the Explosionmancer. As the name implies, it focuses on one thing: explosion. Mainly, the Corpse Explosion skill. If you’ve ever used it before, you know how powerful Corpse Explosion can be. It deals tons of damage and has a large radius. Moreover, you can enhance the effect using Amplify Damage once you’ve already got the skill.
Best Stats to Prioritize
|Strength||Enough for equipment||Base level||Enough for desired items||Enough for equipment||max 35-40|
|Energy||Base level||Base level||Enough to use skills well||100-150 pts.||150-200 pts.|
|Vitality||Everything else||All else||Everything else||All else||Everything else|
|Dexterity||Enough for Homunculus||Put some in if you take tons of melee damage||Enough to get a 75% block chance||Enough for equipment||Base level|
The Necromancer stats Diablo 2 characters start with is 15 Strength & Vitality and 25 Dexterity and Energy. From there, you’ll receive 5 stat points to distribute however you please as you level up. Now, you might think equal distribution is the way to go at first. However, there is a certain hierarchy for stats, and not every stat is equally important. With that said, in Diablo 2, what stats for Necromancer are the best to prioritize?
Unfortunately, there’s no Diablo 2 Necromancer stat priority standard for everyone. It’ll all hinge on the type of build you’re going for. For example, Summoner builds require at least enough Strength stats to gain gear. That amounts to roughly 150 points. The same is roughly true for Dexterity (or at least it should be enough for the Homunculus). Everything else should go to Vitality while you can pretty much leave none for Energy.
If you want a rough guide for stat priority based on build, refer to the table below:
Best Skills to Get
|S Tier||A Tier||B Tier||C Tier||D Tier||E Tier|
|Bone Armor||Amplify Damage||Weaken||Terror||Confuse||Attract|
|Skeleton Mastery||Bone Wall||Lower Resist||Iron Golem||Golem Mastery|
|Bone Spirit||Poison Nova||Iron Maiden||Clay Golem||Fire Golem|
|Raise Skeleton||Bone Prison||Decrepify||Life Tap|
|Bone Spear||Poison Explosion||Blood Golem||Revive|
|Raise Skeletal Mage||Dim Vision||Poison Dagger||Summon Resist|
Of course, depending on the build you’re going for, each skill will have a different weight. However, there are inherently strong skills that you should focus on maxing out when you get them. Here’s a quick reference of each skill’s inherent rank in your Diablo 2 Necromancer skill tree.
Of course, trying to max out all S-tier skills as much as possible might be called a “strategy.” However, if you’re scattered and unfocused, you’ll likely end up with unnecessarily strong skills you might not always use. Hence, the best tactic is to max out the skill that’s most relevant to your build. For that, read on to find out which skills you should max out based on your build of choice.
Skills Per Build
For Diablo 2 Necromancer Summonmancers, you’ll likely want to focus on Raise Skeletal Mage, Raise Skeleton, and Corpse Explosion. The rest can remain at 1.
Bonemancers, on the other hand, should focus on strong bone-related skills. Hence, you’ll have to do your best to max out Bone Spear, Bone Prison, Bone Wall, Teeth, and Bone Spirit. Moreover, you should also use Diablo 2 Necromancer runewords effectively with this build. Try to get White Rune Word and enhance it with or without Splendor Shrunken Head.
For the Daggermancer, it’s all about the Poison Daggermancer, Poison Explosion, and Poison Nova. Max each of these out to 20 as best as you can to ensure you’re playing this strategy effectively. Moreover, you should try to get your Golem Mastery skill up to 10 and your Clay Golem at 10-20. Lastly, you should try to get Corpse Explosion, Amplify Damage, Decrepify, Bone Prison, and Bone Walk to 5.
While the Novamancer is similar to the Daggermancer in theory, they don’t share the same priorities skill-wise. That’s because Novamancers should focus mainly on Poison Dagger, Poison Explosion, Corpse Explosion/Bone Wall, and Bone Prison. In addition, they should try to attain 16 points for Lower Resist using items.
Lastly, Explosionmancers should focus on the Corpse Explosion, Bone Wall, and Amplify Damage. These are the main skills you’ll need to prioritize using this build. Moreover, you should also get your Fire Golem to 2, Summon Resist to 3, and Bone Prison to 10. Do this well and you’ll be more effective at dealing massive damage through explosions throughout the game.
Like most class-based RPGs, gear is an important part of enhancing your effectiveness and shielding you from harm. Here’s our list of the best Diablo 2: Resurrected Necromancer equipment you should prioritize getting in your playthrough.
- Best Weapon: Ethereal Beast
- Choice of Weapon Swap: Spirit + Call to Arms
- Body Armor: Enigma
- Shield: 35% Faster Cast Rate, Spirit Monarch Shield
- Helm: Harlequin Crest
- Gloves: Magefist / Trang-Oul’s Claws
- Boots: Marrowwalk
- Belt: Arachnid Mesh
- Amulet: Mara’s Kaleidoscope
- Ring 1 & 2: The Stone of Jordan / Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band
- 1st Charm: Necromancer Hellfire Torch
- 2nd Charm: Annihilus
- 3rd Charm: 9x Summoning Skiller Grand Charms w/ Life / Faster Hit Recovery (86%) / Faster Hit Recovery (152%)
- 4th Charm: 10 Small Charms w/ Life / Mana / Faster Hit Recovery / Resistances
You can mix and match these Diablo 2 Necromancer items as you please. Moreover, in some categories, you can choose between multiple choices which should ultimately be dictated by your needs/strategy.
Diablo 2 Necromancer Gameplay Tips
The first thing beginners need to familiarize themselves with as a Diablo 2 Necromancer is the leveling system. At first, playing as a Necro (or any other class, for that matter) seems straightforward. That’s because, like other games, the mechanics are simple: you gain EXP as you demolish enemies and level up. However, what’s truly difficult is wrapping your head around what comes after as you level up.
Point Allocation & Leveling
That’s because leveling up gives 1 skill and 5 stat points (plus other stats like Life, Mana, and Stamina). Each stat level starts at 1 and can reach a maximum of 99 if you allocate points to it. Moreover, every 6 levels, you’ll gain access to a new set of skills (with potential prerequisites, depending on the skill). The build you’re aiming for should guide you in which stats and skills to prioritize allocation to.
With all that said, however, don’t expect to max out any stat you have to level 99. That’s because this can take tons of time and isn’t realistic for most players. Reaching around level 30-40 after Normal difficulty is more realistic. If you move onto Nightmare difficulty, you might get to level 60-70. On the other hand, completing Baal in Hell difficulty might get you somewhere around the 80s.
Now, a Diablo 2 Necromancer leveling guide wouldn’t be complete without instructions on how to earn EXP. In Diablo 2, the mechanics are simple — in Normal difficulty, that is. Killing enemies equals earning EXP. That’s it.
However, once you get to Nightmare and Hell difficulty, you’ll get punished every time you die. The penalty? It pushes you back 5-10% in EXP. Of course, there’s a limit because you’ll only lose EXP until you reach the amount needed for your level. Nonetheless, dying means setting you back, and dying over and over again means losing all your hard work.
In addition, you’ll also need to go back to your corpse when you die. That’s because you’ll need to loot it to get your gear back and regain 75% of the EXP you lost.
Lastly, make sure to mind the level gap between you and the enemy. If possible, keep the difference at about 5 levels so you’ll gain 100% of the EXP after killing the opponent. However, going beyond this gap, regardless of which of you has the higher level, decreases the EXP you earn.
Now, there’s more to the EXP system than just this. For example, you’ll start paying a flat EXP fee once you reach higher levels (Lv. 70). Hence, the maximum EXP you’ll earn will be about 95%. Moreover, this fee gets higher and higher as you level up beyond that point. However, it’s not something you should concern yourself with just yet if you’re just a beginner player.
Strengths & Weaknesses of the Necromancer
The Diablo 2 Necromancer is a powerful class in the game thanks to the ability to summon the undead. Moreover, it’s certainly unique as it has powers and skills you’ll see nowhere else in the game. With that said, however, it still has its pros and cons that might allure or deter you from using it. We’ll discuss both below.
What is the Diablo 2 Necromancer class’s strength? The first and one of the most important advantages to it is its combat versatility. That’s because you can apply different tactics using the class depending on how you want to approach battles. You can either choose to summon minions or deal direct damage through casting.
Moreover, the Diablo 2 Necromancer is a pretty well-rounded character that can do a lot of things. Regardless of whether you want to deal or deflect damage, the Necromancer can do just that. Lastly, they’re great at crippling enemies using curses, making them good crowd controllers for teams.
However, the weakness of the Diablo 2 Necromancer is that they’re difficult to wield. Moreover, gathering hordes of the undead takes time and will only pay off later on. At first, it will certainly feel like a weak character especially in single-player mode. Nonetheless, keep in mind that only patience will yield payoffs while using this character class.
The Diablo 2 Necromancer is certainly a unique and useful character. At least that’s true when you get to the middle portions of the game. Moreover, it’s incredibly versatile, allowing you to employ builds of all kinds depending on your preferred playstyle. However, just make sure you know which build you’re going for before you start allocating skill or stat points. Above all, keeping at it will prove the Diablo 2 Necromancer to be both fun and rewarding as you progress.